Interview By: Hasti Doshi

Manav is versatile with his work. We saw him in very popular serial ‘Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ as Sahil Virani and later he was busy working in Punjabi films until we saw him again in ‘Udta Punjab’ after long. Now he has lot of things on his list after ‘Rangoon’ he will be seen in ‘Phillauri’, ‘NaamShabana’ and ‘Lucknow Central’. We had a candid chat with him. Excerpt-

“If I go to Hollywood still I would do Punjabi films all my life”

From being a doctor till being an actor, how has it been?

I always wanted to do something creative but I never planned it. So I think whatever happens, it happens for good. So now I am an actor.

It’s been long we saw you in ‘Shaeed-E-Azam’. Now you are having comeback with your performances in Bollywood. How is it going for you?

It’s going very well now and after that I got busy with serials. I did ‘KyukiSaasBhiKabhiBahuThi’ and somehow I give all the credit to Ekta Kapoor also because when I was doing serials I got exposure and also learnt lot of new things on field. Serials have very hectic schedules and after working in them I felt everything else is easy comparatively. That journey was really beautiful and later I started doing Punjabi films and after so many I have worked in, the last one which I did was ‘Punjab 1984’ which won national Award and then due to that I got the Bollywood film ‘Udta Punjab’. There were few ups and downs in my journey but I have learnt one think in last ten years which is, when you are going through your bad time that is the only time when you learn lot of good things. When I look back and feel that I wasted my 3 to 4 years which is not true in fact, due to those bad times I learnt good things and now I am able to implement them. So now I am doing really well with my work.

You have also done lot of Punjabi films and now you are giving back to back films in Bollywood. So what would you prefer doing more?

See my first preference is work and not Punjabi or Bollywood films. As an actor I will work for anything even if it’s Punjabi, Hindi films or Serials as the amount of hard work I put in all is the same. I am honest to my work. I won’t differentiate that working for any specific movie I will work more efficient than others. But I try doing more Punjabi films, maybe that’s in my blood and people around me are fun and I get entertained working for it. I will balance it in such a way that tomorrow if I go to Hollywood still I would do Punjabi films all my life.

You have worked twice with Shahid in ‘Udta Punjab’ and ‘Rangoon’. How was it working with him both the times?

I haven’t worked much with Shahid in ‘Udta Punjab’ because mostly I was with Diljit. But in ‘Rangoon’ he was commendable and he is very comfortable working with. He is a star himself and very co-ordinating with the work, so I was very lucky enough to work with him and it was a good experience working with him.

Which character has been challenging for you till now?
The most challenging was in ‘Udta Punjab’. The character in that I am playing is totally not me and I had to take turn 360 degrees. And I had to act like him and it should also look natural so that was a bit difficult for me to imitate the role and it was genius role. Also now ‘Phillauri’ in which I played a very serious role and it was challenging because sometimes you have to get too intense and serious and get into the heart of it. That is not so easy.

Tell us about your character in ‘Lucknow central’.
‘Lucknow Central’ is a very beautifully written film. It is a very interesting drama. My role is a little on edge and it is also negative. They have created a new look and I am not playing a Sardar and I don’t have beard. Having working with Farhan is totally different Genre and experience for me. This will be like a blessing to me.

Tell me about what are you working on now?

Right now I am doing a Punjabi film called Talwar Singh and after long I am doing a Punjabi film. I am really very much excited and I am jumping inside. And let’s see more to come. As of now I am really happy doing a Punjabi film.

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