Vipin Sharma- Exploring a new Horizon within!
Posted by Vivek on January 27, 2012 | 2 Comment
He has been a part of some of the most successful, albeit diverse films coming out of Bollywood in recent times. Taare Zameen Par, Jannat, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, all three films have only one thing in common, actor, Vipin Sharma’s electrifying presence. Here we talk to the classically trained actor, who promises to give us many more such performances.
What got you into acting, in the first place?
As a kid growing up in Delhi I always wanted to be in the movies. I used to hear stories of kids running away from homes and landing up in Bombay but I never thought of doing it as I knew it would hurt my parents badly. I decided to first join theatre and then do films. That took me to one of the most prestigious acting schools in India-the National School of Drama (“NSD”) in New Delhi. After graduating from there I worked in theatre for a bit and then assisted Ketan Mehta and worked with Naseeruddin Shah very closely on two films. During that time I got fascinated with cinema and wanted to study it. My quest took me to Europe for a while and then I shifted to Toronto where I have been living since over a decade and a half. I think I became sort of disillusioned with acting and Bollywood of late 80’s and wanted to do something different. In Toronto I tried different hats and finally became an editor after having attended another very popular Norman Jewison film school, Canadian Film Centre. But during all that time acting stayed in my mind and I always thought may be one day I will go back to it. And I AM back now.
All this happened because of a chance meeting with one of the most amazing acting teachers I have come across, Jacqueline McClintock from Montreal who teaches Meisner. It changed my life. I studied with her for a bit and decided to pack my bags and head to Bollywood.
On the influence of NSD, in your development as an actor?
NSD influenced me greatly. I am not sure that it made me an actor but it surely put me on the right path. That is where I came in touch with some of the most important filmmakers and actors of our times like Shyam Benegal, Ketan Mehta, Prakash Jha, Naseerudding Shah, Om Puri, B.V. Karanth, Barry John to name a few. After NSD I didn’t even think of doing anything else but to stay in theatre and cinema. It had a very deep impact on me.
You appear to be the man with the golden touch, whichever project you touch, however different, appears to have a successful run at the box office, from TZP, Jannat, Saheb Biwi. On your experience in working with these three distinct filmmakers?
Yes all three of them are very different films. Taare was a windfall. I had no idea that it was going to happen when I first arrived in India. I remember my first day on the shoot. There were these huge lights and I was standing with Aamir and Amole who was then directing the film. It felt surreal. By the time I did Jannat it was still a bit strange. I had refused it but I am glad I did it. I remember soon after Jannat released I was driving in Bombay and stopped at a cross light. A group of street kids who cell umbrellas, books and many other things on these junctions came running towards me. I first thought they wanted to cell me their merchandise but soon they told me that they had loved my Hamam soap dialog in it. I was quite amazed by how much Bollywood movies have actually become part of the life in India. I mean these kids are not educated and are poor but they see every film. By Saheb I was quite comfortable. This is again a role which I loved playing. I completely felt at ease. This is and of course Yeh Saali ZIndagi as well.
4.Talk a little about your upcoming projects?
I am mostly working with Indie filmmakers in Bollywood now and that is where I am finding my like-mindedness. I don’t hate mainstream cinema but it very rarely offers films that are greatly entertaining and enlightening at the same time. Just aiming to entertain through an art form is shallow and doesn’t contribute much to any society. In a country like India where there are so many issues that need to be looked into there is a great need of cinema which reflects that. I am attempting to be part of this New Age Cinema that is fast emerging here. I am also slowly going back to performing on stage and soon will be directing my first film as well.
On your days in Canada and the creative scene over there?
Toronto is a fantastic city. I miss it. When I first arrived in India I used to go on the net and read the Canadian news papers but I had to stop it because I started to get very emotional and nostalgic. Whatever I am today it is because of Canada, Toronto has taught me a lot. I owe a lot to my city. I wish I could go back quite often and return some of it to the city I love the most in the world. It is my home now and I am away from home. May be soon I will start making films in both the cities Toronto and Bombay.