Kroor Singh was a popular character in TV serial Chandrakanta. Kids would wait for his appearance on screen and enact his way of dialogue delivery later on the streets. It was actor Akhilendra Mishra’s charismatic influence at that time which made him popular. Akhilendra’s success on the small screen also led him to play Mirchi Seth in Sarfarosh and subsequently Arjan in Lagaan. Having worked in over 100 films, Akhilendra is gearing up for the release of three films of different genres.
Talking about his projects with indianexpress.com, Akhilendra Mishra said that he is playing a key role in Jhalki – Ek Aur Bachpan which will hit screens soon. Boman Irani is playing the role of Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in this Brahmanand Singh directorial.
The other two films are Kashi – In search of Ganga and Lohardaga. Helmed by Dheeraj Kumar, Kashi – In search of Ganga stars debutant Aishwarya Devan, Govind Namdev, Akhilendra Mishra, Manoj Joshi and Manoj Pawha. “It’s about this person Kashi who is in search of his sister. So, the city plays an important character in the film. Also, it’s entirely set in Banaras,” revealed Akhilendra. Meanwhile, the actor plays a cop in Lohardaga.
Sharing his excitement about the diversity of roles he has been playing for over 25 years in TV and films, the 50-year-old actor said, “I always feel excited about every role I play. I always try my best to force viewers to remember the characters I play, not Akhilendra Mishra as a person. People come to me and call me by my characters’ names. It gives me a sense of satisfaction that I must have left an impression on their minds through my characters, be it Karoor Singh or Mirchi Seth.”
Akhilendra Mishra believes that in today’s world it is not only the story which makes a film successful but other factors like the proper release and promotion do play a big role in bringing the audience to ticket windows. “Small films suffer mostly due to the monopoly in release dates. If a small budget or small banner film gets proper release, it performs miraculously well and there are several such examples in recent past,” quipped the Bihar-born actor.
“It’s easy to make movies, but how will it get released? You will not get any theatre to release it. My film Antardwandh had bagged a National Award but it did not get a proper release. Same happened with Billu Ustad as well,” he said when asked why he is not making movies.
Hindi cinema has undergone a sea of change in the past 50 years and so has the economy of the film industry. “India has become the country which produces most number of films. It is also generating large amount of employment but at the same time I feel that films on social issues are very few. Focus is on making big bucks and above all, most of the filmmakers are investing whopping amount for getting the scripts but not on working on the scripts,” said the actor.
Lamenting the fact that most of the people coming to the industry are English-speaking and roles are being given on their face value, Akhilendra said, “I get upset seeing people asking for scripts written in English for a Hindi film. It is unacceptable for me. People say Hollywood, Iranian, French, German movies are best but they don’t realise that thinking in the respective language is very important to play the roles. On the contrary, in India, even auditions are conducted in English for Hindi films. The soul of the film gets killed here only.”
He said, “Today actors are declared great depending on the character they get. If they get a good role, it doesn’t matter how they deliver it but that particular dialogue only makes them the best actor. But earlier, an actor used to make the journey of the character. “Pehle Character actor pe sawar hota tha, actor ghora hota tha aur character apna yatra kar raha hota tha, par aaj actor character pe sawaar hota hai aur actor apne stardom ki yatra karta hai.”
Comparing the music in Hindi films to the music of yore, Akhilendra Mishra said, “Today songs are composed only with dhinchak music. But, if we listen to songs from 25 years ago, even now it gives us immense satisfaction. They say they are making Indian-western fusion. I won’t say good music or songs are not coming, but a number of songs are creating noise only. Everybody just wants to enter the Rs 100 crore club.”
When asked why he doesn’t try making small movies on platform like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the actor said he is only focusing on acting in movies and in theatre. “When time will come, I will think about that too.”