Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Vipin Sharma reveals ‘not charging a penny’ for few films says, ‘My whole idea is to help & create cinema that makes a difference’

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Actor Vipin Sharma, known for bringing out his versatility every time on-screen, gets candid with The Pioneer about bringing back-to-back releases, recalling moments with late actor Satish Kaushik, mastering the art, and more.

Tejal Sinha

An actor who for not one or two, but had taken a break from acting for 15 long years, today, one might remember actor Vipin Sharma playing the character of the strict Indian dad Nandkishore Awasthi in Taare Zameen Par. And since then there’s been no looking back!

So many years down the lane, he has become one of the actors bringing to us back-to-back releases and acclaimed projects Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, Tiku weds Sheru, Guns and Gulaabs, and Haddi, to name a few on the recent note. An excited Vipin Sharma, who feels great working on these films and some amazing filmmakers, calls it as a ‘win-win’ situation in all of the ways. May or may not, one of the fears an actor would have on the professional front could be being typecasted. And according to the Simmba actor, it would be the biggest fear. He recalls, “Post-Taare Zameen Par, I had to put in a lot of effort to say a NO to a lot of work and make some people unhappy. I didn’t want to do the same kind of roles again and again. I’m glad that I was able to take that step and create a space for myself Now I’ve been doing all kinds of roles. My desire is to always work with the right kind of people, people who are like-minded, and it’s fun to work with them.”

One of his recent works Guns and Gulaabs has been in the news for quite some time now. The reason— it was late actor Satish Kaushik’s last project he had worked on! Any actor who had worked with him remember him for his jolly, down-to-earth, and happy-go-lucky nature that he’d always had with him, be it on sets, screen or in real-life. The last time that the Kick actor had met him was just a day before at the Holi party organised by Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar. “I had met him in a part long long ago and I felt really great about him. When I got to know that I’ll be working with him, I got very happy I finally got to work with him. During the shoot, since all my scenes are pretty much with him, up until his part, he always focused on his own dialogues, was very receptive to ideas, and had always shared anecdotes from his journey. It was great fun working with him. I was very much in shock about his death because I had met him the very before day before he passed away. He was very excited about Guns and Gulaabs. We chatted briefly and next day that news came out. It was a shock because I had just seen him and during the shoot also he was very cautious of his health, he used to tell me maine aaj 8000 steps kar liye. He was very religious about reading scripts in the morning. It was great to meet a person like him and learn from him and it was a fantastic experience.”

There was also a phase in his life when he was having a ‘fight it out situation’ and hunting for challenging roles. He goes on to recall how in order for him to experiment with himself, get an idea about him, and do different kinds of roles, he did have to say a ‘No’ to a lot of people and projects. “What happens often is that when the film industry has a certain idea of you, they want to see you in a certain light, they think this is the best for you but you have to turn around and say No because you need to be like let me choose. Once you are cast in a film, you are cast for a certain role and you cant say I want to do that role. It does become a bit of a struggle. I had to let down on projects where I wanted to do certain roles, but I was given something else. Everybody goes through that. It takes almost 10-15 years for an actor to settle down and people also understand what this actor needs and what kind of a role will attract this actor. So they end up coming to you with those roles which is happening to me now. They are now coming up with roles they think I can get excited about,” shares the Guns and Gulaabs actor, who first tries to understand the style of the film that in the end would dictate your style of acting. He adds, “I think it’s the style of the film that dictates your behaviour and I always follow that. I don’t forget the style and do my own acting. That would actually harm the film. The world of the film is more important than you as an actor fitting in it. I keep an eye on that and that helps me to be different. I always focus on my part and I’m also very respectful of the other actors that I’m working with. I’ve always made sure to not be in competition with anyone other than myself. Every role is a competition for me in itself. I don’t overprepare myself.”

While every actor has certain criteria they look for in a project, Vipin as an actor first tries to know about the film and the people associated with it. No matter if he just has a minute of screen space in the film, if the project according to him is good and important it’s a ‘yes-yes’. An alumnus of the National School of Drama, he often looks to work with new people, without looking into the projects they’ve done in the past. “I have done about 7-8 films without charging a single penny,” he reveals in this exclusive chat and the reason he says, “They were really important films and quite a lot of them won national awards and great reviews. My whole idea is to help and create a cinema that makes a difference which is important to be made. I have compromised on certain things but whatever I do, I do it with utmost honesty. If something is not my kind of film, I’ll never be dishonest with the film.”

Now as we come to an end of the amazing chitter-chatter with the adept actor, he goes on to share about his upcoming projects. “I have absolutely two brilliant films coming up one is with Tarsen Singh from Hollywood. Filmmaker from Punjab making films and ads in Hollywood for almost 30 years. He has made his first Indian film set in Punjab based on a true honour killing. It is already running in a lot of film festivals and completion in British Film Institute. They are planning a big release in the US. The second film is called Monkey Man where I have a very different character in that, gearing up for a big release in North America,” signs of the affable actor.

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