Popular host Maniesh Paul says it was a conscious decision to not take up acting jobs till the upcoming comedy drama Jugjugg Jeeyo came his way as he didn’t want to do a project “for the sake of it”.
Paul started out his career as a video jockey (VJ) and TV host, before making his acting debut with the 2013 film Mickey Virus.
He followed it up with the 2016 comedy Tere Bin Laden 2 and his last release Baa Baaa Black Sheep in 2018. Paul, 40, attributed the gap in his filmography to lack of interesting movie offers.
“I love acting, but I wasn’t getting the right projects untilhappened. I didn’t want to do films for the sake of it. That’s why I took it easy after 2016. I wanted to wait and do a film when it clicks. There was never a temptation to do a film just to keep the ball rolling.
“I understood after a point that what I want isn’t happening, so I went with the flow. It had to happen at the right time, and it did with Jugjugg Jeeyo,” the actor told PTI in an interview.
Maniesh Paul, who moved to Mumbai from Delhi in the early 2000s, said he never wanted to commit himself to “subpar” projects as the industry keenly observes the work of every artiste.
Hence, the actor said, he was determined to put his best foot forward.
“You can’t do anything subpar and expect people to laud you, they won’t. You have to choose the right projects and ensure you never take your work for granted. I have hosted countless award nights, reality shows and done a few films also, but have never taken a single day for granted.
“When I came to Mumbai, I didn’t know anyone and nobody knew me. So, when you receive so much, you cannot take it lightly. I have worked extremely hard to reach where I am today. I can’t let it slip. It is an everyday learning to keep going despite the highs and lows,” he added.
For Jugjugg Jeeyo, Maniesh Paul said he had no second thoughts if he wanted to be a part of the film. Directed by Raj Mehta of Good Newwz fame, the movie also stars, Kiara Advani, Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor, and Prajakta Koli.
He was on board the moment producercalled him for the comedy drama and asked to meet director Raj Mehta for a better understanding of his role.
“At first, I refused to even listen to the role, because I had already made up mind that I am doing it. I later met Raj and realised just how well written it was. I was more than happy to be a part of his world, to work with the fantastic ensemble cast. This was a dream come true moment. There were no second thoughts,” he added.
Paul said the film, which talks about marriages falling apart, benefits heavily from a “genuinely funny” script.
“I like to do comedies that work for me. I don’t like to do slapstick, demeaning comedies. If comedy is forced, I won’t do it and thankfully I can gauge it at a script level. Comedy works when it isn’t forced. In the film, the comedy is situational, where characters would be in a soup but the audience would be laughing. It was genuinely a funny script.”
Jugjugg Jeeyo is scheduled to be released on Friday.