Veteran actor Satish Kaushik, who played Diljit Dosanjh’s father in last year’s hit Soorma, apart from Namaste England, Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se and Fanney Khan, is back to showcase his acting chops in Salman Khan starrer Bharat. Kaushik, who also has films like Mental Hai Kya in his kitty, is balancing acting and directing his upcoming project Kaagaz that has Pankaj Tripathi playing the lead role.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Satish spoke about his role in Bharat, getting good acting roles and what new-age filmmakers teach him.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
You have been experimenting with your acting in films like Udta Punjab, Soorma and now Bharat. Are you happy with the kind of roles you are getting off late?
Whatever character is given to me, be it Udta Punjab or Soorma, this change of character (is good). Initially people thought of me as a comic actor but I played very interesting characters in both these films. People appreciated that and gave good reviews. Both were small roles but effective roles because of the way it was done. So, I am happy that the performance was appreciated but I wish I get more of these kinds of roles. People should notice and give me meaty roles. I will be happier if I get character roles like Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta are getting. Today good actors are given the responsibility to carry a film, which is great. I am playing interesting roles in my upcoming films.
What’s your role in Bharat?
Bharat is an episodic film and I play one of the characters in an episode that takes place on a merchant navy ship. Salman plays the cadet and I play the captain. I am wearing a uniform for the first time onscreen. I have never played a character from service like Navy, Army, Air Force. I had a great time. It is a nice, quirky role. The way he speaks, nobody can understand. Though I was the captain of the ship in Tere Naam (laughs), here I am again the captain of ship, but in a different way!
What do you think has changed about filmmaking today?
The professional attitude. In my time, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja was a gigantic film in terms of making but today films are much more organised. The whole Malta schedule we did in Bharat on such a big ship, with so many cadets and actors, was organised very well. Everything is on paper today. That’s why they know how to execute it on right time.
Today’s filmmakers can think of any subject and make a film. During our time, there were few stories, either love stories or revenge stories or a permutation-combination of this. But today, you have real films like Badhaai Ho, thrillers like Andhadhun, comedies like Stree, big films like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s or even Bharat or Sultan. Then you also have Newton on the other hand. Everyone is trying to make it work. So, stories are of varied backgrounds and genres. Every genre is being touched upon.
You are a director and actor. So how different is it when a director in you comes onscreen for an acting role?
I was an actor before. So, when I come on the set where I am acting, I don’t take the role of the director. I am treated like an actor there and I enjoy that. I do my job perfectly. I don’t take the role of a director onto the set where I am acting. But when you are directing you definitely feel much more responsible because you are the guy who is deciding things.
There’s buzz that Tere Naam 2 is also happening. Will Salman return as Radhe?
Tere Naam is such a popular brand because of Salman that every year some news starts making the rounds. This time also it did the rounds and I told them, ‘yes I have a script for Tere Naam 2 for sure, and of the same intensity, but I have not discussed it with Salman.’ Nothing has been finalised or I haven’t approached anyone or even talked to anyone about it. But if it happens, it will definitely be a talked about film.
And, how excited are you about your directorial Kaagaz?
I am directing after a long time. Kaagaz is close to my heart and it is coming out really well. It is in post-production right now. I am sure Kaagaz will make a mark. This is the first film Pankaj Tripathi is playing the lead role.
You come from a time where there was a proper division – lead actors and comic actors. Today that has blurred. How do you see the entire comic scene in Bollywood today?
Comedies are done by lead actors also. Earlier, there was a comic actor and there was a comedy track. But today, even the protagonist becomes funny like how Rohit (Shetty) and David (Dhawan) make. So, heroes are also comic actors. From Dharmendra to Amitabh Bachchan to Sanjay Dutt, they have all done comedy roles. Slowly, comedy began coming from the lead actors also. Also, yes, subdued comedy is also being made. But I disagree with the comic scenes where somebody is making fun of somebody. That I don’t appreciate.