Su­bodh Bhave

“I Am Com­pet­ing With No One But My­self” SHOOTS STRAIGHT

Citadel - - FRONT PAGE - BY JUILI EKLAHARE juiliekla­hare.citadel@gmail.com

Akin to his char­ac­ters, he took on di­verse con­ver­sa­tions, which gave us an in­sight into his life, lms and more... Speak­ing of thoughts, Su­bodh is fan­tas­ti­cally crisp and clear in his opin­ions. One thing we hap­pened to dis­tinctly no­tice sev­eral times about the star through our con­fab, is that his child­hood is an im­por­tant part of where he is today and has made a hu­mungous im­pact on his life and jour­ney. De­spite hav­ing a hec­tic sched­ule, Su­bodh took out the time to talk to us, turn­ing out to be pleas­antly can­did chat, which charmed us no less...

To start with, tell us about your jour­ney this far and your rst tryst with act­ing.

As a kid, I was more of a sportsper­son than an ac­tor. How­ever, I used to act in school plays at an­nual gath­er­ings and so on, but my pas­sion for theatre or act­ing was lim­ited back then. While I was in Grade 7, my fa­ther en­rolled me into a theatre work­shop, which in­tro­duced me to var­i­ous as­pects, such as light­ing, mu­sic, back­stage, cos­tumes, make-up, etc, in ad­di­tion to act­ing and di­rec­tion. Al­though I had de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in theatre, I had in­hi­bi­tions which had kept me away from act­ing. As for my rst tryst with act­ing, I per­formed in a play for a col­lege com­pe­ti­tion. The play re­volved around Au­rangzeb and his daugh­ter, which boosted my con­fi­dence and made me be­lieve that I could act with a lit­tle more ef­fort and grasp­ing power. Post that, I was part of Pu­rushot­tum Karan­dak, one of the pres­ti­gious one­act play com­pe­ti­tions, wherein I learnt the nu­ances of theatre act­ing and other al­lied ac­tiv­i­ties. Mov­ing on, my pas­sion for act­ing grew to a great ex­tent, so much so that I par­tic­i­pated in all plays which my col­lege or­gan­ised back then. Af­ter my grad­u­a­tion, I se­cured a job in a com­pany, but couldn’t con­tinue for long as act­ing had be­come my pas­sion and I couldn’t sur­vive with­out it.

Get­ting en­try into lms and TV se­ri­als is not an easy job. In such cir­cum­stances, how did you man­age to make a mark for your­self?

Be­fore step­ping into the in­dus­try, I was aware of the fact that I had a daunt­ing task ahead of me. Nev­er­the­less, I was very condent and pas­sion­ate enough to pur­sue my goal. I had to quit my job in or­der to pur­sue act­ing, but it didn’t bother me at all, be­cause I was chas­ing my dream. Af­ter au­di­tion­ing for Geet Ra­mayan, the pop­u­lar mytho­log­i­cal TV se­rial that was aired in 2001, I was se­lected to play the role of Lord Ram that was

ap­plauded by one and all and gave me recog­ni­tion as an ac­tor.

From Bal­gand­harva to Tilak, you have played an ar­ray of char­ac­ters im­mac­u­lately. How do you ef­fort­lessly switch from one char­ac­ter to other?

When­ever I get a new char­ac­ter to play, I al­ways con­nect my­self to my child­hood days. As kids, we all played char­ac­ter games, for ex­am­ple, like po­lice v/s rob­bers. We hardly knew then what the char­ac­ter of a rob­ber or a po­lice is re­ally like, yet we would imag­ine it and pre­tend to be them. I look at act­ing the same way. I turn into a kid. As for my char­ac­ters of Tilak and Bal­gand­harva, I told my­self and made my­self feel that I am Lok­manya Tilak and Bal­gand­harva. As a re­sult, I of­ten ended up be­hav­ing like my char­ac­ters (laughs). For in­stance, when I was play­ing Lok­manya Tilak, I was em­u­lat­ing his walk­ing style, with the same aplomb, which had scared the unit peo­ple a lit­tle from talk­ing to me. I got into the skin of the char­ac­ters, which is why I could play it ef­fort­lessly.

