Kishore Kumar is a popular face in the south Indian film industry and the actor recently made his digital debut with Amazon Prime Video’s The Family Man. Kishore played the role of Pasha in the series led by Manoj Bajpayee. Hailing from Bangalore, he established a name for himself in the Tamil film industry by playing tough-guy roles in director Vetrimaaran’s films.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
In The Family Man, you play the character named Pasha. How did you understand the balance and the diversity that your character brought to the narration, given the sensitive nature of the subject?
I loved my character because of that. My character is a Muslim and Muslims in such scenarios (as shown in the series) are viewed with a little bit of doubt. That distrust actually makes you very vulnerable. It was a fantastic role to start my career in Hindi.
How did The Family Man come to you?
One of the writers from Y Not Studios, Sumanth, who was writing for The Family Man, approached me with the offer. And Raj and DK, are basically from Andhra (Pradesh) and they have seen my work in Telugu films.
What was your experience working with Manoj Bajpayee?
He (Manoj Bajpayee) always makes you feel comfortable. I started my career when Satya came out, and the way he had acted in that film has been a great example for me to follow. We discussed a lot between the shoots. Most of my lunches were with him in his van. He is a great foodie.
What aspect of The Family Man do you think really clicked with the audience?
You never really know what works. If we could know, we would only make successful films. To me, what worked is the honesty in telling the story. They tried to show things as it is. It was very honestly written, I think.
What was your experience working in a new format and in a new industry?
I think I saw a very organised work culture, which was impartial and neat. The way people enjoyed there is a big takeaway. After work, they all used to get together, even producers and director and party. We spoke a lot about films and exchanged views. In this series, I got to work with actors from across the country. There were actors from Kashmir, Neeraj Madhav is from Kerala and there were many actors from Mumbai. I got to meet nice people and made good friends.
Who are your influences?
My influences are mainly local. Director Siddalingaiah’s technical brilliance in Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu cannot be achieved even today with all the advanced technologies. He was also the master of content. Puttanna Kanagal, Mani Ratnam, Bharathiraja have all had their influences on me.
You are one of the regulars in Vetrimaaran’s films. Tell us about the kind of relationship you share with the director.
Maybe, he (Vetrimaaran) feels comfortable with the actor he has already worked with. Or maybe he thinks of me as family, where he can’t think of letting go of me. But, one thing is for sure, Vetrimaaran doesn’t compromise. If he thinks an actor is not fit to play a role, he won’t cast that actor. I think he decides the actors while writing itself.
What do you admire about Vetrimaaran?
I like the detailing in his work a lot. By the end of the shoot, he will be an expert in whatever subject he is making. That interest and honesty is rarely seen. The thing I like the most about his work is the way he can communicate very complex things in a very simple way. If you look at his films, all emotions, social structures, personal relationships and politics, are so beautifully communicated to the audience. He knows the language of cinema, he can communicate anything and everything.