Actor Prithviraj is back in Bollywood, this time as a cop in Aurangzeb

It’s the South super star’s second shot at Bollywood and he’s ensured to make it big. Prithviraj is back within a year of Aiyya!, in which he acted opposite Rani Mukherjee. And unlike his debut film, in Aurangzeb there is no dancing, no comedy, not even a smile on his face.

“Arya (his character in the film) does not even smile when his wife gives him the news of her pregnancy! But the man goes through stupendous emotional complexities. On the surface, he seems to be a tough-as-nails cop but you see the real him when he breaks down in the final scene of the film. That was the challenge in playing Arya. I have done roles of a cop before but I haven’t played them like Arya,” says the actor.

Releasing this Friday, YashRaj Films’ Atul Sabharwal-directed Aurangzeb is a story about the lust for power and how it sees no kinship. It stars Arjun Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Amrita Singh and newcomer Sashey Aagha, besides Prithvi in lead roles. The story revolves around a criminal who leaves no traces thanks to his top crew member (Arjun Kapoor) who is a dreaded goon. The cops led by Rishi Kapoor and Prithvi decide to put an end to their reign by hiring a lookalike of Arjun who they believe should be able to get them information about illegal activities.

The film starts with Prithvi’s character Arya and ends with him. He essays the role of the narrator as well. In fact, the film credits begin with him, we’ve learnt. “It’s a unique film where no single character is either black or white. Arjun and I both have pivotal roles in the movie. But one can’t say who’s got the meatier role. On a certain level, yes, it is Arya’s journey,” he says. Talking about his young co-star Arjun, Prithvi says, “That guy is very talented. I hadn’t watched his debut film Ishaqzaade so on the sets of Aurangzeb he got me a DVD and I admitted to him that he made me ashamed of my debut. Look at his choice for the first film – it was anything but a typical launch film!”

Prithvi says that even first-time director Atul Sabharwal surprised him. “It doesn’t look like it is his first film at all. He seems so much in control. He has a great clarity of vision,” he says. But the actor whom he most enjoyed working with was Rishi Kapoor. Rishi plays his senior in the film. “It’s great to see how he has reinvented himself in the second phase of his career. What we see of him on screen just reflects his state of mind. He is totally enjoying the new actor within him. That’s admirable.”

If there is anything about Aurangzeb that disturbs Prithvi, it is the buzz about his ‘recommendation’ to YashRaj Films by his first co-star Rani. Ask him and the retort is, “If that was the case then why would have I to audition for the role?”