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Panchayat actor Raghubir Yadav: With Neena Gupta as a co-star, it didn’t feel like we were acting

Raghubir Yadav is making his digital debut with Amazon Prime Video and The Viral Fever's Panchayat. The series also stars Neena Gupta and Jeetendra Kumar. Panchayat starts streaming on April 3.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi | Updated: April 3, 2020 4:46:12 pm
panchayat raghubir yadav Panchayat starts streaming on April 3.

Raghubir Yadav has been a part of six films that have been submitted for Oscars – Peepli Live, Rudaali, Bandit Queen, Newton, Salaam Bombay and Lagaan. Still, the actor finds flaws whenever he revisits his work. “I have never been satisfied with whatever I have done in my life. I always feel there is scope for improvement and every performance could have been better,” he shared in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.

Now, the 62-year-old actor is making his digital debut with Amazon Prime Video and The Viral Fever’s Panchayat. He feels “people should watch Panchayat for its crisp writing and beautiful direction.” Here, Yadav shares screen space with another industry veteran Neena Gupta. “It was a great experience to work with Neena Gupta. She used to get into the character entirely. With her, it didn’t feel we are here for acting,” he said.

Further, the Peepli Live actor deliberated on the effect of talented co-actors on one’s performance. He said, “If your co-actor is talented and has a fine understanding of everything, then acting becomes fun. If the co-actor gets weak, it starts feeling like he is interfering in your work and you are interfering in his. Then, a wall comes in between, you have to support each other and ultimately, the output is not what you desire.”

While discussing his favourite characters from his filmography, Raghubir Yadav shared how he still enjoys characters that challenge him. He said, “I did Raman Raghav in 1992. It is my favourite because it was very different from my personality. My character in it did 42 murders and I am someone who cannot even kill an ant. I enjoyed working on Massey Sahib. In Salaam Bombay, I had to play a drug addict and in real life, I am someone who doesn’t even smoke. So, I have enjoyed those characters that challenge me, make me work harder and take away my sleep.”

Also read | Panchayat actor Neena Gupta: Younger generation of actors are smart and confident

After spending over 30 years in cinema, Yadav says the current time is the “best time” to be in the acting business. He believes the actors today are so talented that “if you have to survive the competition, you have to be on par with them.”

Currently, the actor is spending time in isolation by playing several musical instruments including flute and harmonium. He has been cooking, cleaning the house and amid all the household chores, he is working on his autobiography too.

Also Read | Streaming in April: Four More Shots Please 2, Panchayat, Yours Sincerely Kanan Gill and more

“I am writing about my experience in Parsi theater, how we used to move from one village to another and set up our tents there. I thought I should write because I want to acquaint people to the times in which I grew up when there were no schools and electricity. I want them to know about the music of that time. I don’t want to write about my struggles because I take the problems of my life as a school,” Raghubir Yadav shared.

Lastly, as we asked him if he would want people to watch Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne (Doordarshan show) since many classic TV shows are returning to the small screen, the actor replied, “Youngsters should watch Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne to know how earlier people used to work on the script. The 13 episodes used to leave an impact which is not possible today even in 1000 episodes. People used to work relentlessly on every subject and on every episode. Just, don’t show it to me because I will start finding faults in my own work then.”

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