I Would Lie If I Say I Don’t Like The Attention Or I Don’t Like My Work To Be Appreciated”
Known for his incredible versatility, PAVAN MALHOTRA kickstarted his career with Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Bagh-Bahadur. From the Mamu of Badmash-Company to Tiger Memon in Black Friday, he is on a spree to win million of hearts with his stellar performance in every movie. Pavan Malhotra gives a glimpse of his career, films, life and more. Read on….
While you were growing up, you wanted to join the army. So what inspired you to get into theatre and pursue acting?
Actually, when I was growing up, the war was on. I was in school at that time. So, I along with some friends during school used to go to the station aur trains mein army walon ko chai aur biscuit khilate the. We used to call it military then and at that time I thought that I was doing something good. After some time, I realized that to join the army I had to be good at studies. By then, theatre had also happened. So, I feel it’s destiny. Army toh bachpan mein bolte the jayenge but till today, I have utter respect for soldiers. I was destined to be an actor and I am very happy to be one. Yes, theatre did inspire me. When I did my first two shows, I didn’t even know that the National
As an actor I am greedy I want my work to be seen after all, everybody wants recognition.”
School of Drama existed, it just happened in the process. I also joined dramatics in college. I can never say this is something I planned. But I just kept floating and things kept happening.
How did you start your journey?
I started with theatre, I had to enact six different characters in a play when I was in school. They then asked me to join their group and I used to perform with them. I never planned anything, things just happened to me. I came to Mumbai to perform after which I was offered a job as a production assistant for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. After that, I actually started acting in Nukkad and when I went back home, my father realized that I wouldn’t come back now.
Do you think you’ve been duly credited for your work?
Of course, everybody feels that I should have got more but with time and the fact that people are recognizing my work, it feels great. If you are a part of a performing art then any actor would like to be recognized and would want to be seen. If somebody tells me I have not watched this movie because DVDs are not available in the market. My immediate reaction would be tell me where I can give you the DVDs. As an actor, I am greedy as I want my work to be seen after all everybody wants recognition. When people come to me and say they’ve watched Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, appreciate my work and then ask my name. The very fact that people know me by the character I had portrayed is a huge compliment. I would lie if I say that every time I work, my work is recognized. I would lie if I say I don’t like the attention or I don’t like my work to be appreciated. Of course, everyone likes a pat on the back.
How has your journey been up till now? Can you share some anecdotes from your days of struggle?
It has been a roller coaster ride. At a young age when you decide to leave your city and you have a profession of freelancing. You have to find another job to counter the first job. I used to think that koi dhang ka role ayega toh karunga because before that I was into production. My dad told me garage khol deta hoon Bombay mein but I said either I can do this or I can do that. This is my life and my interest is this, good or bad. Whatever I earn - ` 5000, ` 5,00,000 or ` 5 crore I will live with that, please don’t worry about me. He got me a house in Bombay. But even after Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro and Nukkad, there have been times when I had financial crises and I couldn’t complain about it. There was a time where I went around asking for work and I didn’t get any, I could never meet or convince people about my projects. Then I stopped asking people for work and then every single job came to me, har ek cheez ka ek time hota hai. God can drop an apple but you have to pick it up and chew it well. God has been really kind. People say I worked well in Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and that is because somebody showed faith in me. Sometimes when there are pauses, people tend to forget you jo dikhta hai wohi bikta hai. There is always room for improvement in everything you do and I hope I get better and better.
You have never restricted yourself to one genre. So what is the mantra behind your versatility?
That is an actor’s job! There is a difference between performers and actors, every story is different, the cop of Rustom and the cop of Missing On A Weekend are two different people. The script is different, backgrounds are different, their attitudes of dealing with people are different. Main ghar se soch ke nahi jaata ki is baar aisa police officer banuga. You can make everything realistic. There are all sorts of people in the world. Everything is there in the script and that is something you have to pick things from.
That’s why this profession is so interesting. You have to be on your toes all the time. Aapko behrupiya hona padega and sometimes, it’s not necessary that what is going to be on the script is going to be on screen. Sometimes you imagine the back story or the character. You just keep on thinking about that character, that’s why we keep reading our scripts over and over again.
You have always taken up roles which are content driven. Haven’t you ever wanted to be the lead in commercial cinema?
I’ve never felt ki nahi hona chahiye but this is something I was never offered. Many people started saying at one point of time that he doesn’t want to do these kind of films, that’s not true. Even for Pardes, Subhash Ghai called me to play the character of the hero ka dost. I told him I don’t work like this, you have to tell me where I stand in your script and there should be something to do as an actor.
Which actor has inspired you?
There wasn’t any actor who inspired me. I was never a fan of any actor, but I respect a lot of actors. Amjad Khan, Amrish Puri, Mr Bachchan and Om Puri are the actors I have immense respect for. If you talk about young actors Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are also good at their work. These are some actors who I feel are very good. Especially Amjad Khan, look at the variety of roles he did. He did Gabbar and then he did Wajid Ali Shah, two completely different roles. Waheeda Rehman is such a beautiful lady. I was so happy that I got the opportunity to work with her in Delhi-6. I was destined to be an actor and I am very happy to be one.”
Can you tell us about your role in Judwaa2?
I have not seen the first film. David Dhawan had seen Jab We Met,
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro. He told me that he knew I would improvise, jo shape dena hai character ko de de. After Mubarakan, this was a very different genre. This film was shot in the UK, so this film goes from India to London. I have played the character of a police officer in London. Indeed, it was a great experience and pleasure to work with him. Basically, it’s like all David Dhawan films, I really enjoyed it. Varun and everybody else were really serious about their work. He has his own charm. In the short span of his career, he has already done different types of genres. Although my role wasn’t like the one in Mubarakan.
How was your experience of sharing screen space with Anil Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah in Mubarakan?
Ratna and I worked together for the first time but I have known her ever since I came to Mumbai because I was the production assistant for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. And the first reading was at Naseer’s place so Ratna was also there. It’s the first time I’ve worked with Anil Kapoor. He was very excited
about his character, he used to rehearse his acts many times before shooting. Agar suitcase utha raha hai toh chaar baar utha ke rakhega,
taki smoothly ho sara. So I like that excitement he has towards his work. In the end, when Anil talks about the brother and sister relationship, it actually got us all crying. Overall, it was a really good experience
What is next in the anvil for you in terms of projects?
There are two films in line. One of them in which Mohit Chadha is acting is titled Flight, it’s a different film. The other film is untitled as of now.
How do you manage your personal and professional life?
After working back to back, one does get some days off from the busy shoot schedules. Some days I watch TV, watch films, meet friends and sometimes, do nothing at all. People call it chilling but for me, I simply look after myself.