The man of simplicity and integrity dressed simply in a shirt and jeans – talks to us about his forthcoming film ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’ while reflecting on his struggle in life and how it has helped him in playing unconventional characters. Excerpts:

“I personally like directors who think weirdly and have a different concept in their head than the usual film-makers”

When we talk about your acting skills there’s a lot that your eyes express so does that happen subconsciously or you work on it?

The positivity you are talking about how my eyes express is not something that I focus on. And I feel if I do that then it won’t be a right thing to do. Like what I have experienced by seeing other actors and my friends who have beautiful expressive eyes and who have been told and appreciated for it and since then they started focusing on it more. So from this I have learnt, if anyone compliments you or tells you about one particular good quality that you have, one shouldn’t stick with it and completely focus on it. They should instead appreciate that and work on other aspects of their personality. So I don’t focus on such things, I focus on the scenes and its essence and what the director wants from the scene; and not on the physicality.

How different is your character this time in ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’?  

This character is really different and I really don’t know if people will like this character because he is a shameless Romeo type of a guy. There isn’t love but lust in his mind, he is filled with humor and is very sharp in his contract killing profession.  We can’t really glorify this character. When the audience will watch the film they won’t go gaga about my character but it will leave an unpleasant feeling for this character.  So this character is a hero but not a hero who loves passionately, who is loved by the society, who is a good son, brother, husband, lover, he isn’t like this at all; he is bad in everything and is shameless.

How is it to be directed by Kushan Nandy?  

The good thing about Kushan is that he thinks differently, he has a quirky thinking and I like a director who thinks in this particular way.  I personally like directors who think weirdly and have a different concept in head than the usual story film makers. I feel really good to work with such directors though if the film doesn’t even work but working in it is something I like.

So are you choosy with films?

Apparently yes because now I can’t be doing any film or anybody’s film so have to be choosy. And at times I do films for myself also like ‘Babumoshai Bandookbaaz’ or ‘Manto’. And sometimes I do it for the world like how I did ‘Kick’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’.

Do you get captured by your character after the film is done?

It’s been more than 12 years I had no work with me so during that time I had seen many people around me and I have many friends who I have seen struggling with me. So we are not the people who will close ourselves in a glass house and rest, we are not the ones who stay in Yari road and will not know about Borivali.  We know about everything because we have roamed around, stayed there, and stayed with the people; so whenever I get a character I refer to these people who I have noticed and seen around and not from any film.  In all my films the characters I played is referred from real life people and I have seen such characters in real life.

 So in this case you don’t apply any method when it comes to acting?

It depends on the films. I used in films like ‘ Manto’, ‘ Manjhi- The mountain Man’, ‘Raman Raghav’,  so in all these films one needs to apply method, without it you can’t perform. Any character that needs a preparation, there is a method needed consciously or unconsciously.

In an interview you had said it’s all about transforming into the character and one has to become the character in real life.  So how do things work when you have to play grey characters, does it affect you personally?

Of course! There are a few characters that affects you, that’s why it’s said – an actor doesn’t have a particular personality or a particular thinking and one shouldn’t even make because if tomorrow you have to play a different character in your film  so it will be tough to perform if we set a particular thinking.  And there were many such characters that I played in my life that had left an effect on me so to get rid of it, I leave and go to my hometown , meet my people; so that  not even a bit of essence of that character stays in me. Hence one needs to empty ourselves to embrace a new character.  At times we become emotionless because all emotions you have given it to your character so ultimately you are left dry.  So to get back in life we start meeting people and try to get involved in their emotions and drive ourselves ahead.

What is your USP as an actor?

I don’t know. I can’t say because I don’t think I have any kind of USP. I believe I have a normal life and I go to work as a normal person.  I don’t like to glorify my work and my achievements.  Once I’m done with my film I don’t like talking about it.  I am an actor who likes to finish my work and then get back to my place.  But since the promotions goes on of the film, I have to do it because it’s part of my work; otherwise if I hadn’t to do this I would have just finished my work and left somewhere far and then let people find me.

Recently you had tweeted on social media about racism does it happen in industry or talent is the key?

I don’t think there is racism in the industry, more than that, racism exists in our society and ultimately it’s our work that helps us.  In today’s life talent is everything.

Which film is your favorite so far?

‘The lives of Others’ it’s a German film.

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