“Theatre is what grooms an amateur into an actor, it was and will always remain my first love for it has transformed me into what I am today,” said Bollywood’s most loved villain Yashpal Sharma, in Patiala on Tuesday.
At the Harpal Tiwana Centre for Performing Arts (HTPA), Yashpal, who is best known for his bad cop and ruffian roles in Bollywood films including Gangaajal, Ab Tak Chhappan, Apaharan and Rowdy Rathore among others, shared his love for theatre and the need to promote it.
“People’s taste in theatre is developing, though it’s still in the initial stage and mostly confined to the metropolitan cities. However, I think that there is a need to promote quality theatre in order to pull larger number of audiences to the halls. People are getting bored of watching similar types of cinema. So, they need a refreshing source of entertainment,” says Yashpal.
The actor is an alumnus of the illustrious National School of Drama, New Delhi. At his wittiest best, he shared, “I can do justice to all sorts of roles including lead characters. I have played the protagonist in many theatre productions, but people know me only for playing villain in movies and not my acts in theatre,” he laughed, adding, “The other side of the story is that the films in which I have played the lead have either not been released or sent to film festivals that have limited spectators. So, my ‘hero side’ is known only to a few.” Having over two decades of experience in the film industry, the actor opines, “Good cinema means reaching out to the masses, not just to intellectuals or critics. The industry needs to present a variety of genres in films and not just repeat formula films like Dabangg or Singham.”
The artist vouches for theatre over films and says that he decides his film dates while keeping his theatrical commitments in mind. However, he is disappointed with the youngsters. “The younger generation is more confined to social media handles; they have lost their focus and dedication. Their life revolves around their smartphones,” he comments.
Next, the actor is working on an international project called Jaal, which is based on the
water crisis in Gujarat. Also in the pipeline are other films such as Gang of Ghost, a comedy directed by Satish Kaushik.
Interestingly, Yashpal would also be seen in two Pollywood films – Jatt James Bond and Mukhtiar Chadha. With a schedule that is full in the coming year, the actor says he has some dream roles in mind. “Such as the one Naseeruddin Shah played in A Wednesday and the role played by Pankaj Kapoor in Maqbool. I believe that a good role is one that transforms an actor into a character completely,” he signs off.