How was your ex­pe­ri­ence shar­ing the screen space with your son, Kanha in Agad­bam 2 that is slated to re­lease this year?

It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence in­deed! I was ex­tremely happy about the fact that he could fend for him­self while we were shoot­ing out­side the precincts of Mum­bai. This ex­pe­ri­ence has par­tic­u­larly taught him to be in­de­pen­dent, which many of us wouldn’t get a chance of at such a ten­der age. Be­sides, we had fun on the sets of Agad­bam 2 and en­joyed the shoot­ing process thor­oughly.

Speak­ing of your sec­ond son, Mal­har, who por­trayed the child char­ac­ter in Fu­gay, how do you see his act­ing skills?

It is too early to com­ment on his act­ing prow­ess, how­ever, he was un­usu­ally calm and com­posed while fac­ing the cam­era, which even today I nd a ma­jor chal­lenge. Mal­har and Kanha are kids, so it won’t be right on my part to com­ment on their ca­reers, es­pe­cially when I don’t even know if they want to step into my shoes. I would rather give them free­dom to select a ca­reer of their choice.

As for your tra­jec­tory, how do you see your­self as an ac­tor?

Ini­tially, when I started out in the in­dus­try, I was very pas­sion­ate as an ac­tor and still I am. Back then, I had to prove my­self as an ac­tor, but lms like Bal­gand­harva, Tilak, Kat­yar Kal­jat

Ghusali, to name some, have added im­mensely to my pop­u­lar­ity. Also, I am work­ing to­wards play­ing a va­ri­ety of char­ac­ters (not lms but char­ac­ters) that are dis­tinct from one another. I feel that play­ing mo­not­o­nous roles are no fun. There­fore, I an­a­lyse each of my movies and com­pare them with the pre­vi­ous ones. Thank­fully, I am hav­ing the great­est time at this stage of my ca­reer right now, be­cause I am com­pet­ing with no one but my­self. All in all, I am sim­ply hav­ing a won­der­ful time do­ing my job as an ac­tor, and that is the most beau­ti­ful thing in my life. Hav­ing played di­verse char­ac­ters in lms, is there any char­ac­ter that

you have not played yet and would like to por­tray it on the big screen?

There are so many char­ac­ters that I de­sire to play, such as a war­rior, a maa, a politi­cian, etc. The list is end­less. My wish is soon going to be fullled in an up­com­ing mytho­log­i­cal lm, wherein I am play­ing a war­rior and a pas­sion­ate lover, be­sides di­rect­ing it.

Talk­ing about your di­rec­to­rial de­but, Kat­yar Kal­jat Ghusali, it was a block­buster hit which man­aged to draw a lot of at­ten­tion. Since you are an ac­tor your­self, how much did it help you in di­rect­ing the lm?

It’s now been more than a decade that I am a part of the in­dus­try. As a re­sult, I have seen many direc­tors work­ing on nu­mer­ous sub­jects, be it lms, se­ri­als or plays. Be­ing an ac­tor my­self, it helped me to pay at­ten­tion on the sets of Kat­yar Kal­jat Ghusali to the mi­nut­est de­tails, which would have oth­er­wise gone un­no­ticed. I knew ex­actly what con­tent each scene needed; its emo­tional quo­tient and what I needed to ex­tract out of it. Be­sides, I would at­tribute the suc­cess of Kat­yar Kal­jat Ghusali to the en­tire team, who was ex­tremely tal­ented and knew their job well. It was an ex­pe­ri­ence un­like any other! The lm also helped me un­der­stand cinema from every as­pect.

Given that you are now only do­ing lms, do you miss tele­vi­sion?

