Having had the distinction of acting in the original Mahabharata, which aired on DD National in 1988, you wonder what made the man play a pivotal role in the latest version of the Hindu epic in 2013.
“We have started telling this generation a distorted version of the epic; that is how they will pass it on to their children. We plan to correct that,” says Sudesh Berry, in city for a brief interaction on Monday.
Now playing the role of Drupad, Draupadi’s father, we ask him if he finds a differnce between playing the role and the role of Vichitraveerya, Shantanu’s third son, in 1988. “Just my waist size, that’s expanded,” he says on a light note.
At war with his emotions perpetually, especially after playing a double role in Devon Ka Dev Mahadev, Berry believes that if one can’t keep one’s emotions in check in real life, then the person is not human. So, was the double role his most challenging experience so far? “I felt like I lived and died a life everyday. I was always fighting and struggling with myself, my creative process went haywire trying to hash out this role,” he exhales.
Though enough to make one lose their mind, it’s his faith in Lord Shiva that has kept him going. “The lord exists in many forms, not one; we are all his reflections. If you notice, I directly or indirectly always end up invoking Shiva when I’m acting, be it films or TV!”
Having once called TV his wife and Bollywood his girlfriend, doesn’t the ‘two-timing’ tire him out? “TV is my wife who’ll look after me through the good and bad times. My girlfriend, the film world, is only to have a good time with! Besides, it’s not two-timing if I’m engaged in only one at a time.”
Worried about this mad scramble for fame amongst youngsters, Berry is of the firm belief that these youngsters will lose their souls before they even realise what has happened. “I want to open some sort of a guidance centre, not an acting school. I don’t want to tell anyone how they should lead their lives; I just want to help them,” he says.
So, is that what he thought the industry did to him as well? “At one point, I might have been a little lost, but I believe I have risen above this desire for money now. What my true passion is, is to breathe life and soul to every character I play. The public’s love for my acting is my true desire,” he concludes.