Updated: June 24, 2020 5:57:32 pm
Actor Vipin Sharma has delivered top-notch performances since the beginning of his career — as Taare Zameen Par’s strict father Nand Kishore Awasthi, Ehsaan Qureshi of Gangs of Wasseypur and more recently, DCP Bhagat in crime thriller Paatal Lok.
Remarking that he finds the term “character artist” derogatory, since “I am an actor, not a character playing artiste,” he does agree there are interesting characters being written for actors now. On his preparation, Vipin says, “I focus on the situation and pay attention to what’s happening.” And does he find it difficult to disconnect from the role? He remarks, “We don’t have that kind of very intense roles in India still. Actors or their admirers who use the word ‘method acting’ have no clue what that means. We are far from the real method in India.”
Besides acting, Vipin Sharma is currently writing dialogues for a web series and will soon release his short film without dialogue which was shot entirely in Goa during the monsoon. The versatile actor made his directorial debut in 2017 with Akki Te Vikki Te Tikki, a tribute to Bollywood strugglers and had introduced as many as 156 actors through the show.
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Excerpts from the conversation:
Your role as DCP Bhagat in Paatal Lok is being appreciated. How did you react when you were offered the show?
Right from the beginning, I was confident of the team behind the show which had Avinash Arun, Prosit and Anushka. When I saw the first teaser, I predicted that this would break all records and that has come true.
Which medium do you enjoy more – movies or the digital space?
For an actor, the advantage of web series is that it reaches everywhere within minutes, unlike movies. The greatest thing is that my friend sitting in Australia or Delhi can watch it immediately. From an audience perspective too, it’s a really good platform. However, to an actor, the medium doesn’t really matter.
With the coronavirus pandemic and closure of theaters, will this affect the kind of cinema we make?
The effect will last as long as we are not able to go to cinema halls. I have a feeling we will go back to the way we were post-pandemic. Meanwhile, the web is gaining momentum and going from strength to strength. Movies will also need to shift gears with stories that are powerful.
What kind of parts do you wish to take up now? Is there any role you wish you had done?
I am always looking for something that I have not attempted before. I wish I had done Gajraj Rao’s part in Badhaai Ho. He was amazing in that film. If I win a lottery, I would remake it in Punjabi. He’s the quintessential middle-class man who can’t even enjoy the gift of life because of the taboos of Indian society.
My dream role is to play a female character because that is the ultimate challenge for any male actor. Not just wearing a saree or makeup, but be able to live the soul of the role.
You shared that your role in Taare Zameen Par as Nand Kishore Awasthi reminded you of your father. Can you tell us more?
Though the script had nothing to do with my father and Amol didn’t even know him, for me, it was kind of like my own dad who didn’t know or understand my passion for acting. He thought I would run away from home and go to Mumbai. I didn’t copy my father’s gestures but at the back of my mind, it was always there. And the regret, in the end, is a sort of tribute to him, since I understood later why he was like that.
How did you manage to break the stereotype of playing the father?
I am very happy that I am getting a chance to break the stereotype of cliched casting. Once you have done the role of a father well, then everyone wants you to do that. You have to prove again and again that you are good in many things and not made for just one type of role.
Your friendship with Irrfan Khan goes back to your NSD days. What can you tell us about it?
The most amazing thing about my friendship with Irrfan is that since I came back to acting and India, I have dreamt about him many, many times. They were not ordinary dreams and some were exceptionally beautiful. I usually wake up with a feeling and I remember the dreams throughout the day. I had also mentioned it to him once and he was very happy. My connection with him was somewhat spiritual. Unfortunately, we weren’t meeting a lot in his last days but whenever we did, we had great conversations. I lost a very dear friend of many years.
What are you currently binge-watching?
I am binge-watching Goliath, Bosch and Mindhunter.
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