Interview: “I have learnt a lot from the UK” – Johnny Lever
Bollywood King of comedy Johnny Lever recently performed in three major cities across the UK. The 62-year-old comedian actor descended into to the UK for a live show ‘Laugh till you Fart.’
Described as one super-duper evening of pure comedy, Lever entertained audiences in Bradford, London and in Leicester earlier this month.
We attended a press conference with the actor who was recently seen in blockbuster ‘Housefull 2’.
Speaking about why London is special to him he said: “I love London the most in the whole world. I always make sure I have a visa for the UK at all times (laughs). Whether I am doing a show or not, coming to London is always very important. My daughter and son both, study here at University of Westminster. I came to London for the first time in 1997 and since then I have been coming to London.”
Lever also claims that he has learnt a lot from the UK and its capital and that people he met here are very hardworking: “I have learnt a lot from this city. I am saying this from my heart as I have learnt a lot from England. If I am successful, then England plays a vital role in it. There are a lot of other people who have played an important role in making me successful but England definitely has. I have learnt hard work and honesty from the UK.”
Recalling his ealier experience of coming to the UK the actor said: “I came to the UK with Amitabh Bachchan for a show in Wembley. After doing the show, I was sitting there and observing everything. They were working there and they did it all their work so quickly and left. If that were to happen in our country, we would be the number one country in the world. You guys are all really lucky that you live here. I congratulate you guys. “
Johnny Lever is well-known for his comic faces but says that they come naturally to him: “I don’t make funny faces, they just happen automatically. If I go to a Restaurant, people will come and say “Johnny Bhai at least don’t act here.” I tell them that it’s natural. I get money to act, why would I act here for free? (Laughs)”
In an interview with Sunny Malik, Johnny Lever talked about his recent film Housefull 2, films and much more.
Congratulations on Housefull 2. It has been a huge success in the UK and even in the US, Germany and crossed the Rs.100 crore mark in India.
Yes, wow. I am very happy after a long time. The credit goes to Sajid Khan, the director of the film. He has a sense of comedy and he himself is a comedian and knows how to work with comedians. I give the full credit to him for the success of the film.
You shot the film in the UK. How was your experience shooting here?
It was really nice. We really enjoyed it. It was a big palace and it was fantastic to shoot there.
Which other films are you working on?
There are a couple. There is Mithun Chakraborty’s home production. It stars Sunil Shetty, Kay Kay Menon, me and his son. Mithun Sahib will also be in the movie. Another one is with Shreyas Talpade and is called “Oh God Saare Hain Fraud”.
There will be more but I have become very selective. If there is a good role then I do it otherwise I decline the offer. I have to do good work as I have done a lot in the past already.
Now that you are going into production, how do you think Bollywood films should be promoted in the western market as it is still a niche market.
You have to have the right subject do that it appeals to everyone and we make films specifically for the overseas market. It can be any film but it has to be good so it will be liked universally. There should be emotions along with comedy and at the end of the day we are all humans. All the films we produce are watched by Asians mostly, Indians and Pakistanis. If there is a message along with comedy, tragedy and emotions like with Charlie Chaplin films. There are no dialouges in his films but without any words even South Indians, deaf and mute people watch the films and laugh and cry. It does not depend on the language as if there are emotions then anyone will enjoy the film. Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar’s movies are watched in Nigeria (laughs). What do they understand? They watch it once for the subtitles and once for the acting (laughs). They are liking something aren’t they? Even in Indonesia, they watch all our films and people are touched by them. There should be movies made like that and I am not saying that I will make one. But there should be movies that touch you.
But films with social messages don’t earn as much money as comedies for example; Housefull 2.
Don’t spend too much time on being preachy. It should not be preachy at all. There should be something with entertainment just a bit. If you watch Golmaal 3, there is a little touch with the orphans in the film and people liked that.