India’s Arshad Warsi Basks in ‘Asur’ Success, Teases Next ‘Munna Bhai’ Film: Script Is ‘Almost Ready’

Indian actor Arshad Warsi stars in JioCinema series “Asur,” the second season of which is one of the most-watched Indian shows of the year.

Set in the holy northern Indian city of Varanasi, the psychological thriller series with mythological elements stars Warsi and Barun Sobti as forensic expert investigators engaged in a cat-and-mouse-game with a serial killer. “Asur: Welcome to Your Dark Side” streamed on Voot in 2020. “Asur 2: The Rise of the Dark Side” moved over to sister streamer JioCinema and began streaming in June. Within three weeks of release, Season 2 amassed 30 million viewers and 3 billion minutes of watch time, per JioCinema data. The series also made it to IMDb’s top 50 shows worldwide.

“India is full of mythology and spirituality and we are pretty big with that. And we are pretty smart people around the world, where science and any kind of technology goes. So these two things, getting it together was a good idea,” Warsi tells Variety.

Warsi, a versatile actor who runs the gamut from comedy — notably in the “Munna Bhai” and “Golmaal” franchises — to crime drama “Sehar,” says that once he agrees to a role, the character lives in his head 24/7 and he internalizes the experiences they go through.

“All the characters I’ve done are pretty different from each other. I think all these things and it falls into play once you have the character right. A person who’s experienced and who has done this in life, would walk, talk, behave like this,” Warsi said. “He’s a forensic scientist, so there’s certain ways he’ll conduct himself. So this is how I do my homework. And that’s how I play my character. If a big calamity comes on him, he’s not going to freak out, he’s going to find a way to get out. He’s not going to go nuts. That’s what he’s all about. Very sorted person.”

A third season of “Asur” might be in the offing. “The story is still not complete. And I like closure. I don’t like even movies that have an open ending. I like a film and a story to complete. So I’m really hoping there’s a Season 3 — by the looks of it, I guess it will, because people have loved it so much that everybody’s asking for Season 3. So I’m hoping that they do it,” Warsi said.

“The issue is that it’s very difficult to write a script like ‘Asur,’ it’s a lot of research, it’s very time consuming,” Warsi added. “And after what we’ve done in Season 2, where it’s done so well, Season 3 is going to be a tough ride. So I pity the writers, the poor guys are gonna go nuts, but I guess they’re gonna have to do it.”

The busy actor has a raft of films coming up and is in negotiations for two series. He has completed “Bhagwat,” a film based on a true story about a psycho killer, directed by Akshay Shere (“Emotional Atyachar”). In “Ghamasan” from “Paan Singh Tomar” director Tigmanshu Dhulia, also based on a true story, Warsi plays a bandit. “You’ll be shocked to see me in it,” Warsi said.

Abhishek Saxena’s “Banda Singh,” “a heartwarming story of a regular, ordinary guy,” is in post as is Abhishek Dogra’s comedy-crime drama “Jeevan Bheema Yojana.”

At the end of the year, Warsi will start shooting the third part of the “Welcome” comedy franchise, alongside Sanjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar. In January 2024, he will commence the third part of the Jolly LLB franchise alongside Kumar. “Just imagine Akshay and his sense of comedy, me and my sense of comedy. Both of us will probably, hopefully, crack everybody up. And then it goes into a space, which melts your heart and gets all emotional. It’s a beautiful script. Funny and heartwarming at the same time,” Warsi said.

The third part that India has been keenly waiting for is Rajkumar Hirani’s “Munna Bhai” franchise. “Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.” (2003) and “Carry On, Munna Bhai” (2006), where Dutt’s titular Munnabhai and Warsi’s Circuit cured societal ills in a comic fashion, were smash hits.

“The most funniest thing is where you have a director who has three scripts, which are almost ready, you have a producer who’s ready to produce, you have actors who want to do it, you have people who want to watch it, but it’s not being made,” Warsi said. “Raju [Hirani] has written three scripts for ‘Munna Bhai’ where there are three different plots, three different ideas and there’s a little hitch in all of them. Raju is a perfectionist — if he’s not 101%-200% sure about the script, he’s not going to go ahead with it. So that’s the problem.”

“For me, ‘Munna Bhai’ — I have still not got the closure. So it means one more episode to close it. I think we should do that,” Warsi added.

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article