He is considered one of the finest actors of Indian Cinema yet he believes his journey has just started. That’s Anupam Kher for you! The versatile actor, whose body of work includes films like Saaransh, Daddy, Dil, Khosla ka Ghosla, A Wednesday, Ram Lakhan, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara, Special 26, Bend it Like Beckham among others, is also currently the Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India.
Kher was in the city for the Kalinga International Film Festival along with director Sattwik Mohanty of Ranchi Diaries fame when he exclusively spoke to My City Links. Excerpts
Ranchi Diaries was Sattwik Mohanty’s debut movie as an independent director. How was your experience working with a newcomer?
When he approached me with the story, I really liked the idea and theme of the story, which is why I even agreed to produce it. I really love to work with new directors as they have new energy. I have also worked in the first movie of Neeraj Pandey ‘A Wednesday’ and now I am a part of his seventh movie. I feel the freshness that new directors bring in their work makes me more excited about the whole project. Sattwik also has great talent and potential to be a great director and I really enjoyed working with him.
Do you feel the perspective of the Indian Cinema is changing and now more emphasis is being given to content?
Well, storyline and good content are always important for any film. It was important during the 40s and it still is important now. Without good content, we can’t imagine a good movie. We often feel that change is happening in every period. But yes, now the audience is much more aware of and appreciates good cinema, courtesy the increasing number of entertainment and satellite channels which has given us scope to make such kinds of films.
As an actor, you have played different types of roles, from comic to serious, positive to negative, with perfection. Tell us what sort of roles or characters you love to play the most?
I prefer any role which entertains audience. Sometime, films are made to teach a lesson too! An actor’s job is to entertain. Whatever character an artist gets to play, he has to portray it in his own style. Since I am a trained actor, it becomes easy for me to practice and experiment. It is easier for a trained actor and I know how to do justice to my character.
Your role of BB Pradhan in the movie ‘Saaransh’ is one of your career best. How difficult was it for you to play the role of a 65-year-old man when you were barely 28?
Oh, it was really very difficult. Only a trained actor who has done lots of theatre and studies could have taken that chance. Since I was into theatre, I took the call. It could not have been possible if I wasn’t a trained actor. Training helps a lot, that’s why after so many years, I have my own acting school because I feel it’s important to get proper training in this profession also.
How do you see your journey as an actor since 1982?
It has just started and I am yet to do a lot of things. It’s just a beginning for me and it would be too early for me to talk about the journey, as I have many miles to cover.
You have recently taken over the charge of FTII as its chairman. What are your visions for the development of the institute and its students?
Well, there are many plans. It’s a big responsibility and I would try to bring in lots of positive changes for the well-being of the institute and the students.
How was your experience in Bhubaneswar?
Bhubaneswar is a beautiful city and I am happy to be here. We went to Lingaraj temple and I was amazed to see the architecture. While moving around the city, I was taking pictures, making videos and posted them on Instagram and Twitter. It is a colourful city and people are very nice.
Picture Courtesy: Rakesh Roul