When did you first realize you wanted to be an actor?
You know, a boy from far away Rohtak in Haryana dreaming of becoming an actor could only be a dream or a wish. I was very young when I first realized that there was some force stirring within me. There were so many emotions and experiences of life that were waiting to be realized. They were pushing me to give them life. It took me very little time to realize that those were the birth pangs of an actor waiting to be born. I did not think it was a dream or a wish. The force within me told me it was a dream and that was possible.
Did you ever realize that it was a big risk and very dicey for a boy from a well-settled family to take up acting as a profession?
I did not think about it. I just followed my inner call. It was then that I realized that acting was a long and tough journey but I decided to take it come what may.
What was your first reaction when you reached Mumbai? Didn’t you know that there were so many other young men who were also trying to make it as actor? Didn’t the stories of the struggle of other young men scare you?
I was not born to get scared of anything or anyone. I knew all about the struggles and the ways of the industry and how difficult it was to find a break-through. I was willing to take all the chances. I wanted to be an actor and I would be one. It was difficult but it was also important for me to find my way. And I always think there is something between innocence and positive arrogance. I had a blend of both which was my strength. I did not want to become a star or a super star or a name and a face that appeared in newspaper and magazines everyday. I had a very simple and single goal. I just wanted to be an actor and I was confident I would be one.
What did you learn while you were working with Naseeruddin Shah’s theatre group?
I realized that there was so much to lean all the time. I watched Naseer Saab at work and I was astounded. I could not understand how a simple everyday man could row into all the powerful characters he played. He was like a one-man institution for me. I learned the entire best things about acting from Naseer Saab and every member of his group. I have reached a certain place as an actor today but I will always find time to work with Naseer Saab. In fact, I am planning to do a play with him and his group soon. It was an enthusiastic and enjoyable experience working in the kind of theatre Naseer Saab is so deeply involved in spite of all his hectic activities.
And what about Ram Gopal Varma?
He is another great institution. I am whatever I am in films today because of him. Sometimes I wonder where I could reach if I had not worked with Ramuji. I know I would have done something as an actor but I am not sure I would be the actor I am today. I have work in films made under his banner but I am eagerly waiting to act in a film directed by Ramuji. I know that it will happen one day and will be an enjoyable experience.
You have just completed shooting for Ramuji’s ‘Risk’. Tell us something about your role in the film.
I feel I am very lucky to have found this role. I am playing a tough cop. But, believe this cop is not how most of the cops are depicted in the films. I am very grateful to the super cop in real life. Daya Nayak who helped me play this role in every way. From the way I dressed, to my body language and the kind of language used by a cop while he is on duty and while he is at home. Mr. Daya Nayak helped me in perfecting everything about my role. If at all I am recognized for my role in Risk, I will certainly give all credit to Mr. Nayak. I will be grateful to him both as an actor and as a human being.
What about Vishram Sawant, your director?
He is the ideal director for someone like me, an actor who wants to learn with every scene. He is my Martin Scorsese. An actor is just lie a toy or a lump of clay. He is completely moulded by the director.
Courtesy : Movies Talkies