Posted by Editor on July 7, 2013 | No Comments

Actor Pavan Malhotra, asks you, when we meet up with him. I answer right away in the affirmative. He had it all the way from NUKKAD and it has continued right through JAB WE MET, DELHI – 6 and  now I am very sure will continue in his upcoming BHAAG MILLHA BHAAG. Here we talk to one of our finest actors, about his journey and his future:

What is your role in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, all about?
I play the role of Milkha Singh’s coach, Gurdev Singh. The person who encouraged his talent when Milkha was in the army. It was Gurdev who organized a cross country run in the Army, and the result of that run was the talent of Milkha being recognized and given the encouragement. I spent a lot of time with Milkha and got to know about Gurdev, from him. Milkha holds Gurdev in very high esteem, not only as a coach, but also someone whose shoulders he could lean on, when the need arose.

Your emphasis on research, I think it is commendable, and more than the average actor?
I think it is the actors job. Having said that when I was doing Black Friday, it is not as if I spent every day in Dongri, where Tiger’s character comes from, but it was more on consulting and talking to people, observing things around you and then taking that and doing your job as an actor.

The Punjabi, chocolate faced Pavan, I saw in NUKKAD, could have easily chosen the path of the traditional lover boy hero, yet you chose parts like Salim Langde Ko …and have kept that all through your career?
Coming that I did, from a theater background, it was acting which excited me and still does. Getting into the shoes of someone else, whoever that someone is and I am constantly learning. I thought, now when I look back, that my Mumbaiya accent in Nukkad, actually could have been better. This constant realization and development as an actor excites me and gives me enough money to live comfortably, so I do what I enjoy doing. Also I am not in any rat race. I enjoy doing work at my own pace. That is the reason I turned down Special 26 and Kai Po Che, cause Bhaag Milkha Bhaag needed all my time and energy.  It was something the late Amrish Puri, who himself took a long time before getting work he truly wanted (he kept doing theater till then), once told me, be the sparrow who keeps flying and fluttering, as opposed to one who takes big dives and the big soars. I feel people like Amrish, or even Amjad, who also did a Gabbar but also enacted Wajid Ali Shah and very varied roles in Qurbani and Lekin. In fact I feel even Mr Bachchan has been very underutilized by the industry.

Look back on your best work in Television and Films?
Certainly Nukkad is out there, there is Black Friday, Bagh Bahadur, Fakir, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Road to Sangam, the reason I mention these, because the others were amazing too but got seen by a wider audience (of course Nukkad and Black Friday did), but many like Bagh Bahadur and Salim did not quite get a wide release.

On television today?
It is easy to say that shows like Nukkad are not being made anymore, but shows are a reflection of society. The world has changed too. Maybe the youngsters today cannot relate to a Nukkad, like you or I could. Or a Discovery of India, maybe the generation today wants to move on. Why else is that during our patriotic days we still keep playing the old Hindi songs, which today’s generation can’t relate too and there is nothing wrong with that. Society changes and programming is a reflection of the environment.

Given that you started off as a Production Manager, any chance of seeing a Pavan Malhotra directed film?
As a bouncing board I am happy to give my inputs, but acting is what I am all about and I intend sticking to that. Hopefully the roles will continue to come my way!

Vicky Kumar

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