Push the recap button in your mind and recall the early '90s, when Doordarshan would air the famous fantasy serial Chandrakanta, whose villain called Kroor Singh seemed like the most evil man ever born. Actor Akhilendra Mishra has played this and many other character roles in TV serials and films that remain fresh in viewers' memories even years after they go off air.
After a week spent in Rohtak, Haryana, as a guest faculty at a film school, Mishra visited Chandigarh on Monday, where he talked about his upcoming films and being remembered by the names of the characters played by him.
"When I was roped in for Chandrakanta, the role was initially written for only 10 episodes. But, after looking at the popularity of my character, my role was also increased. People don't recognise me by my name, but by the name of the character that I play. In fact, most of my fans don't even remember my name. They only remember me as Kroor Singh (played in Chandrakanta), Arjan (played in the film Lagaan), Raavana (of the TV serial Ramayana) and freedom fighter Chandrashekar Azad (played in The Legend of Bhagat Singh)," says Mishra.
Coming up soon are five films that the actor is wrapping up, about which he shares. "One of the films is P Se PM Tak, which is directed by Kundan Shah of Jane Bhi Do Yaaron fame. To release on April 4, I play an opposition leader in the film. Its backdrop is of Maharastra and therefore, various Marathi and Hindi theatre actors have been cast in it," he says. The other film that Mishra would be seen in is Muavza, directed by Girish Juneja. "Based on five brothers, the film's plot revolves around people who are in the process of getting compensation for their lands or are to get it soon. I play the eldest brother, Chowdhary Jaikishan," says the actor, adding that the film's cast includes actors Annu Kapoor, Pankaj Berry and various theatre actors from Delhi.
Another interesting film that Mishra would be a part of is Ashta Changa Po, which is based on a girl child. Directed by Monto Poncho Pati Nath, Ashta Changa Po is a kind of game played by kids in the northern parts of the country. "'Ashta' means eight, 'Changa' means four and 'Po' means one," explains Mishra. Meanwhile, in a film called Love Training, which is a remake of a South Indian film, the actor plays an old man who falls in love with an RJ. "There are various other characters in the film, played by actors Rajpal Yadav and Shakti Kapoor amongst others, who all train to somehow win their love," he adds. Besides these, Mishra has also acted in a film called Global Baba, which revolves around various babas (godmen). With such a variety of roles to play, we are certain it is only an actor of the calibre of Mishra who can pull them off well.