This TV actor debuted in Bollywood with Phoonk2 and went on to do Kai Po Che, Guddu Rangeela and Sultan. SADH talks to SANGEETA YADAV about his upcoming projects and journey which has been full of struggles which he faced with a smile
- Runningshaadi will finally see the light of day this month…
Releasing this film was a struggle. But I’m happy it is finally hitting the screens. I am grateful to Soojit Sircar who believed I could do justice to the role of Ram Bharose, a Bihari who with his roommate Cyberjeet, help couples elope and get married. This film is a rollercoaster ride that will make you chuckle.
- Have you ever run away from home?
Many a times! When I was a child, I used to run away from home for reasons which I would not like to reveal. Bhaagne aur bhagane me mein expert hoon. I fit into this role perfectly.
- How has your journey been so far?
Sometimes I feel like I’m the oldest new-comer in this industry but I’m happy that I am getting work now. People think that an actor’s life is tough but I find it beautiful and I’m enjoying every bit of it. There is good work keeping me busy these days. I’m making one film and dubbing for another, one film is getting released and other one is on the last leg of production. I just hope this phase never gets over.
- After Kai Po Che in 2013 and Sultan, what transformation did you see in yourself?
The biggest change in life was me being able to pay rent on time. With every success comes more responsibility and I take it head-on. I am growing as an actor and becoming more confident before the camera.
- Who do you owe your success in this industry to?
I owe it to my fans who believed in me when I was struggling and appreciated my hard work.
- Did your struggle get over after Kai Po Che?
No! In fact after Kai Po Che, nobody gave me work and I sat at home for five months. I gave a lot of auditions and there were few producers and filmmakers who would meet me and say, ‘bahut achhey actor ho tum. Shaam ko phone pe baat kerte hain. Kal tumhe sign kerte hain picture ke liye.’ And woh kal kabhi nahi aaya unka. After 10 days, I would get to know that the same person told others that ‘ladka achhaa hai lekin hero material nahi hai’. I don’t know what they meant by ‘hero material’ and what was lacking in me. But I don’t blame anyone. Getting films like Guddu Rangeela, Akira and Sultan were a struggle. Struggle never gets over.
- Was there a time in life when you had to borrow money?
I have begged and borrowed from my friends. This happened right after Kai Po Che. I called up my dear friend Meher and said: ‘Bhai kuch paise dede’. He said: ‘Yaar abb toh tujhko hero bana diya, aab kyon paise mang raha hai?’ I joking said: ‘Bhai pichhli picture ke paise nahi miley. Jiss director aur producer ke paas jaata hoon, woh sab kehte hain ki mai tujhko launch kar raha hoon. Paise nahi denge’. (laughs).
That’s life and you have to live in your tough times chin up, making the best of it. I’m lucky to have people who love and help me in my tough times.
- You debuting in a web series opposite R Madhavan…
It’s titled Breathe and the series is intense. I play a Special Branch cop who is an alcoholic but known for being good at work. It’s different and will be premiered in many countries. I hope we’ll do a good job and make the series popular in India too. We will be done with it by next month and air it in June.
- Isn’t web series a cost-effective medium?
The budget of web series is much bigger than a feature film. It’s not a substitute to work. The content we are creating and the talent it’s extracting, is much higher. It’s not like jisko kaam nahi mil raha hai usko web series karni chahiye. It’s not easy to give good web series.
- A role you aspire like to do.
I would like to play an Army or a Naval officer.
- What’s in the pipeline?
Tignamshu Dhulia’s Yaara with Vidyut Jamwal is all set to release in May. I have also completed shooting for the magnum opus Sarkar 3 wherein I will be sharing screen space with veterans like Manoj Bajpai and Jackie Shroff, whom I have grown up watching in films. Of course, it’s an unimaginable treat to be with Amitabh Bachchan, the Sarkar series and RGV.
(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/sat-jobless-for-5-months-after-kai-po-che.html).