January 18, 2021 4:00:49 pm
Anup Soni has been in the Hindi entertainment industry for over two decades. A product of National School of Drama (NSD), Soni has worked in all mediums of entertainment over the years, including films, television and the web space. He is currently seen playing a significant role in Amazon Prime Video web series Tandav, helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar.
In a recent interaction with indianexpress.com, Anup Soni spoke about Tandav, reuniting with his friends from NSD on the set of the Amazon Prime Video web series, and his personal politics.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Why did you give your nod to Tandav?
Do you see any reason to say no? (laughs). Everything was great about this project. The producer, the director, the platform and my co-actors. And my role also was pretty good. Plus, I always wanted to work with Ali. I am a big fan of his film Sultan and I have told him that so many times.
Would you say your character in Tandav is unlike anything you have essayed in your career so far?
Absolutely. Most of the characters in the series are grey. And I have always been cast in the ‘good guy’ roles. In fact, now there are offers coming my way where I get a chance to delve into these different shades. So I thought this was a refreshing change for me.
The press note says your character Kailash is a progressive man. Would you agree? I only ask because in the pilot itself he reveals he can pull the daggers if need be. Does a progressive man bear grudges?
See, at the end of the day, Kailash is a politician. He is worried about what position he will handle in the government. But he is not someone who is very manipulative. He is quite straightforward, calm and composed. He hardly loses his temper. I feel Kailash is in politics for positive reasons.
How did you prepare for the role? Did you have any blueprints in mind?
Tandav is a fictional drama. And as an actor, I always believe that most of the things the script tells you. You literally have lines written for you. And then you have a director to tell you how he sees that character. In this medium, you have to trust the vision of the writer and the director. Your job as an actor is to fulfill that vision.
With so many actors working together, what was the energy on the set like?
My one-to-one scenes are mostly with Sandhya Mridul and Kumud Mishra. As far as tuning is concerned, I knew Kumud Mishra because we are both from NSD. We have spent a lot of time in the hostel together. Tishu bhai (Tigmanshu Dhulia) was our senior. He used to be present at our ragging sessions when we had joined the institute. We didn’t have many scenes with Zeeshan (Ayyub), but he is our junior. We didn’t get much time together. Otherwise, all three of us could have gotten together to rag him a bit (chuckles). But jokes aside, nobody was insecure about their roles. It was a great working environment.
A lot of people have been drawing parallels between the Netflix series House of Cards and Tandav. What do you have to say about that?
I think it is like comparing two love stories. The only similarity is that the backdrop is politics. Our (country’s) political drama is rich enough to create many stories. We don’t need to copy anyone.
And finally, would you say you are a politically aware person? And does that information in any way inform your roles?
Yes, I am very much politically informed. I read the news and keep myself updated, and of course, I have my take on things. But that is your personal preference. Sure, it helps to play a character that is politically motivated, especially if you are aware of your surroundings.
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