Low-profile roles are tough: 'Chhichhore’ star

Low-profile roles are tough: 'Chhichhore’ star

Actor Tushar Pandey says a theatre background helped him portray diverse characters

Tushar Pandey was last seen in 'Chhichhore', directed by Nitesh Tiwari.

He is basking in the success of his latest release, ‘Chhichhore’. Actor Tushar Pandey is overwhelmed by the positive response that his character, ‘Mummy’, has received and says that he never anticipated it.

The actor made his film debut with the indie psychological drama ‘Beyond Blue’ (2015), directed by Zanane Rajsingh, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. This was followed by ‘Pink’ (2016) and ‘Hum Chaar’ (2019). His latest stint in ‘Chhichhore’, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is creating quite a buzz among film buffs.

In a chat with Metrolife, Tushar talks about his passion for acting and how his background in theatre helped him in movies too.

How did you get into acting?

I was part of a theatre group called ‘The Players’ in my college in Delhi. Once I finished college, I applied in National School of Drama (NSD) and I got through in the first attempt. That’s where my professional training started. After NSD, I went to London International School of Performing Arts and trained there. 

How difficult was it to play your character in ‘Pink’?

Every character has its own challenges. The idea to do something different and learn new things is always a challenge for an actor.

In ‘Pink’, mine was the only character who understood the entire situation but yet had to be on his friend’s side. He was the one to tried to negotiate the deal which never happened. I had to play that ‘not-so negative’ person. It was a reflection of those who see wrong things happen but don’t have the guts to voice their opinions. I really connected to this aspect of my character as it is something we see every day. 

Did your background in theatre help you in films?  

In theatre, we explore ourselves through different characters. We condition ourselves to work differently and understand the different aspects of a character. So, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes is easy. My training in NSD and London gave me the exposure to be able to play diverse characters. It gave me the experience to make people laugh and cry in the same film. That’s what helped me in ‘Chhichhore’ also.

Your character ‘Mummy’ has made people laugh and cry at the same time. Do you relate to him in real life?  

Everyone has their group of friends with whom you have different equations. While I have a set of friends who I love cracking jokes with, there’s another set with whom I have a philosophical talk with. 

Was it an easy role to play?

Not really. It is always hard to play low-status characters; one always wants to do something that will pull eyes towards them. So to be able to stay true to the character and yet make sure it isn’t overplayed or underplayed is challenging. Maintaining the right balance is tough. Moreover, you might think you did a good job but you only get to understand that once the film comes out. But I am glad it worked
well because I tried something different. 

How was your equation with the other actors in ‘Chhichhore’?

The beauty of the script is that it is not a one-person story; it is a story of friends. Every character had their own journey and character graph. Director Nitesh Tiwari and writers Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Malhotra have written the script keeping that in mind. Hence, when we came on the board, everybody knew their characters graphs thoroughly. That is why we were able to jell in very well. We all became friends very quickly. We ate together and joked around on the sets a lot. It didn’t feel like we shot for eight months, it felt like we partied every day.

What’s next for you?     

Right now, I am riding high on the success of the film. I am in talks with a few people for a couple of projects. I should be finalising them in a few weeks. I am looking for some quite exciting projects.