While most celebrities would agree that television remarkably increases the visibility of a star, Bollywood actor Vinay Pathak refuses to give credit to the small screen or theatre for his soaring popularity.
"My growing popularity has nothing to do with theatre or the shows I am hosting on television," Vinay told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
"They are altogether different jobs. I have to be myself when I am hosting a show. I mean the way you see me on the small screen, I am the same even when the camera is not rolling, while in films I have to forget myself and get into the skin of the character," he explained.
The actor has hosted the celebrity chat show Ranvir, Vinay Aur Kaun? on Star TV and the Nokia Football Crazy on ESPN-STAR.<b1>
As for the kind of roles he is looking for in Bollywood, the versatile actor said: "As an actor it would be unfair to the profession if I say I want to do certain types of films. The choice is story specific.
"It is like life. I can't predict what is going to come my way. Stories happen every day and who knows something might excite me to the extent of taking it up."
The actor started his stint in Bollywood with Fire and has been largely associated with low budget and experimental projects like Khosla Ka Ghosla and Bheja Fry.
But he disagrees that experimental films are a new phenomenon in Indian cinema.
"After Bheja Fry did well everyone wanted to cash in on the trend. But this is not a new thing in our industry. Experimentation has always happened. It is just that multiplexes have opened a new window for them."
With his performances in films like Water, Mixed Doubles, Johnny Gaddar and Khoya Khoya Chand, Vinay has succeeded in carving a niche for himself.
However, he points out that a film becomes remarkable only when the actors are true to the plot. "The beauty of the film is enhanced when the actor neither performs just for the heck of it nor for himself instead in the true context of storytelling."
Speaking about his journey so far, he said: "I am having fun and enjoying my work thoroughly. With an array of roles to choose from, I feel privileged. What could be more satisfying and gratifying for any actor than doing his kind of work?"
Vinay is upbeat about the future of the Hindi film industry.
"The industry is on the rise. It has lots to offer to new and old actors, and technicians...in fact all. It gives huge employment and is increasingly contributing to the Indian economy."
His forthcoming projects include Mithya, Via Darjeeling, Oh! My God, Straight and a yet-to-be named project to be produced by Rajat Kapoor.