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“I would have loved to play ‘Gabbar’ from Sholay” – Rahul Bagga

Rahul Bagga, after playing the titular role in Mastram last year, will be seen in three films this year. In this interview, he talks about his forthcoming projects, breaking stereotypes and passion for the craft called acting.

It’s been almost a year since Mastram released. What have you been up to?
I have completed shooting for three films, namely Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho, Isshqq Mallang and Tera Mera Tedha Medha. Vinod Kapri, the director of Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho, has just won the National Award for his documentary Daughters Of Mother India. It’s a satire on the the judiciary system in India. It is based on true events. The film will be distributed by Fox Star Studios and hopefully it will release in May. Isshqq Mallang has almost been wrapped up, with just one item number left to be shot. It is an out-and-out commercial film with a strong storyline, good music, action and romance. Annant Jaitpal makes his debut as a director with this film. Tera Mera Tedha Medha is a romantic comedy which has been directed by Chittaranjan Tripathy. The film is complete and the makers are looking for distributors.

You did theatre in Delhi. After that you moved to television and finally acted in films. Was there some struggle involved in this process or has it been an easy transition?
I come from a family in which nobody has had any association with performing arts or any sort of creative medium. Finding work as a theatre actor is as difficult as getting a foothold in television or films. I did not have a support system and did not know a lot of people. So, it was difficult for me to get into theatre and then coming to Mumbai to act in television shows and films. Struggle is there in every field. A lot of people waste years of their life doing insignificant work. I feel fortunate that I got to do the kind of work I wanted to do and hence, enjoyed the entire process. I do not like talking about the struggle I have gone through. I would rather think about the good things that happened to me during this journey.

A lot of actors find theatre to be a more fulfilling medium than television and films. Do you feel the same?
As an actor, I do not see any difference between theatre and films or television. I enjoy acting and as long as I get to play a character that gives me creative satisfaction, I have no issues. Actually, it is not the medium but the situation you are in, that matters. There are days when I attend the rehearsals for a play and I do not feel inspired to do anything. Then, I could visit the sets of a film and could feel rejuvenated in no time. Likewise, doing a play could sometimes be more fun than acting in a film and vice versa. As far as the technicalities are concerned, there is a difference between theatre and films. In theatre, there are 500 eyes watching you perform. In films, there is just one eye – the camera. Sometimes, there is a multi-camera setup. But, that’s about it. Apart from these technical bits, I do not see any difference between the two mediums.

You have acted in many prominent television commercials, the latest being the OLX commercial. Which is your favourite television commercial out of the ones you have been featured in?
I loved being a part of the OLX commercial. If you check out the video online, you will find that it is a four minute long video. There was a lot of scope for me to show the journey of the character that I portray. It is hard to get that sort of opportunity in television commercials as they do not last for more than a few seconds. I feel as time passes by and you go through various experiences in life, you become a better actor. I would say the OLX commercial is one of the best television commercials I have been a part of because I have grown as an actor with time. And this ad film, being my most recent work as an actor, is something I am very proud of.

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