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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Pollywood: Mintu Kappa, the village lad who dreams big

"I always had a deep-rooted passion for acting but I did not know the right direction. For three years I hustled, did menial jobs until I came across an audition poster for films."

Written by Ribha Sood | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 21, 2022 3:08:02 pm
Polly actor Mintu Kappa

Name

Munish Kumar, aka Mintu Kapa.

Home

Kabulshah Khuban village in Fazilka district of Punjab.

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Family

Father Raj Kumar is a salesperson while mother Usha Rani is a homemaker. He has two younger sisters who have completed their education.

Education

After completing his matriculation from a village government school and intermediary studies from DAV Senior Secondary School, Fazilka, Kapa joined Bachelor’s in Computer Applications (BCA) but failed in the second year. Owing to the lack of money resources and interest in studies, he quit the course. However, he later completed bachelor’s in arts (BA) and MA in Theatre and Television from Punjabi University, Patiala.

The name

My original name is Munish Kumar. Even my school records carry that name. Mintu was my nickname, and Kapa was given by my friends. I am glad that people in the Punjabi film industry have accepted me as Mintu Kapa.

How it all started

I always had a deep-rooted passion for acting but I did not know the right direction. For three years I hustled, did menial jobs until I came across an audition poster for films. Though it was a fake casting call, it triggered my desire to become an actor. It was then that my friends Manish Arora and Sameep Asija supported me emotionally and financially and got me enrolled in a theatre course at the university.

Journey from theatres to films

After joining the university, I met a senior named Jagdeep Warring who became my role model. He encouraged me to become financially independent and introduced me to Red Arts Theatre Group. As a part of this group, I did many ‘Nukkad Natak’ (street plays) in villages across Punjab. Our group even released a film titled ‘The Journey of Punjab’ in 2016. This was my first film that was released in theatres. Following this, I moved on to commercial cinema and released ‘Bhajjo Veero Ve’ in 2018. Amberdeep Singh, Ammy Virk, and Jagdeep Sidhu are the three persons in the industry who have mentored me.

Claim to fame

I got recognition from my role in Sufna starring Ammy Virk and Tania. The character was interesting and underwent a complete transformation which stayed with the audience.

My secret sauce 

The secret is to actually live your dream. I believe if you constantly talk about what you want, focus your actions around it, it starts manifesting. It starts getting real.

Work till date

‘The Journey of Punjab’ (2016), ‘Bhajjo Veero Ve’ (2018), ‘Nikka Zaildar 3’ (2019), ‘Guddiyan Patole’ (2019), ‘Sufna’ (2020), ‘Puaada’ (2021), web series ‘Vardaat’ (2021), ‘Dustbin’ (2021)

Upcoming projects

‘Jodi’ with Diljit Dosanjh, ‘Sohreyan Da Pind Aa Gya’ with Gurnaam Bhullar, a Hindi film ‘Awaara’ with White Hill productions besides ‘Fikar Karo Na’ and ‘Aja Mexico Chaliye’.

My bedrock

Besides Manish and Sameep, my maternal uncle Satish Kumar had a big role to play. My uncle made me fall in love with movies. He used to take me to the cinema hall and make sure I watched all the films with him. Once, he even sold his bicycle so we could watch more films in the theatre.

Challenges

I belong to a poor family. However, I have never felt poor. Even though there were many problems, the solutions were there too. I have always been lucky to have friends who have treated me as an equal and supported me where I lacked without me even knowing. I feel I am blessed to have such great friends.

Fitness Mantra

I believe in the saying: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. And therefore I follow it. Apart from this, I prefer to eat small but frequent meals. It keeps appetite under control and body weight in check.

Favourite songs

I love listening to Hindi and Punjabi songs. Pardes’ ‘Zara Tasveer Se’ is my favourite among Hindi songs. In Punjabi, I find Dr. Satinder Sartaj the best. He is one singer who I have been listening to ever since he released his first number. His song ‘Dholki Nu Aata Paa Lai’ was my refuge when I was confused about choosing my career. Even today, whenever I feel lost, this is my go-to song. Apart from this, a song titled ‘Suraj’ from Harmanjeet Singh’s book ‘Rani Tatt’ is close to my heart.

Favourite movie

Being a theatre artist, I love to watch movies as there is a lot you get to learn from them. Since every film has something to teach, I cannot name just one as my favourite here.

Thoughts about Pollywood

I love working in the Punjabi film industry. From the times of Harbhajan Mann to Jimmy Shergill to today, I have seen the industry evolve. I have grown with it. I just wish it expands beyond boundaries and becomes bigger than the industry in the South. I hope our stories reach cinemas of other languages too.

Future plans

I just want to work in the industry. I feel it’s my home. I want to grow old here. Acting is my passion and I want to die doing it. Though there is no definite plan, it’s my dream to work in Bollywood and I will work hard to get there.

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