‘Shekhar Kapoor has a big role in shaping my career’
In between busy shoots, and his new play ‘BARFF’ in the national Capital, Saurabh Shukla caught up with Millennium Post for an exclusive interview.
What inspired you to start acting?
Actually acting happened by accident. Once an actor was not available, so I had to play the character in that particular play. It clicked and people liked it, that’s how I started acting in theatre.
How was the experience working with Shekhar Kapoor in Bandit Queen?
Bandit Queen was my first film, it was wonderful to work with him. He had been the biggest impression on my career.
How was the experience working for Slumdog Millionaire?
It was wonderful to work with Danny Boyle, but I would like to say that every good film maker follows the similar process.
Would you like to share a memorable experience from your journey?
While shooting Hey Ram, a bilingual film I had to write the dialogues in Hindi phonetically since I did not know Tamil. There was a very emotional scene, where my character meets Kamal ji’s after a long time and we discuss about our lives. We started shooting that scene with the Hindi version, then during the Tamil version I was cringing because there were long dialogues, and I had to remember them and speak with emotion. Kamal ji called for me and he stood with the camera behind him. He wrote the dialogues phonetically and pasted the paper on his face, so that I could read it and emote accordingly for the over-the-shoulder-shot! That’s how the whole shot was done.
How was your experience in PK?
In PK I played a god-man, I do not relate with the so called organised religions, I had no reference, it was quite difficult to be someone I had no belief in. There was a clinical analysis of what a god-man will do and why will he do that. It was great for me to encounter the psyche of the person or an ideology in which I do not believe at all.
Are you shooting for any films post PK?
Yes, I have done Sudhir Mishra’s Aur Devdas, where I am the main antagonist, Fraud Sayina, produced by Prakash Jha and now I am shooting for Jagga Jasoos directed by Anurag Basu. I have also a film called Lali ki shaadi main Laddoo Deewana, where Akshara and Vivaan Shah are the lead pair.
Tell us something about your play ‘BARFF’
It is a story set in Kashmir and is about a doctor who visits Kashmir for the first time and ends up helping out a stranger. He travels deep into the mountains and eventually realises that he is in a trap. The play is largely about beliefs and truths.