He holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi. But director Tigmanshu Dhulia has never acted in films. Now, though, he is set to make his acting debut — 23 years after his student days at NSD — in friend Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. In an interview, Tigmanshu talks about his new ‘calling’…
What made you accept the film?
The only answer is Anurag Kashyap. He had once asked casually if I would act in his film and I readily agreed, thinking, ‘chalo, kar lete hain. Benaras wagerah ghoom ke aayenge (let’s do it. We’ll get to travel to Benaras and other areas too).’ Actually, I didn’t think much about it.
Do you feel any pressure?
As far as my performance goes, my answer would be no. Main to waise bhi ghatiya actor hoon (I am a bad actor anyway) so, if people say, that I have acted badly in the film, I will turn around and say, ‘I have always maintained that I am a bad actor. Why were you expecting great things from me (laughs).’
Will you continue to act in the future?
Just because I have acted in Gangs Of Wasseypur doesn’t mean I will become a full-fledged actor. It’s just a one-off thing that I have done for Anurag (pauses). But who knows? If I get a film that’s to be shot in an interesting location, perhaps I’ll agree to do it again (laughs). But otherwise, I have no intention to act now.
Why did you never act even though you’re an NSD graduate?
I had realised long ago that I am a ‘ghatiya’ actor (laughs). That’s why I am happy to direct movies. Kuch na kuch to karna hi hai (after all, I have to do something). But I don’t know when I will act next in a film.
If it hadn’t been Anurag or such a gritty film, would you still have accepted the offer?
I don’t think so. I won’t fit into glamorous films. On second thoughts, no one would have even offered me a role in glamorous films. Since I hail from that part of the country, it became a little easier for me to relate to and enact this role for Gangs..., but such things don’t happen often.
Directors on screen
The Jab We Met director made his acting debut in friend Anurag Kashyap’s hard-hitting film Black Friday.
Besides small roles in Black Friday and Yuva, Anurag has been seen in films like I Am, Luck By Chance and Shagird.
Farhan made his acting debut with Rock On!!, followed by Luck By Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
After small special appearances in several films, Farah is making her acting debut with Bela Sehgal’s Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi.
After directing Vaastav, Manjrekar went on to act in several films like Kaante, Slumdog Millionaire and Dabangg.
Besides a few blink-and-you-miss-it acts, Mishra has acted in films like Raat Gayi, Baat Gayi? and Traffic Signal.