How can I not miss it, es­pe­cially when I started my ca­reer with tele­vi­sion se­ri­als? A big thank you to all the tele­se­ri­als which have given me in­cred­i­ble char­ac­ters to ren­der. It has helped me reach peo­ple faster than theatre or lms. Tele­vi­sion is such a medium that it nds its own way into the peo­ple’s house. I would love to work in tele­vi­sion again, but due to time con­straints I am un­able to pur­sue it. None­the­less, I am going to an­nounce my come­back soon.

From theatre, to tele­vi­sion, to movies, you have treaded a long path. Is there any point in your ca­reer where you would like to go back and do some­thing dif­fer­ently?

I be­gan to act be­cause I am pas­sion­ate about it. If I ever hap­pen to feel in the fu­ture that I am bored of act­ing, I will quit it and take up some­thing else that makes me happy. I have a keen in­ter­est in his­tory, so I

might pick a ca­reer in that, research on it or go to dif­fer­ent places in or­der to study the sub­ject.

Ac­cord­ing to you, what are the dif­fer­ent chal­lenges the act­ing pro­fes­sion has to deal with?

In the past, peo­ple used to of­ten watch plays to en­ter­tain them­selves. With the ar­rival of lms and tele­vi­sion se­ri­als, the sce­nario has changed to a large ex­tent. Today, it has changed even more with the ad­vent of web-se­ries, YouTube, Netix, you name it. As a re­sult, it has be­come difcult for an ac­tor to es­tab­lish him­self and sur­vive in such try­ing times. Also, tech­nol­ogy has un­der­gone tremen­dous change, so one has to keep do­ing new and dif­fer­ent things so as to stand­out from the rest. As for the lime­light, the time span has re­duced con­sid­er­ably. Con­se­quently, ac­tors have to make the most of the op­por­tu­nity they have in hand to emerge as win­ners.

If there’s one thing you could change about the in­dus­try, what would that be?

I would def­i­nitely in­crease the bud­get of Marathi films, be­cause bud­get de­fines your vi­sion. We

have got­ten into the habit where a small bud­get makes us think small too. We need to dream big. As for the sce­nario today, direc­tors and pro­duc­ers are bound by the bud­get of the film. Hence, I would like to con­vey a mes­sage to all my fel­low film­mak­ers that do not limit your dreams be­cause of bud­get con­straints.

How do you see the change that has taken place over the years in the Marathi lm in­dus­try?

The at­mos­phere in the Marathi in­dus­try is changing pos­i­tively, which is a good sign. Most im­por­tantly, one can now ex­per­i­ment in Marathi cinema, which has a range of gen­res. Why else do you think Bol­ly­wood per­son­al­i­ties like John Abra­ham, Govind Nihalani, etc, want to ven­ture into Marathi films? Be­cause, t hey think Marathi cinema has the po­ten­tial to pro­duce good con­tent. Plus, Marathi lms are do­ing well crit­i­cally and com­mer­cially. Na­tional Award win­ning lms such as, Sh­waas, Deool, Kaasav, to name some, have made us proud and shown that noth­ing can beat tal­ent. Com­mer­cially, Marathi lms have fared well, so much so that it has touched the magic gure of 100 crores. What’s more, we are also wit­ness­ing lots of non-Ma­ha­rash­tri­ans show­ing keen in­ter­est in watch­ing Marathi movies, which is clearly an in­di­ca­tion of huge suc­cess.

Lastly, tell us about your fond mem­o­ries of Pune.

Me pakka Punekar aahe (I am a typ­i­cal Punekar)! (Here his im­mense pride of hail­ing from the city is un­mis­tak­able.) Dur­ing my child­hood days, I used to walk to school every day and upon re­turn­ing in the evening, I used to do mal­lakhamb or swimming. I used to play with my friends in our court­yard for hours to­gether. I think my child­hood has made my life for what it is today. My school, my par­ents, friends and the peo­ple around me have had a great in­flu­ence on my life. They helped me choose t he right path, where I can al­ways be inspired to do some­thing new.

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