Johnny Lever Curated
Johnny Lever is an Indian film actor and one of...
CURATED BY :
When you watch your daughter's show, do you only watch and enjoy or do you also take notes and give her feedbacks?
In bollywood we do get to see a women with a strong villainous character. The main actor is always a male. Is there anything happening in bollywood to change this?
If not a comedian, then what would you have wanted to become?
When you create your content, do you practice in front of your family and friends before performing it in front of the crowds?
Do you make sure that you don't offend an influential person through your comedy?
Have you ever thought of doing a comedy movie in which you are the lead?
What is your opinion on the comedians of younger generations?
Why do you think that comedy is difficult? Your are experienced in this genre. Does it get easier?
Why don't you join TVF which is hugely popular in India and we would love to see you on a TVF series?
Would you be kind enough to share an incident which was serious and tragic and but went there and did comedy?
How do you come up with your content when you are doing stand ups? What is your inspiration?
Is there any star or group of stars with whom are comfortable working with?
What is the difference between a comedian and a lead actor who doing a comedy role?
Is comedy something that can be learned or is it something your are born with?
Who were the comedians that inspired you?
In the past, comedians like Johnny Walker, Mehmood and Kishore Kumar made their special niche- each with a very individual style of comedy.
Did some top actors feel insecure about your scene-stealing ability?
Isn’t that natural? Even the great Amitabh Bachchan has to do something on screen to be funny but I just have to stand in the frame of the scene! Such is my face and personality, that even if I am standing solemnly at a funeral, the by-standers break into laughter! So some top stars have felt insecure in comic scenes with me but I try not to bother with such silly issues.
Once you became famous as an actor, did you feel frustrated for not being offered emotional roles? I still remember your superb tragic-comic drunkard act on TV after Bombay bomb- blasts.
The label of a comedian is hard to lose. But I don’t think negatively about that. I think that if someone else is not ready to give me such opportunity, then I must create that opportunity myself. So I am in a process of making a film, which will be a comedy but with a sentimental touch.
Was your transition from stage to silver screen difficult?
Yes, it was a difficult phase. On stage, you are constantly getting the audience-response and that tells whether you are doing it right or not. In front of camera, there is no such instant reaction and I always felt out of sync with the scene. Many people in the industry started passing snide remarks- "Oh, he is just a mimic. What does he know about acting?" But as the career progressed, I started staying away from mimicry and focused more on lending my individual touch to the character I was portraying. So in a way, as I kept working more, my own work taught me how to work better. Baazigar, Khiladi, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Kareeb, Anadi No. 1, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai- these were some of my memorable roles.
How did you master mimicry?
I think that is an inborn talent. Mimicry is not just about imitating, it is to portray a known character’s entire personality through subtle vocal and body gestures. My mimicry takes on actors like Ashok Kumar, Om Prakash, Shatrughan Sinha and Sanjeev Kumar became very popular.
How did you begin your journey as a comedian?
As a child, I started off by doing record- dance items (dancing on famous film-songs) on stage. In my late teens, I learnt mimicry and started doing stage-shows. Soon, I was included in Kalyanji- Anandji’s music- troupe, where I was spotted by some film- producers, who then offered me roles in films.
Is Johnny Lever your real name?
No, actually my name is John Rao but from childhood everybody called me Johnny. Later in life, I worked for six years in Hindustan Lever Company and used that reference point to adopt a stage- name ‘Johnny Lever’, which finally stuck forever.
Any message to your fans?
In this world all humans are Gods Creation and every human should try to bring a smile their own and another’s face. So, my message for my fans is that always keep smiling!
What are your expectations of your show in London?
My expectations are to make my audience laugh and enjoy my performance. When they go back home with the big smile on their face, it’s priceless to me.
People always say, it’s hard to make people laugh. In your opinion, what makes it hard?
It’s difficult to make people laugh. If the audience encourages you, they enjoy your performance and that is a very big achievement.
How far do you believe that people are ‘born’ into comedy? Can it be learnt?
People are not born into comedy, they are born with talent. Talent is what makes you a comedian and you can’t be a comedian without having the talent.
How do you gauge whether any given joke is working or not working with the audiences?
Comedy is very difficult to perform in front of people but their positive feed back does not need any judgment. Its easy to gauge because.My comedy and my performance always make people laugh. I have very much experience in comedy so its easy to gauge people.
The tagline of your show is ‘Laugh until you fart’ – how would you describe this kind of comedy in your own words?
The tagline is by Johnny Lever Live’. I know my audience and what they want from me and I try to give what they expect. I treat my audience like my family.
Which do you prefer; working in films or performing live?
Both are different fields and I enjoy working in films as well as performing live shows. A stage show is very different to a film.
How do you feel when you’re recognized by fans around the world?
I feel very good when people recognize me. They laugh and smile when I am around them and it’s special to know that there is a smile on someone’s face just because of me. Their response makes me feel precious & unique.
Did you always want to become a comedian?
Yes, 100%. I always wanted to become a comedian since I was a child.