Bollywood actor Angad Bedi will be seen playing a grey character in Shoojit Sircar’s social thriller Pink. He will be also seen in Gauri Shinde’s much-talked film Dear Zindagi and is also a part of the television series 24 (season 2). In an exclusive conversation with the IndianExpress.com, Angad Bedi talks about his upcoming movie Pink, his experience working alongside Amitabh Bachchan and the advice he received from Anil Kapoor on the sets of 24.
Your character in Pink seems very powerful and strong. Tell us something about your role in the film.
I play Rajveer Singh who is from Delhi’s upper strata. A graduate of London School of Economics, he is well-travelled and charming. A man of few words, Shoojit da has shown him as a powerful man. However, he comes from a conservative, feudal family where men and women sit separately. Women take care of family’s needs and spend time in kitchen and men are the providers. He revels in being the man of the house and his inherent arrogance is obvious in the way he speaks or the way he dresses. He is not at fault though it is his upbringing and environment that has made him the way he is.
Is Pink a women-oriented film?
Pink, which is set in Delhi, is not women-centric but a youth film. The story is about this boy and three girls who are caught up in an unfortunate incident. How this case unfolds is what the story is about and the verdict will be out September 16. It is a fast-paced, entertaining film that will connect to all age groups. It disseminates a strong message without being preachy and is equally relevant to girls and boys. In fact, it should be shown in schools, colleges and family members so that we can learn from it as a society.
But why call the film Pink?
Pink doesn’t mean that you are weak. Pink is the colour of strength, a colour of conviction, a colour of decision making. That’s why Pink.
How did you land your role in Pink?
I met Shoojit Sircar and Ronnie (director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury) at an event. After our chat, they thought I have an inherent goodness in me and am nowhere close to Rajveer’s character. They wanted someone who has a good energy but is irrevocably transformed by something that happens in his life. After the screen test, they decided that I was the one they wanted. In Shoojit’s films, there is no hero and villain. Every character has its own space and there is a social message in all of his films whether it is Vicky Donor or Madras Cafe. The trend continues in Pink, which has three protagonists – the girls, me and Amitabh Bachchan.I am thankful for having got the opportunity to work in a film such as Pink so early in my career. It is my third film and I could never have expected that I would be working with Amitabh Bachchan and Shoojit da, who are both National Award winners, in a dynamic, performance-oriented role.
So is there any kind of confrontation between you and Amitabh Bachchan in the film?
Yes. I and Mr Bachchan have some very good scenes together, including confrontational scenes. If out of the 1000 or 2000 eyes watching him, even two see me and appreciate my work, my life will be sorted and I would think my presence in the film and the industry is worth it.
Was it easy for you to get into the skin of your character since you are from Delhi?
On the contrary, it was very difficult. I come from a sports background and my father (Bishan Singh Bedi) used to wake us up and train us. We would practice for eight hours a day and go to bed at around 8 or 9 in the evening. I never even met anybody from such a feudal set-up. I had to think and be like Rajveer. When I would come on sets, people would complain that I was not even talking to them. I was like if I start talking to you, I would come out from my character. And once the film got over, I had to get disconnected from him. It has been very draining and emotional ride for me and it has been difficult.
You said it was difficult for you to stand in front of Mr. Bachchan?
It was very difficult. Even though I knew he was in character, performing in front of him gave me jitters. I have grown up watching his movies and he is my idol. When he stood in front of me, all I felt was profound respect for him but Shoojit da made me rehearse throughout the entire film. I would like to credit Shoojit Da for bringing out the performer in me.
How was your experience working with him?
Mr. Bachchan is very dedicated, disciplined and even at the age of 74, he reads the script in its entirety. When he comes on sets, he never gets to his vanity van. He just keeps sitting on sets only. He does not intimidate his co-actors at all. He is very helpful, very caring and he believes in rehearsals. Mr. Bachchan never gives a take directly; he will rehearse the scene as many times as possible even if it takes 4-5 hours. But the first take should be bang on. Sur ke sath, aapki blocking ke sath, everything should be bang on. He asked me to come at his home. I went there and we did the reading together and rehearsed the scenes at his home. Then we came on sets and again we rehearsed. He said we are going to rehearse the scene for 3-4 hours and even if shoot doesn’t happen today, it’s okay.
How has your journey been from Delhi to Mumbai?
My father (cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi) wanted me to play cricket but I wanted to act in films. So it was entirely my own decision. My family supported me but it was not like my father knew any producer, director in the film industry. He told me that you have chosen this path and you will have to make your own space and ensure that you always stay on top. While it has been very difficult, my journey has just begun. This is just my third film and if I am able to sustain this for the next 10 or 15 years, I will be able to tell you how my journey has been. Right now I am struggling. I wish I get more work and people notice me.
You are holding a screening of Pink for Indian cricketers.
Yeah. We are planning one screening in Mumbai and another in Delhi. We have invited few of those with whom I have played cricket and are my close friends. Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan will be there. We wish others cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Ajay Jadeja and Murali Kartik will come and watch our movie.
There has been a considerable amount of gap in your movies.
I want to projects that will be remembered. There is a lot of work but I really want to be known for what I do. Even if I do 10 films in my career, I should be known for doing those 10 good films. My first film was FALTU, it had a social message. Then I did Ungli, which didn’t get commercial success but looked at the scourge of corruption. And now my third film Pink is about feudalistic mindset in Delhi society. I will be seen in Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi next, which is the story of a girl trying to find herself.
Tell us about your character in Dear Zindagi.
I play a restaurateur Sidharth in the film and Alia is my girlfriend. He is a nice, well-mannered man with sophistication and a clear mind. He is life of the party and loves his girlfriend a lot. So basically, he is the ideal man.
Will you be sharing screen with Shah Rukh Khan in the film as well?
No. Not with him. Our track is different in the movie.
You are also seen playing a negative character on 24 season 2.
I am playing a dynamic businessman in 24 season 2. You will get to know if he is negative or positive when you will watch the show. It is a strong cameo as I am not there in the entire season. I play a mysterious businessman Dhruv Awasthi who loves playing mind gaems. For 24, I was working with Anil Kapoor, who has a career of almost 35 years. I really want to face people who have been in this career for so long. It raises my confidence level.
How is Anil Kapoor on sets?
He is a very hard working man. He only demands that you remember your lines and get that right. I have learnt a lot from him, from how to throw my lines to discipline. If you are thorough with your lines and are disciplined, you will go far. Nervousness is always there in the beginning of any character or any shoot, but if your prep is good, you will excel at it.
After 24, are you open to daily soaps if offered.
I am not ready yet to be honest. I would like to further focus my career for my films. It’s a very rare occasion where you get to work with Mr. Bachchan and Shoojit Sircar in a film. I really want to see how the industry take the character of Rajveer Singh. I really want to know how I can go. And now there are mini-series, web series starting, so those are my interest. So I would like to be a part of something like that. So it depends as long as the role is challenging, I am hoping for good work.