After My Friend Pinto, actor Prateik will metamorphose from a lovable Chaplinesque tramp to a killer Romeo in Shailesh Singh’s adaptation of the Shakespearean play. Issaq, which flags off next month is set in Varanasi. And for the same, Prateik is going through Banarasi Hindi diction classes, doing riyaaz (taking music lessons) and spending hours in the gym working on his body.
“The character I play kills to survive, so he needs to be lean and agile,” explains the actor, who studied Shakespeare in school, but had no clue then that one day, he’d play a Romeo from the hinterlands.
Adds the young actor, “We’ve retained the gist of the story about forbidden love and a family feud, but it’s not an exact remake. Director Manish Tiwary has crafted a clever adaptation that weaves in the Naxalite angle.”
Prateik, who was seen in Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan recently, admits that the social film on the government’s reservation policy was a learning experience. “I’m sure Issaq will also offer an insight in to how people in small towns think and behave,” he says.
Has he faced a Romeo-Juliet situation in real life? Never, he laughs. “The parents of the girls I’ve dated always approved of me. But if I were to find myself in one, I’d behave exactly like Romeo and do everything he did.” So what does love mean to him today? “It’s a dreamy feeling,” he muses. And has his dream girl appeared yet? “No, I’m waiting.” Prateik made his Bollywood debut in the Aamir Khan production Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na (2008).