Indian cinema finally get a pride of place on the global map after a long time.Thanks to the exceptional performance given by Adarsh Gourav in The White Tiger. On Tuesday evening came the stunning news that Gourav has been nominated for the prestigious BAFTA(British Academy Of Films & Television Arts) award.
Gourav will be competing for the award alongside Riz Ahmed for The Sound Of Metal , late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom , Mads Mikkelsen for the Danish language film Another Round,veteran British actor Anthony Hopkins in The Father and Algerian-French actor Tahar Rahim in The Mauritanian.
These are all exceptional performances that I’ve seen. But I’d like to believe Gourav is superior to all of them.
I spoke to him minutes after the BAFTA nomination was announced. Gourav seemed curiously calm, a bit dazed. “I am dazed! I was in the gym. In the morning I heard that I may be nominated. I didn’t think about it the whole day. I was busy doing other things. Now when I finish working out, I find messages from Pooja Asher(dialect coach for The White Tiger) and my father. He was watching it live on television. His joy on the phone was infectious. The impact(of being nominated) has begun to hit me now. It will take time.”
Looking back at the journey that was The White Tiger Adarsh says, “The preparation that I undertook for the part, the numerous auditions…. it all seems worth it. I’d work just as hard on any other role. That this one turned out so special was just my luck.I’ve given as much of myself to other parts which no one has even seen.”
But being nominated for a best actor in the BAFTA is no small matter? “I realize that, Sir. I am proud of it. Now that you mention it it’s started to sink in. To just be nominated alongside all those great actors including Sir Anthony(Hopkins) whom I hero-worhip…I’ve seen all the nominated performances except Anthony Hopkins in The Father. They are tremendous performances. If I’ve been nominated alongside these greats it means something.”
I tell him that I can’t recall any major Indian actor being nominated for a BAFTA, Gourav humbly submits, “That could just be a technicality, Sir. I am sure there have been several internationally acclaimed performances by Om Puri Sir, Irrfan Sir and other great Indian actors. It’s just that their performances were featured in films produced in India and hence probably didn’t qualify.”
What next for Adarsh? “Next? I am going home , have a bath ,have my dinner and sleep. Seriously, Sir. I can’t let this go to my head. I need to keep working hard. I’ve two important auditions coming up. If I bag one of these my immediate future as an actor is ensured.”