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Scam 1992 actor Pratik Gandhi remembers his struggling days: Ishq toh acting se hi tha

Scam 1992 actor Pratik Gandhi shares how instead of getting comfortable at the age of 36, he took a risk and quit his job. With the Hansal Mehta show, the risk has paid off.

By: Entertainment Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: April 11, 2021 8:25:35 am
Scam 1992 actor Pratik GandhiScam 1992 actor Pratik Gandhi's upcoming projects include Hardik Gajjar's Ravan Leela and Atithi Bhooto Bhava. (Photo: Pratik Gandhi/Instagram)

Pratik Gandhi is flying high after the success of the SonyLIV web series – Scam 1992. The actor recently opened up about his life before and after playing Harshad Mehta in the Hansal Mehta directorial.

Pratik recently opened up to Humans of Bombay about his “middle-class” upbringing and how he’d do odd jobs to support his family in Surat, Gujarat. He shared, “We were middle class; Papa was supportive but he’d say, ‘Pehle degree lo, phir jo karna hai karo’ (First get a degree, then do whatever you want). So I opted for engineering. Still, I’d do small plays– ishq toh acting se hi tha (I always loved acting). After graduating, I moved to Bombay–for 4 years I worked on a project basis so that I could act. But there’d be months with no income. So, I did odd jobs like installing TV towers and anchoring. But then the 2006 Surat floods took our home. My family came to Bombay and the 4 of us stayed in a 1RK; after I got married, 5 of us were in that tiny space. So I took up a full-time job. Still, I’d rehearse for 2 hours before work & after, I’d do plays. I did this for 6 years.”

He also opened up about how he’d juggle between a full time office job and Gujarati films. He said, “Then finally, I got a role in a Gujarati film. So, I took a 22-day leave from work for the shoot. At times, right after my shot, I’d get on a work call. After the shoot, I went back to work. I wasn’t even there for the promotions. Fortunately, ‘Bey Yaar’ was a hit; overnight, I became a mainstream Gujarati actor. So the next time I got a film offer, I took the risk & at 36, I quit my job! Although I had a house loan, and a toddler, it felt right.”

The actor who predominantly appeared in Gujarati films got his big break with Scam 1992, so much so that ace actor Shabana Azmi had a special compliment for him. About how he prepared for the role, he says, “from watching older news clippings of him to studying the stock market, I did it all. And then, the show released… But at the time, I didn’t realize it’d become this huge! It was so overwhelming. And when Shabana Azmi Ma’am told me it was the best performance she’d seen in 20 years, I was in tears.”

The 40-year-old actor says that the success he is relishing is because he took a risk at the age of 36 instead of getting comfortable, “It’s been 5 months since Scam’s release and my life has taken a 180 degree turn! People see me as a ‘lead actor’ now. Zindagi ne jaise ek dum se raftar pakad li hai. (Life has just suddenly sped up) But all of this happened because at 36, instead of getting comfortable, I decided to take a risk kyun ki… risk hai toh ishq hai!”

On the work front, Pratik has two films in his kitty, Hardik Gajjar’s Ravan Leela and Atithi Bhooto Bhava.

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