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‘Everyone goes to the theatre to have fun’
Debarati Palit Singh | Sunday, 14 February 2016 AT 08:30 PM IST
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They are not just funny but sensible too. Manish Paul and Pradhuman Singh, who play the role of A Sharma and Paddi Singh, respectively, in Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, have a lot to talk about. The two visited Sakal Times office on Friday to promote their film — the sequel of 2010 hit — Tere Bin Laden. The sequel is releasing on Feb 26. Excerpts:

Considering the first part was a sleeper hit, what should the audience expect from the sequel?  
Manish: Since the trailer launched, people have been eager to know when the film is releasing. The first part was a hit, so there is pressure on the second. That said, people should expect a laugh riot. The reason people enjoyed the first part was because it was humorous and the same holds good for the sequel. The audience should expect a little more madness. There are new characters like Sikander Kher and myself. The writing is also great because we had a team like Abhishek, Neha and Pradhuman.

As a co-writer, did you feel any pressure while writing the script?  
Pradhuman: There was a lot of pressure. It took us almost a year to finish writing the script and we wrote eight drafts. Initially, we had no intentions of making a sequel. But when Osama Bin Laden passed away, Abhishek got the idea of writing the story because till date, there is no proof that Osama is dead. We had decided that if we write something, it has to be a worthy sequel. Because everyone loved the first part, we had thought that the sequel should be one notch higher. As a writer, it was a tough journey. This part is about how we made the first.

Comedy is about give and take. How does it work for you?
Manish: Comedy is not about one person or dialogues. It’s about team work. There are scenes in the film where 12 actors can be seen in one frame but only one actor says the dialogue. That’s the give and take among actors. In the helicopter scene, I have a monologue, and Sikander and Pradhuman react with a single word. I would always ask Pradhuman if a particular dialogue would work better on me or someone else.
Pradhuman: I believe that when you are known for your talent and when two or more talented people come together, there can never be any kind of insecurity. Every character has their USP in the film. What the audience will get to see in this film is the chemistry and bonding between co-actors.  

What are your ideas of a perfect comedy?  
Manish: I don’t believe in slapstick comedy or being loud and hitting below the belt. You don’t need to forcefully make others laugh. I believe in natural comedy. What you need is a good sense of humour. I have learnt to search for humour from life, from my family.     
Pradhuman: I like situational comedy. Honestly, when you are writing, you don’t think it’s a farce or satire. You just think about a concept and then write. There is living room comedy where people are sitting and pulling each other’s leg, I don’t enjoy it. But when you put a situation in it, all of a sudden it becomes fun. Concept and situation is very important. Sadly, in our country, concept doesn’t work.

Comedy is serious business. Do you agree?
Manish: It is. People think that comedy is easy but I think it’s very difficult. Each one of us faces some crisis at home but we have to come and make you laugh. Sometimes, we are unhappy but we smile and make others happy. Your smile has to be infectious.
Pradhuman: What is comedy? It’s basically laughing at someone else’s sorrow. Look Charlie Chaplin, a poor man roaming on the streets, which is sad for him, but we are laughing at him. The only difference is that I could have made you cry with a little change of music.

Despite comedy being serious business, films from this genre are not nominated in mainstream awards?
Manish: Our industry takes comedy genre very lightly. Only if you work in biopics or serious films, you considered an actor. When I started my career as a host, I noticed that they made hosts stand in some corner. I started requesting my director whether I could take centrestage. But they did not agree. However, appearing in front of my audience, I made my place. You have to create your importance with your work and not your attitude.
Pradhuman: The attitude is not just here but across the world. Comedy is not considered a genre, but it’s one genre in which you make the maximum number of films. Everyone goes to the theatre to have fun.

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