ASHOK PATHAK – ACTOR OF SUBSTANCE
Posted by Vivek on January 30, 2013 | 1 Comment
When Ashok Pathak made his entry as “Bikki” in Bitoo Boss, it was like any other character actor, in any Bollywood film, but what he did from that moment, has rarely been enacted in Indian cinema. To go from a despicable character, to a comic character to a likeable emotional character, all this in just the few scenes that he had, revealed that an actor of substance had been discovered by Bollywood. Although the movie, Bitoo Boss, did not do much magic at the Box Office, Ashok Pathak had made the audience sit up and notice. Here we talk to this bundle of talent:
Your journey into films?
Singing was my first passion, but on joining college, I found a thing called “theater.” Singing did not provide me too many opportunities in college, so I got drawn to theater. I got a role in a play and that went so well , I got the best actor award in my University. So the love with theater started, I kept doing roles and then in Lucknow ended up joining the Bhartendu Natya Academy, did my diploma there and my internship and showed up in Mumbai.
How did Bitoo Boss come your way?
This role came with a sheer dint of coincidence to me. Initially the producer wanted someone who is a relatively good looking male for this part, I kept getting recalled for multiple auditions and I know that a lot of actors were being auditioned for this part too, at the same time. After one month had passed since my final audition, I got the role. This had also caused a lot of suspense to me as to whether or not I will get this role.
Has your world changed post Bitoo Boss?
Not as I would have expected, because the film did not run in the Box Office. But work has definitely steadily come my way post this film. I am doing a film with Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan, who made the National award winning Lahore. Then I am playing a Sikh in another film. Sanjay’s film has got Pawan Malhotra and myself in the main roles and both these roles are very different and very interesting.
On your earlier days in Mumbai?
I managed to get a few good ad films which sustained me in the initial period, like Dominoes Pizza, Tata Iris, Sony Mix and then managed to get a small part in Dibakar’s Shanghai. Although I must say Mumbai has been good to me since my arrival. At least i have been called for auditions from day one, both the real one ‘s and the one’s you know where the choices are already made up.
You totally won over the audience in Bitoo Boss as your character grew onto us. How did that come about?
When the role was being enacted by me, I was beginning to enjoy myself as an actor. The character was conceived by the joint understanding of Babul and myself. There is a scene where I hug the hero. Initially the scene was very light, but on reading it, I gave the scene a nuance of what might be going through a friends mind in that situation, Babul like it and asked me to keep going. As a result of this the scene where they are consuming liquor was re written then. This changed the dialogues and the mood. This only enhanced the emotional appeal of the character.