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Monday, June 14, 2021

Raghav Juyal: Today, if you have a different opinion, you are considered an anti-national

Actor Raghav Juyal on the experience of working on Bahut Hua Sammaan, social responsibilities of an artiste and more.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
Updated: October 13, 2020 8:37:56 pm
raghav juyal in bahut hua sammaanRaghav Juyal and Abhishek Chauhan in a still from Bahut Hua Sammaan. (Photo: Disney Plus Hotstar/YouTube)

Bahut Hua Sammaan, which is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar, is a film that raises questions about capitalism, consumerism, politics and much more in a humorous manner. The movie stars Raghav Juyal, Sanjay Mishra, Nidhi Singh, Ram Kapoor and Abhishek Chauhan among others.

Recently, Raghav spoke to about Bahut Hua Sammaan, the responsibilities of an artiste and the actor’s aspirations.

Excerpts from the conversation.

Bahut Hua Sammaan is a film that somewhere makes you question your politics. Being a public figure whose voice matters, how important is it to address topical issues?

It is very important. It is a responsibility because we, as artistes, have a voice that reaches the masses. We have the power to influence. Bahut Hua Sammaan teaches so much without being preachy. I saw Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro many years ago and this film had the same feel for me. So, it was a lot of fun to be a part of a film that I also enjoyed watching as an audience.

Honestly, it took a life of its own. We didn’t know it would become a satire. On the sets, we would improvise, take inputs from directors as well as actors, which led the film to its destination, or to what it has become today.

Bahut Hua Sammaan asks the viewers to ask questions. But as an artiste, are you even free to voice your own opinion?

I don’t think anyone has the freedom to voice their opinion in today’s time. Today, if you have a different opinion, you become an enemy or an anti-national. So, it is kind of weird. Honestly, many fear voicing their opinions because they earn their bread and butter through the industry.

The film addresses the issue of corrupt authorities and fake babas. How do you personally feel about the same?

Films are a mirror of the society we are living in. It (the issue of corrupt authorities and fake babas) exists. Art has always shown the truth to society. Since ages, art has attempted to bring revolution. So, I am happy that our film is a part of films that aim to bring about a change and to open people’s mind towards reality.

Why was it important to be part of such a film?

For me, at the moment, it is important to grow aesthetically. I am working on my craft and want to do films that will help me enhance it. I want to travel the road that artistes like Nawazuddin Siddiqui walked to reach where they are today. I want to learn more, act more.

Whose character did you relate with the most?

I think all the characters in the film received equal importance. In this film, no one has a lead role. Everyone is equally important and leaves an impression.

What have you learnt from Sanjay Mishra?

So much! For me, working on this film was like an acting workshop. Not just acting, I learnt about life from him. That is why the bond just grew, and that shows in the film too.

The film talks about how you should be the change you want to see. So, tell me if you had the power to make a change, what would you do?

There are many things that I would want to change. First things first, I think people should be more accepting of each other. Also, I want to bring awareness to Tik-Tokers. I want them to invest their time in something they really want to become. We tasted fame after years of working on our art forms. But the way today’s generation is getting fame for their 15 seconds video is harming their thought process.

(Takes a pause) And we lack gender equality. Our country is full of sexism, which needs to change.

In the end, Sanjay Mishra’s character says revolution is important for democracy to exist. Do you agree with this statement?

I agree. It is important to be curious. It is important to ask questions. The way the director and the writer have ended the film is so beautiful. A society is a collaborative effort and without it, the world will only end in destruction.

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