Playing it true

<br> Working on a two actor play, written and directed by Dilip Shankar that presents the essence of Gita, the actor, an alumnus of the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi and Drama School, London, will be playing the roles of both Krishna and Arjuna. “I have been wanting to do this for a long time. Dilip and I are been working on it through video calling nowadays. It was his idea that I play both the roles — something that is not only challenging but also promises to lend multiple dimensions to the whole experience.”

With Prakash Jha’s “Pareeksha” and “India Sweets and Spices”, where he will be seen with Manisha Koirala now complete, the actor is optimistic that both will be received well by the audiences. “I play the lead role of a rickshaw puller in ‘Pareeksha’ who wants his son to go to the best school in town — the one where he drops children to every morning. The latter is based in Atlanta has been produced by those who were behind ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. Equally intense and funny, it is the second generation’s critical and funny take on the the first one.”

For this National Award winning actor, there is no ‘balancing’ act when it comes to independent and mainstream considering he has always believed that acting in a given circumstance is way truer than life, something that is remains unchanged, no matter the budget. “Enacting a role, I am not ‘lying’ because I understand that though it may not last for long, but in that moment, the experience must be true in every way. And that holds true for both ‘2.0’ and ‘Mukti Bhawan’. When I come home, I sincerely play the role of a husband and a father. The key here being playing the ‘role’ with utmost honesty, everything else is irrelevant.”

He may insist that he is a director’s actor, but mention that he comes from a theatre background, an actor’s medium, and he laughs, “In theatre, when we meet the director and other co-actors, there is no idea how the play would would turn out. I have always believed that great directors don’t have pre-conceived notions and take cues from everyone present. That’s when they reach the highest realm of creativity. In the film culture we have in India, many a times we don’t even see collaborations between writers and directors, the latter is approached only when the script has been written. Actors don’t even figure in the scheme of things at that point. There is very limited time for shooting so mostly no creative rehearsals. Frankly, the director is the only one who has a vision as he got the script much before I did. So, who do I submit to then? To ensure that I get at least a few things right, it makes all the sense to follow the director’s vision. Otherwise things will be in a total mess, no?”


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