lifestyle THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014 Everybody lovesMUSIC the & MOVIES adorable ‘Dadi’

By Antonio Coelho offered. I want people to talk about my performance rather than my dog. I don’t like to read in print that I have omedy Nights with Kapil, the highly popular comedy a 4-bedroom mansion on the beach or I eat broccoli, etc. show on Colors Channel with 130 episodes and For me it’s just acting and now that’s my passion. Ccounting, is not only popular because of its entertain- ing host , but also because of other stars on KT: Which was your best film? the most watched television show in and in many Asgar: “Joru Ka Gulam”, the film for which even today people countries across the globe. remember me. For this film I got some good reviews from The adorable Palak, poker-faced Gutthi, annoyed wife the media and even from . Manju, eligible spinster Bua and the forever young Dadi are characters without whom the show is incomplete. Dadi KT: How do you make time for your family with these (played by actor ), is the most lovable character in busy schedules? this comedy show who is young at heart, an alcoholic and Asgar: For many years, I was flooded with dates and had a never fails to flirt with any male guests on the show. busy schedule. I used to leave home at 7 am and was back Dadi’s famous ‘shagun ki pappi’ is supposed to bring after midnight. But now I spend more time with my fami- good luck to the guests on the show, but many top ly. When I am not shooting, I give more time for my kids. actors have struggled to escape being kissed. But she won the battle of ‘pappis’ when Bollywood’s super- KT: How was the show in Kuwait? star kissed her willingly and even Shah Asgar: You should ask the audience (laughs). The people in Rukh Khan happily placed a kiss on her cheek. Kuwait were very warm. Many Kuwaitis came to me and Ali Asgar is famous as a supporting actor and has acted appreciated me for my performances. When you get in more than 200 movies and TV serials. He performed this kind of appreciation, you feel good and want to many supporting roles in many Bollywood movies during the 1990s. In the 2000s too, he did supporting roles in many popular movies. In 2004, he acted as Deepak in “Aitbaar” and as Rahul in “Stop!” He later acted in “Partner” (2007) and “Sunday” (2008). His most recent film was “Tees Maar Khan” released in 2010. He was the winner of “ 1”, a television comedy series with Kashif Khan, and of “Comedy Circus ke Taansen” with Kapil Sharma. He is popular for his role as Kamal Agarwal in “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki”. He appeared as an From left , Ali Asgar and during the show. inspector in “FIR” and also in the comic show “Jeannie Aur Juju”. woman any more. Even when I started playing the lead capped Dadi is begging you for a kiss’ and he ended up Kuwait Times, in an exclusive interview, spoke with him in “Jeannie aur Juju” which was telecast on Sab TV, my giving me a pappi. about his roles, family life and about his future on televi- character was restrictive. I was feeling constrained, so sion. when the offer to play Dadi came, I took it. I figured, it’s KT: Were you offered female roles in films too? just 26 episodes, so it will get over quickly. I never real- Asgar: No. Film is altogether a different media and I have act- Excerpts from the interview: ized it would become a hit from the first episode. In my ed in many films. I don’t push myself for films because ulti- Kuwait Times: At what age did you begin acting? 25 years of acting, I have never seen anything become mately you end up doing character roles. Frankly, I don’t Asgar: I staring acting at the age of 14, but I didn’t know an overnight hit. like to be a hero’s sidekick. I have done films with Shah whether it was my passion as I never took it seriously as I Rukh Khan, and even with Govinda. I am was fun-loving and always hanging around with my KT: To perform live in front of an audience is difficult as friends. In school I used to take part in each and every there are no retakes like in films. How do you and activity, which I can say gave me a platform. I was in the others perform as a team? tenth grade when I first got my break in “Ek Do Teen Asgar: We get along very well as a team but all are busy Char”, and from there my passion for acting grew. with their own work and lifestyles. We meet just 2 hours I was not sure whether I wanted to do it all my life. I did a BA before our shoot. The director briefs us about the outline in Political Science and then pursed Hotel Management. of our show and the script. We follow our script about 50 I got a job in a hotel in the US. The condition was I could to 60 percent and 40 percent is improvisation. It all not leave the country for the first five years. Being the depends on the response we get from the celebrities only son, my parents didn’t approve of it, but they were and the audience. in the restaurant business long before I was born, so The easy comedy is below the belt and sometimes the audi- they supported