Calling up Paresh Raval

Author: Dr. Mandar

Agreed- he is a fab actor, a fantastic performer on screen and stage but Paresh Raval makes you squirm uneasily if you are an interviewer, particularly if you happen to be like me doing the interview by calling him in London from Sharjah! One- on phone, you can’t see his face, so it robs you the opportunity to gauge his mood and two- you can’t make out whether he is tired, bored or busy or that he simply doesn’t like your voice. He is polite but curt, cool and distant. He keeps the answers to bare minimum and that effectively ends the hope for any real flow of conversation. Despite his reticence, I manage to snatch a few snippets from him. Here are the excerpts:

On his career choice and struggle period:

I wanted to become actor right from childhood, when I started acting in school dramas. I started off as a stage actor and then, graduated to silver screen. I am a trained actor - but I am trained by experience.

Like so many other actors, I too had to struggle in the initial part of my career to establish my credentials and my identity. But I did not get disheartened or did not ever got bogged down because of those negative experiences. In fact, I used that struggle to motivate myself to achieve my goals.

On His Versatility:

I consider it as just a part of my job as actor. As a professional actor, I am supposed to deliver the goods in whatever role I am offered. One discusses the part with his director and co-actors; does rehearsals and then it becomes easy.

Whether it is serious or comic, I don’t mind doing any kind of role. Any well- written and challenging role excites me and I try to do full justice to that role.

On his new-found comic image:

It’s not that I have purposely cultivated that image. I was offered comic roles and did them to best of my ability. The films clicked, the roles became popular and that brought me more roles as a comedian.

On his love for stage:

Commercial cinema, with its own equations sometimes can bring creative boredom. That’s when I find it so refreshing to fall back on theatre.

His favourite directors:

Ketan Mehta, Mahesh Bhatt, Rajkumar Santoshi

His favourite performances:

Sardar, Sir, Tamanna, Herapheri

His Hobbies:

Reading, chess.

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