News & Interviews

Sanjay Mishra On His Struggle, Triumph, Dreams  & Desires

Kadvi Hava 

Sanjay Mishra Speaks  To Subhash K Jha On His Struggle, Triumph, Dreams  & Desires

Congrats, another triumph in Kadvi Sach. Your performance has again been unanimously hailed as magnificent.Was it hard playing blind,impoverished and  yet unvanquished?

The weather  and the topography we shot in were a challenge. But I am not a stranger to hardships, on screen and  off it. I’ve known struggle  and  challenges  for  a good 25 years ever since I came  to  Mumbai,started with  bit roles on television and cinema. I guess playing socio-economically challenged characters comes easily to me.When I  travelled from Patna to Delhi to join the National School Of Drama, my father gave me five letters of  recommendation to people he considered to be  influential. I still have those  letters.

What sort  of praise are  you getting  for Kadvi Hawa from your colleagues?

I’ve been so  busy shooting my next film day and night I’ve missed out on many of the golden moments. I’ve never been to Goa for the IFFI film festival. I wanted to be there this time with my director Nila Madhab Panda for  the  screening of our film. But I couldn’t. Among the colleagues  the one I cherish was the call fron Nana Patekar. He called a number of times when I was  shooting. Finally he  got pissed off the way only Nana Patekar can. I had to pacify him(laughs).  Life is good. I am getting the kind of work my father would have been  proud  to see me do.

Just a few months back we saw you spewing nonsense in Golmaal Again. Now you epitomize unfathomable levels  of  pain tragedy and  social relevance on  Kadvi Sach. How do  you balance absurdity with profundity so easily?

That’s what life is,isn’t it, that’s what we all are, a combination of  the absurd and the profound. Sometimes  we see both the qualities  in the same situation.  It’s  important to recognize that life is to be taken  neither too seriously nor too lightly.I put in as much effort into the Golmaal series as I  did in Masaan,Ankhon Dekhi, Kadvi Hawa or Anaarkali Of Arrah where I played  a sleazy college  principal.

You humanized the  sleazebag?

Yes, all  villains have a core of humanism in them. I am sure even Raavan had it.

The turning  point for you is Rajat Kapoor’s Aankhon Dekhi in 2014.We thought you’d get  the National award  for  it

Abb hum kya bolen  National award  ke baare mein? Usske  liye danda lekar khada hona padta hai. Akshay Kumar ko mila na…(what can I say about the National award. One has  to stand with a stick for that…)

Danda lekar toh  aap Kadvi Hawa mein khade hain?

Toh shayad iss bar  mil jaye(Maybe I will get it this time).

Tell me about your next  character and film?

It is  the  biggest challenge  of  my career. I am playing a character-actor from the 1970s…You know those very talented actors like Iftikher, KaderKhan, Bob Cristo,Manmohan, Viju Khote, Om Prakash, Kader Khan Saab who added so much to every film but got no recognition? I play one such character actor . The  film is called Kamyaab and it’s  directed  by Hardik Mehta. You might  have seen  his  celebrated documentary Amdabad Ma Famous. This is his feature-film debut and it’s going to be a very special film . I can feel  it.

Like  all your recent films?

No this is  extra-special. Character-actors  never got their due in  our film industry.Even I was a victim of this.Luckily I got saved.Do you know the famous  line Hum jahan khade hote hain line wohi se shuroo hota hai, attributed  to  Bachchan Saab, was  actually mouthed by Bob Cristo in  Kalia? I play a character-actor based on the actor Sudhir who played small-time villains in the 1970s. This is  the story of his struggle. And you know how  good I am at struggling.

You’ve come  a long way. What are you thoughts on your journey?

Bahot diya dene wale ne mujhko(the Almighty have given me  a lot).I can’t complain. But yes, I do get upset when I am  still referred to as a comedian. A leading Hindi paper screamed in a  headline, ‘For The First Time A  Comedian On  The Poster With The Lead Actors Of Golmaal Again.’ To all those who think they are doing me a favour by such gestures I have Salman Bhai’s dialogue : Humpe itna ehsaan karna ke humpe koi ehsaan mat karna.

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