ON STAYING INSPIRED BY THE MOVIES
When I came to this city [Mumbai], I felt like I was in the middle of a mandi. Nobody talks about cinema, you don’t watch interesting cinema. My struggle was to just keep my inspiration going. The first thing I bought with my income was a VCR, and I was looking for films. So that was when I realized that this is a cultivated interest. So I had to buy that VCR and watch good cinema to keep my inspiration pumped up, and not just by saying that I’m a good actor. I should watch actors who give me a goalpost which I must reach, exploring characters with those many dimensions.
ON PREPARING FOR BOLLYWOOD ROLES VERSUS HOLLYWOOD
The only work you do [in Hindi films] is that you don’t work too much, that you don’t put your sensibility onto it and make it a liability. Don’t research on the character, its background, see nuances of his behaviour. Just go with the flow, have a good time. You have related to that humour, you enjoyed that, so go on the sets and have fun.
FINDING YOUR OWN STYLE AS AN ACTOR
It’s a natural thing to ape or imitate other actors. Somebody gave me the wrong idea that my face resembles Mithun Chakraborty, and I used to feel so good about it. There’s a kind of gratification that I resemble somebody, and suddenly you want to skip all the processes and become someone. But as you start discovering yourself, there’s an organic style that begins reflecting on the characters and your understanding of your own self becomes your USP.
WORST ADVICE DISPENSED TO ACTORS IN THE FILM INDUSTRY
It all generates from a strange kind of insecurity to fall into a formula. One must interact with oneself and see one’s potential and what is unique to evolve as an actor. Falling into a formula is something which can reduce one’s possibility and uniqueness.
Watch the entire conversation here: