SHIV PANDIT- SEAMLESSLY BRIDGING THE DIVIDE BETWEEN TV AND FILMS:
Posted by Vivek on August 16, 2011 | 3 Comment
For reasons best known to itself, old school Bollywood has this divide between TV and film actors, not realizing that an actor is an actor. This divide really has no practical basis, other than an opinionated few. So every year we have a greater number of Television actors, seamlessly shining on the big screen and making people notice their talent. SHAITAN threw up one such actor, SHIV PANDIT. Taking on a ferocious role, which many would have run miles from, Shiv not only enacted it very well, but also made a bold statement, “a solid actor can pull off any role and doesn’t need to become a victim of his own image.” Here we talk to this bundle of talent:
A little about your journey to becoming an actor?
I’ve been acting since I was 10 yrs old. My mother used to enroll me in summer theatre workshops with an outfit by the name of ‘Teamwork’. I continued my interest in theatre through school and eventually in college..where I started acting professionally on the Delhi stage.
Simultaneously, I started working as a Radio Jockey while, I was still in college and it helped me greatly in terms of voice modulation (where theatre helped me with confidence and spontaneity). Radio led me to a job in Mumbai,post graduation with another Radio company. I worked there for 2 yrs, eventually led me to doing TV commercials.
You gave a super performance in Shaitan and many so called heroes would almost be afraid to take that role since it had shades, what convinced you to do that?
My Director’s conviction in me. I had originally been cast for the role of K.C. in the film. After a few weeks Bejoy got in touch with me and said ‘I think I can find another K.C. but I don’t think I’ll be able to find Dash’. At the time it seemed like a wrong decision to take on Dash. I was purely being a selfish actor… meaning – I had been cast for a role which seemed as the front runner of the pack, most of the dialogues were his, why would I take on a part who is initially in the background and hardly speaks in comparison? Since I am of the firm belief that I like to challenge myself, this seemed a pretty good time as any and I’m glad it paid off.
You have broken another myth, that TV actors don’t transition well to films, clearly you have transitioned, so what is your take on this differentiation which people put on TV and film acting?
I wish this divide did not exist between the two mediums..but sadly it does. Internationally, one sees actors from TV graduating to Film all the time. But here in India, I think owing to the kind of content we create and the level of exposure, being on TV brings, filmmakers shy away from working with actors associated with TV. Personally, I respect both mediums and understand the level of hard work associated with each.
At the end of the day,its all about knowing what you want to do. I always wanted to be a film actor!
What are your upcoming film projects?
I have been approached by a few companies regarding their projects. I am currently in the process of meeting them and finalizing things. I am debuting this year for the second time (first being ‘Shaitan’ in Hindi) in a Tamil film called ‘Leelai’. Its a romantic comedy and will be my first step in the Tamil Film Industry. The film got delayed for release it was supposed to release last year and would have been my first film. But its releasing this year.
Your view on the new age films coming out of Bollywood ,the smaller independent one’s like Shaitan?
I feel blessed that I got an amazing opportunity like ‘Shaitan’. And one of the reasons that was possible was because of ‘Anurag Kashyap’. His belief in the kind of cinema he churns out and his support to newer film-makers such as Bejoy Nambiar, is the reason why I am here today. In fact, If a man like Anurag wouldn’t have been around, I don’t know how many people would actually give a ‘break’ to new directors with eclectic scripts and actors , who don’t have links within the industry.
I feel cinema has the power to educate people and the more intelligent and thought provoking content we put out, the more educated our Indian audience will become. Over the past few years we have seen these ‘new age’ films making their way to the cinema screens and I think its fantastic that the audiences in India now have more varied palette if you will. Also these new age films give the opportunity to people with non-film backgrounds to break into the industry.