I love comedy, says Mr Shetty, hastening to qualify, clean comedy that a family can watch and laugh together. The obvious reference is to Hera Pheri. Thats a movie I really liked, he says.
Explaining his penchant for comedy, Mr Shetty says, I have a group of 16 to 18 friends from my kindergarten days. We meet quite often and whenever we go to a restaurant for lunch or dinner, most of the time we are joking with one another.
Mr Shetty laments the fact that comedy does not have a wider audience. It is something that is not widely appreciated, he says, explaining why his comedy movies have a fair share of action in them.
Talking about the releases he has in the pipeline, Mr Shetty wears a distinct beam on his face when he talks about Kaante, in which he plays the role of a bouncer. It is a movie about a group of six Indians who want to make a mark for themselves in the US, he says. Despite Indians being a good contributor to the economy out there, they are not counted there. The Italian mafia and the Chinese gangs rule the roost there. So this group of Indians seek to set the record straight and kick the system.
He continues, In the movie, I sport a jawline beard and speak very little. My girlfriend is a dancer in the bar where I work, and half the time, I am bashing up the guys who ogle at her.
Mr Shetty is sure Kaante will be a hit. This is going to be a cult film, he says. And why not He has done almost 90 per cent of the stunts in the film himself.
Thats about movies, but what would have happened to this guy from Mangalore had he not become an actor I would have become a hotelier, pat comes the reply. I am a graduate in Hotel Administration and Food Technology from Sophias Polytechnic, Mumbai, he says proudly.
Mr Shetty is not at all embarrassed to declare he loves his children more than anything else in the world. Nothing of the He-Man in that confession. He says, I am the laziest man on earth when I am not working. I love lazing around with my daughter and son. He is also conscious of the need to provide his children with a viable future. He says, My 12-year-old daughter has an inclination towards the arts, but if she wants to join the film industry, her papa will be there to launch her. You know, its a mans world out there.
He wants his six-year-old son to become a cricketer. He has been hitting the ball since the age of two, he says with visible pride.
Himself a fitness freakhe spends at least two hours a day in the gymit is not surprising that he wants his son to be fit, but not like the current Indian team, which, he says, is the most unfit team in the world yet the most talented.
Which is the film closest to his heartEhsaas, he says, without pausing to think. The role that I played of the father of an 11-year-old is very close to my real self, he explains.
Not done yet as an actor, Mr Shetty has nevertheless expanded his career options. Right now, I have a company called Popcorn Entertainment, which is into event management. The company has been handling international events, he says.