How has your 10-year journey in Mumbai been?
I complete a decade in the city on September 12. I came with just two suitcases and stayed with my maternal grandparents in Chembur. I walked every day to the domestic airport, that was about 14 kilometers away. I used to pack a bag, which I still have and call it my struggle bag, with one pack of biscuits and a mango drink and walk. Then, I would take a bus to Andheri. From those days to where I am today, I think it has been a great journey. It feels good when people tell me that they like my work. It's nice when grannies recognize me at airports and signal me to come and meet them.
How much of your humor on screen is scripted?
I believe in on the spot humor. I have a very good writer who gives me pointers. So mostly whatever you have seen on stage, like the kind of masti I have done with Karan Johar or Madhuri, is not written.
You have been an RJ, VJ and actor. What are you most comfortable with?
I am an entertainer and comfortable with everything. Many have asked me what I would have been if not an actor. I don't know! All I know is that I would have put my best into whatever I do.
Who do you think is the best host?
I like what Bachchan sir does. I had hosted a 'KBC' episode with him, and I was amazed at how he reads from the prompters and suddenly takes off, talks to audience and has fun with them. It is important to keep the audience interested and he does it brilliantly. I also enjoyed working with Shah Rukh sir. Before every show that we do, we meet in the vanity, read the script once and go on stage and take pointers. So even if I crack a joke at him, he takes it very sportingly and then cracks one right back on me.
There's been a long gap since your first film...
Yes, but I have not become as big an actor that I can decide the release dates of my films. I often joke that I should block Nag Panchami for release of my films. Tere Bin Laden 2 is ready now. The film requires a lot of CG, and we also redid the film a bit as the director felt it was not up to the mark. Thankfully, it has come out well and we are really happy!
Tell us about some crazy fan experiences.
There is this fan in Delhi who has got the same tattoo as mine. She told me that she is not getting married and that she's told her family she wants someone like me. She knows everything about me and it's almost scary. But she tells me that I need not worry as she is not going to trouble me. There was another girl in Bengaluru, who kept sliding letters below my door throughout the night. She left only after I wrote to her, telling her that I have got all her letters and that I would really like to sleep.
Any message for your fans on Follo?
One message to all my fans — 'Follo' me! On a serious note, I tell everybody that I came to Mumbai with nothing but my work. If someone asks me to sweep the floor, I will do it better than anyone else. Have faith in yourself and do your best.