Carving a niche for comedians

The Shaukeens

Four brilliant actors, equally recognised for their comedy as well as tragic roles, Akshay Kumar, Anu Kapoor, Anupam Kher and Piyush Mishra, when talking about the biased approach of the industry towards comedians, undoubtedly, have some sensible content to share.

“Problem is that comedy is not considered as acting. In award nights, a romantic hero gets the award for best actor. Comedy hero ko sirf comedian ka award milta hai (Comedy hero gets the award for comedy),” says Akshay, who was recently in the city to promote The Shaukeens. In a Press conference he questions his three fellow actors, “I want to ask the three actors from National School of Drama as to what they personally think about comedy and serious roles?

“You have to be damm serious when you are doing comedy,” says Piyush Mishra seriously.

“Comedy is situation-based. There is a common saying aap jitna rote hain duniya utna hasti hai (World laughs at you when you cry). On the basis of this Charlie Chaplin introduced the character of the Tramp. You enjoy watching him when he is beaten or something wrong happens to him.”

Mishra emphasises that doing comedy is not easy. "You can do serious roles but comedy has a different level of seriousness. An actor has to discover himself as to how to do comedy, especially when it is not his genre,” says Mishra.

To this Anupam Kher adds, “The basic difference between comedy and tragedy is physicality. Tragedy is internal. If you watch an emotional film, you cry silently, wipe your tears and silently leave the cinema hall after it’s over. Now take an actor who has to make others laugh, everything that an actor does makes the audience go through physicality. You have to be brilliant.”

He hints, “A person who can do comedy can easily do tragedy. But a person who does tragedy cannot necessarily do brilliant comedy. So, I believe a comedian should get the best actor award.”

Kher also talks about his bonding with Akshay. “He has done many films and that too without me. He has done some really good work. Yes, there was a gap of few years when we did not work together. Par pichchli do-teen filmon mein, mujhe zindagi mein jo uplalabdhi mili us se Akshay ko kareeb se dekhne ka mauka mila. (In the last two-three films, where I achieved something in life, I also got a chance to know Akshay more closely). For me, much bigger than achievements is Akshay's friendship and love.”

He emphatically says, “Yes, Akshay deserves a National Award for some of the exceptional work he has done, especially for Special 26.”

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