Finding his ground in Bollywood

Finding his ground in Bollywood

Finding his ground in Bollywood

An alumnus of National School of Drama and London International School of Performing Arts, Tushar Pandey has trained himself in acting for eight years. The Delhi boy, who has earlier played the lead role in independent film ‘Beyond Blue’ and won the Best Actor award at a film festival in Rome for the same, is all set to feature in Amitabh Bachchan-starrer ‘Pink’.

Ahead of the film’s release on September 16, he tells Shweta Sharma about the experience of working with the megastar, and how theatre has helped him understand the craft and skills of the profession.

How did you bag ‘Pink’? What is your role all about?
One day in January, I got a call from the casting director’s office and they asked me to come and audition for a role. I performed the scene, and within the next two days I met the director and was on board. I still do not know how they got to know about me, but I’m glad they did.

I play Vishwa, who is the link to the incident that drives the whole film. It was a challenging role as my character has grey shades. But, I would like to say that Shoojit Sircar’s characters are neither villains nor heroes. They are real characters we all have encountered not just around, but within ourselves.

How was the experience of working alongside Amitabh Bachchan?
Working with Amitabh Bachchan at such proximity felt extremely special. It’s not just his skills, which we admire, but also the way he would treat young actors like us. He would always be open for discussions, and shared his views on scenes. He would rehearse for hours, and that had set precedence for everyone else. He would be on the set, glued to his script. Occasionally, he would joke and make everyone relax, but his constant search for his character and dialogues is what I’m still in awe of. He is a true teacher on set, humble and inspiring.

While most young actors aim for Bollywood, theatre remains the first love of many veterans. What do you prefer?
Theatre is where I started performing and it will be with me forever. Films are what I am focussing on presently, but theatre is where I have learnt and understood acting. I’m still finding my ground in Bollywood, and I hope I will be able to find a balance between both. Both mediums require their set of skills and I’m slowly finding my way in.

What kind of roles would you like to essay?
Any character that has a standing of itself. I would be open to playing any kind of role: positive, negative; as long as it is essential to the plot and helps move the story forward. I don’t want to play characters that are in the story to enhance the fellow actor.

Does having a background in theatre help in the long run?
It has for me. Understanding the craft and skills of the profession is extremely essential, and theatre provides you with that. A good performance on stage really demands you to stay connected with yourself. Films are more collabora­tive, and one needs to be connected with the entire department. Hence, a theatre background helps you stay grounded, and achieve the bigger task with efficiency. Since an actor has to depend a lot on technicians in films, being secure in your craft and in control is essential.

What are you working on next?
I have just finished shooting for a British project which will release early
November. Can’t reveal much right now but it’s a screen adaptation of one of the famous Shakespeare’s plays and I play the male protagonist.

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