2020 was no doubt the worst year we’ve seen. How did the year treat you?
No doubt 2020 was one of the worst years we’ve seen . That was true worldwide. Other than that, the very fact that we’ve survived 2020 is reason to feel positive.So much worse could have happened. But it didn’t. So I’d rather look at the half-full glass.
Your biggest takeaway of 2020?
My biggest takeaway of the year was to value the present, to live every moment that has been gifted to us , rather than make plans for the future because no matter how much you plan, there is no guarantee about the future. So just live your life to the fullest at this moment. Do not invest too much in the future. I always believed too much planning about one’s life and goals is very frustrating. This year reinstated my belief in living in the present.
So no plans for 2021?
Not anything that is not my hands. I’d like to make sure that I make the best of every moment I have, in my professional and personal life.
Thappad proved quite a triumph for you?
Yes, Thappad was good kickstart of the year for me. I was very happy as I had really good projects to follow as well. The pandemic cut short all my plans. The theatrical run of Thappad was also cut short. Nonetheless I feel proud to be part of a film that will be remembered for years.It was one of the most talked-about films of the year. Movies come and go. Very few are talked about much longer than their lifespan on screen. Thappad is one of them. For me the quality of my filmography is more important than the quantity.
What is your main focus for the coming year?
That my selection of films and quality of my performance should get better every year, at least that ‘s what I’m striving to do. I hope the audience feels the same way. Every year I try to push the envelope a little more. I learn something new from all my films.And I try to implement that knowledge in my subsequent films. This has helped me grow as an actor. I want the audiences’ faith in the films that I select to grow stronger . I want the audience to have faith in my choices as an actor. They should feel whatever I take up is worth their time attention and money.
What do you feel about the growth of the OTT platform in 2020?
There is a definite shift in the profile of the audience, The audience that goes to see films in theatres is different from those who see films at home. Films made for B and C centres for theatres when released on OTT would obviously not get the same response. The focus on OTT is on content-driven films. It’s an interesting shift. A new star-hierarchy will emerge if the OTT continues to dominate.
Do you like watching films on your phone?
I’d like to get back to theatres as soon as possible. I am waiting to get back to the old normal and leave behind this new normal. I miss the ‘normal’ that existed pre-pandemic .However I must say the OTT has given a chance to so many talented actors whom we would not have seen so much of otherwise. The OTT is helping new talent to grow.
Which are your favourite performances of 2020?
Like every year there is a bunch of outstanding performances. I really liked some of what I saw on OTT. Maybe I am biased, but I really cried while watching Irrfan Sir (Khan) in Angrezi Medium. That fact I wouldn’t see more of him , hit me hard.Abrupt departures are always shocking. When the news of Rishi Sir(Kapoor) going came , it wouldn’t sink in. We were in a lockdown . It felt unreal.I felt when I will come out of my home I will meet him .As it was I was not meeting anyone.Everyone existed virtually. So it felt like he was out there.I had worked in two films with Rishi Sir. I had never met Sushant Singh Rajput or worked with Irrfan Sir.
If you had a wish what would it be?
To live a normal life, and not just the life of a movie actor. I want to have a personal life that is as satisfying as my career.I do take out time for family friends holidays. So far I’ve been able to strike the right balance between my professional and personal life. I keep them so far apart that they can never interfere with one another.
What are your plans for 2021?
Like I said I don’t think planning ahead helps. Having said that I would want to finish my pending assignments before I move on to signing new projects.I am getting some really interesting roles in some wonderful projects. Believe me they are all so good that I don’t feel like saying no even one of them. Even though I will be seen in a variety of films trust me none of them will be repetitive.I am just trying to accommodate as much as I can in my diary. I know when I look back at career I will be proud of it.