It won’t be much of a hyperbole to term Piyush Mishra, a veteran Bollywood actor as a ‘Jack of all trades and a master of them all’ at that. Proudly donning the hat of an actor, music director, lyricist, singer and scriptwriter, Mishra is deservingly an all-rounder in the world of art and cinema. He has to his credit some remarkable movies like Maqbool, Gangs of Wasseypur and Dil Se to name only a few.
Recently, the actor was in the city to be a part of the Kalinga Literary Festival 2016, when My City Links caught up with him while he spoke his mind out about theatre, films and poetry with a glint of passion in his eyes. Excerpts:
How has the transition from theatre to movies and being a lyricist happen?
Though it’s a lot of hard work, theatre pays you really less. So working for theatre only was difficult if I had to eke out a decent living. Thus after being in theatre for twenty years, I decided to switch over to films which has brought me both money and recognition for my work.
Pic Courtesy: theplaybacksinger
Do you believe in the statement that ‘theatre makes you a better actor’?
Theatre does build your foundation and makes you a better actor. But, I believe that an actor has to work hard to be good enough, if s/he wants to make their own mark, be it in theatre or films. You need to hone yourself in the best way possible to become an actor.
Pic Courtesy: theplaybacksinger
As you discussed on freedom of expression in one of the sessions, you did mention about a certain restriction to be imposed while enjoying the freedom. Don’t you think that will curb the creative spirit of people or artists?
A certain limit should be in place for some things. Even earlier, directors made films that did not have any abusive language. ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ is one such movie which received wide recognition for its cinematic value but did not contain any abusive content.
Well, that statement does not put me against abusive lingo if the script demands it. I have also worked in a movie like ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ that contained rampant use of abusive dialogues throughout because the content required the actors to use offensive language. However, I still believe that films can be made without the usage of verbally abusive content.
Pic Courtesy: iksv
What do you have to say about the ‘Udta Punjab’ controversy that held the film’s release for too long?
What happened with ‘Udta Punjab’ was very unfortunate.I know Abhishek Chaubey, the director of Udta Punjab too well. He cannot make dirty films. He is not the film maker to be making dirty films. His movies may be bad but not dirty!
What factors do you consider before signing a film?
Script and script alone is what matters the most to me. Although, the director too matters but to some extent only. Nevertheless, I agree to do a movie only if the script is convincing.
If you have to pick one memorable character from one your movies, which one would you choose?
Every character that I’ve played is special to me. I do not sit back to scrutinise my work as good or bad. I believe in living in the moment and in spite of age slowly creeping in, I want to continue doing quality work.
Pic Courtesy: topyaps
How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan?
Recently, I got to work with Amitabh Bachchan and unsurprisingly, he is nothing short of being phenomenal. It is amazing to see how at this age he sleeps for only three hours in a day and is constantly on his toes taking numerous retakes until he is satisfied and goes through rigorous rehearsals before shooting.
Feature Image Courtesy: YouTube