me throughout my journey. My dad told ence may not accept it. I have done a lot of this in me ‘son, take your own time’. Meanwhile, I got interest- “Comedy Nights” but with “Comedy Nights with Kapil”, ing offers from the entertainment industry, so I decided we don’t take a chance as it is a family show. On this to stay on. I idolize the late a lot. I have show, people’s expectations are high with each new watched his films many times to perfect my acting. Even episode and we try not to have any repetition. now in my spare time I like watch old films on DVDs. KT: How many ‘shagun ki pappi’ have you given to KT: Did you give an audition to be on “Comedy Nights guests on the show? with Kapil”? Asgar: I have no count, seriously. Some celebrities don’t like Asgar: I did “Comedy Circus” with Kapil for 24 episodes. So to be kissed. In one of the episodes, Imran Hashemi had when Kapil approached me with this character. I said ‘No’ intentionally come up with the idea of not having me for to him as I was not keen on playing female characters the episode, saying that we will give Dadi a break, but time and again, as I was doing such roles regularly. But later changed his mind. Most celebrities come on the even if you have a plan, life turns out to be something show doing their own homework. else. At one time, when I was doing Comedy Circus, I is an introverted personality. He doesn’t even Ali Asgar played a female character in 14 out of 17 episodes in talk much even on sets with his co-stars, but on this that season - saas, bahu, gaonwali and kamwalibhai, bar show he came to me and said, “Dadi will you kiss me”. girl etc. When I resisted, the writers said, ‘bhai, you do it calls me ‘granny’ ... hey where’s my granny. waiting for some substantial films. I could have got good perform better each time. I was happy to see many so well’. So there I was! And then I was doing it every- When Amitabh Bachchan was to appear on the show, his films after “Joru Ka Gulam”, but maybe I didn’t market Indians who turned up in large numbers to see me and where. PR team sent us a long list with 12 clauses which were all myself very well. Apart from a passport size photo, I don’t Palak. I want to thank the organisers Akash, Arif Kazi and As an actor, I was enjoying it as I was getting to play many related to me. Dadi will not hold Bachchan saab, Dadi even have my own portfolio. I am not on Page 3, I am not others too for holding this show, which was for the vic- roles, but I was certainly getting typecast. I had decided will not ask him for a dance and I will not kiss him, etc. in magazines nor am I promoting myself by throwing late tims of the recent floods in Kashmir where thousands that even if I stop getting work, it’s fine, but I won’t play a During the show I said to Bachchan saab ‘this old handi- night parties. My main aim is to do justice to the roles I am were displaced. Thousands mass in Washington to honor US veterans

From left, , , and Zac Brown, sing on the in performs on stage. Washington during the Concert for Valor. — AP photos undreds of thousands of people, many waving the “The Concert for Valor” and an atmosphere of patriotic fervor aging people to donate funds to organizations working to help Stars and Stripes, packed central Washington for a free filled the November evening sky, with the Capitol-covered in veterans with health, education and job problems. The jobless Hconcert Tuesday starring Bruce Springsteen, scaffolding for repairs-looming in the background. Some peo- rate for example for veterans of the Afghanistan conflict is 7.6 and to honor America’s veterans. The famed National ple wore civilian clothes, others were in full uniform, as the percent-compared to 5.8 percent of the population as a whole, Mall area in the heart of the US capital was packed for the nation came together to recognize US service personnel and congressional data show. — AFP their families on Veterans Day. A bevy of stars lit up the first-of-a-kind three-hour spectac- ular, which was beamed across the United States live on tele- vision. After Rihanna’s turn, Eminem rocked the party with “Guts Over Fear.” “Thank you for your sacrifice,” the Grammy- winning rapper told service members in the massive crowd some estimates put at as high as 800,000. Other household favorites performing included , country singer , Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, heavy metal group Metallica and country/folk artists Zac Brown Band. Stars such as , Bryan Cranston and Jack Black appeared on stage, while , and all made video tributes. Singer-actress began the festivities with a stirring rendition of the US national anthem, followed by a recorded message from President Barack Obama that told the immense crowd: “Let’s all find ways...to serve these heroes as well as they’ve served us.” “USA, USA,” concertgoers chanted at the event sponsored by Bruce Springsteen performs on the National Mall. HBO, Starbucks and Chase Bank. The event is aimed at encour- Jennifer Hudson and perform on stage. Rihanna arrives on stage.