If you are a regular user of memes, then you must have used Rajpal Yadav’s one-liners and expressions the most while communicating with friends on social media and messaging apps. After all, he has delivered memorable performances in some of the most loved comedy films in the last two decades.
“Lekin kabhi kabhi aapke kandhe pe bandook rakh ke dusre ko nishaana banaya jaata hai. 99.99% of my memes are in good taste but…”
Two of his iconic works were Phir Hera Pheri and Chup Chup Ke. Interestingly, both the films were released on the same day, 16 years ago, on June 9. In Phir Hera Pheri, he won hearts in the beginning portions when his character Pappu gets conned by Raju, played by Akshay Kumar. Rajpal was hilarious in the scene where Akshay reprimands him in the ‘Zor zor se bolke logon ko scheme bata de’ scene! In Chup Chup Ke, he’s adorable, especially in the first half, when he forms a bond with Jeet (Shahid Kapoor) and when he’s forced to slog in the Chauhan household.
Bollywood Hungama spoke to him exclusively about these films on their 16th anniversaries. Rajpal Yadav reminded this writer at the onset that exactly 25 years ago, in June 1997, is when he came to Mumbai to pursue acting.
Rajpal Yadav then said, “From the very beginning, it was my dream that mere munh se nikle hue dialogues har ghar ka hissa bane. In these 25 years, I have worked very hard. Due to the blessings and wishes of the audiences, mujhe bahut saare dialogues bolne ke mauka mila. And especially after Corona rocked the world in 2020, my dialogues in the form of memes have entertained people and brought smiles to their faces. It gives me immense pleasure to see that from kids to adults to old people, everybody enjoys my memes.”
However, Rajpal Yadav added, “Lekin kabhi kabhi aapke kandhe pe bandook rakhe ke dusre ko nishaana banaya jaata hai. The same happens with these memes as well. 99.99% of my memes are such that dil ko sukoon dete hai. But 0.1% of the memes are not in good taste. Toh zyada memes dekh ke hasee aati hai. Kuch memes dekh ke khees hoti hai (it upsets me). Rajpal jaise actor ka kaam logon ko khees nahi dete, logon ko rijaate hai.”
Speaking of Phir Hera Pheri, we asked him whether he was nervous or apprehensive since the first part, Hera Pheri (2000), was a cult classic. Rajpal Yadav explained, “Main abhinay ko kabhi bojh ke roop mein leta nahi. I’ll give you an example. When a batsman scores a century, the whole stadium erupts into applause and hooting. However, in the next match, he has to again start from scratch; he has to start from zero runs. The same applies in the field of entertainment. It doesn’t matter what have you done in the last film and whether you received praises or brickbats. When you take up a new film, you start afresh. You may be shy or introverted in real life, but in reel life, you are supposed to change your colours according to the character that you portray. So, if you get pressurized while living the reel life, then your performance will become a real one. Aur entertainment ki duniya mein real kuch nahi hota. Real ka bas illusion hota hai. Hence, I wasn’t apprehensive. Pichli (acchi film) ko aashiwad maanta hoon. And in case, if my role didn’t get the desired response, then I try to analyze what went wrong. Nevertheless, every day is new and gives an opportunity to learn something.”
Rajpal Yadav is all praises for Neeraj Vora, the writer-director of Phir Hera Pheri and the writer of Chup Chup Ke, “He was fantastic. He was one of the best writers of our industry. His dialogues like ‘Chalu mandir ka ghanta samaj ke rakha hai kya, koi bhi aake baja jaata hai’ from Hungama (2003) and ‘Isko zilla ghoshit kyun nahi kar dete’ and ‘Main koi botal se nikla hua bhoot ho jo ek ke baad ek kaam dete hi ja rahe ho’ from Chup Chup Ke, etc. have contributed a lot to my popularity. If an actor gets to mouth his lines and if the actor performs it with sincerity, then it’s sure to be loved by the audiences.”
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