New Delhi: Abhilash Thapliyal, popular as The Muffler Man for his spoofs on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, says satire comes naturally to Indians as they are born with it.
"Every Indian is born with the art of satire, from our 'pados wali aunty' (neighbourhood aunt) to the 'Boss in the office'. Observation is the key, knowledge of things and people adds to the arsenal," Abhilash told IANS in an email interview.
Though the online audience is used to the RJ poking fun at Kejriwal's mannerisms and giving a humorous touch to politics, the same can't be said about Bollywood celebrities. Are Indian actors scared of politicians?
"As a viewer, I might have agreed 100 per cent, but now I understand that the industry has its own compulsions. It's not fair to generalise as a lot of actors today are voicing their opinions loud and clear," said Abhilash, who will make his Bollywood debut with "Dil Juunglee".
"In fact, 'Muffler Man', a political satire that got conceptualised a few years back, is one of the reasons why I landed up with this movie ('Dil Juunglee'). So, politics is not too bad after all! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Delhi Chief Minister. It wouldn't have been possible without you," he added.
How comfortable was he with acting in a film? "As an RJ, I have been hands on with all aspects of my shows - controlling the console, the content, the presentation. However, on the film set, I felt like a bull in a china shop. Saqib (Saleem) and Taapsee (Pannu) not only explained the technicalities but also calmed down my nerves and made me feel at home. Guess the 'Delhi connection' helped," he said.
There was a time when he and Taapsee had a "big showdown". "It was on the very first day of shoot in London. I had almost packed my bags and was ready to come back home. But thanks to Saqib, peace prevailed the next day and Taapsee was sweet enough to not take the incident too seriously. We all have grown to be friends from there on and often laugh at that argument (incident) even now," said Abhilash.
In "Dil Juunglee", he plays Prashant -- a loud mouth, Delhi boy who adores his friend Sumit (Saqib). "He might look shallow at the first glance, however, he has a mind of his own and doesn't shy away from expressing his opinion," he said. The film will hit the screens on February 16. (IANS)