Post ‘Black Friday’ and HTPL, how do you see the industry reacting to you?
I still feel that I haven’t tried consciously to do something different or grab a different sounding role. It is all a matter of perception here in the Hindi film industry. Before I started work in ‘Paanch’, I was considered to be a man who was soft yet intelligent. Post ‘Paanch’, I was labeled as someone who could carry off an evil role with aplomb. Unfortunately, I believe that it is all about perception more than talent. And can I change it myself? Doesn’t seem likely.
So what do you do in such a case?
Thankfully there are some enterprising producers out there who look at the depth of your talent and offer you something interesting. See frankly speaking I am in a strange position right now. I am neither a newcomer to the industry since I have been here for some more time. But then the kind of time I have spent here is also not long enough to brand me as a veteran. [Laughs] I am in a state as that of ‘trishanku’!
Does it cause you any worries?
I won’t say that because I know that this is a bane of number of actors who have been reasonably good but are still stuck for some great roles and recognition. I belong to the category of those actors who do not go for Page 3 parties, aren’t suited booted to suit the situation or are the kind of star material who could grace the fashion shoes or other glam events. And once you are not really into the scheme of things of glamour quotient, you can’t help it if people start developing perceptions about you.
With cinema taking a turn for good, you would be hopeful for future, aren’t you?
Yes, certainly. And this is why I say that I have no problems in doing any kind of cinema, be it art or mainstream commercial. For an actor it should be feasible to adapt to any kind of situation and narrative since that’s our job.
So has there been any role that has excited you most as you adapted yourself to the situation?
[Laughs] I am a very boring guy at this age and stage of my career. I don’t really get easily excited about anything, especially once I am off the shooting for the film. I am very passionate while I am shooting for a film but once it is through I become quite dispassionate.
Why such a detachment?
It all started with ‘Paanch’. There was so much hope pined on that but how did it help? There was disappointment, disillusionment, but one couldn’t cling on to it forever. This is when the realization sunk in that it is better to move on when the job is over in the film. From there on it is the film maker’s prerogative to take it forward to the audience. Also, all said and done it is the film’s destiny to go the level it deserves to reach. Beyond that, me or you can’t really do much about it.
But is it so easy to get yourself out of the system of a film you have worked on?
It is quite possible and I have started experiencing it off late once I am off the last day of the shoot and have completed by dubbing portions. So right now, you would see my excited about films like ‘Drona’, ‘Metro’ or ‘Via Darjeeling’ since I am shooting for them. Hence you would find me very passionate about them?
Even if one of the projects you may be associated with doesn’t turn out to be as exciting as you would have thought at the very onset?
Absolutely. Because in such a case, I see to it that I am excited. It is a necessity because the moment I go negative for my own film for which I am shooting, it won’t help anyone. Hence I create a passion, an excitement for my project, but only till the time I am with it!