I Would Lie If I Say I Don’t Like The At­ten­tion Or I Don’t Like My Work To Be Ap­pre­ci­ated”

Stardust (English) - - COURT MARTIAL - Words RIYA LAKHMANI

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.

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