Chandigarh theatre actor Vansh Bhardwaj has won critical acclaim in Toronto for his portrayal of a violence-prone young man in Deepa Mehta's Indo-Canadian film Heaven on Earth.
His role of character Rocky Dhillon in the film who assaults his wife at the slightest provocation won acclaims in the ongoing 33rd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
"Handling the role was easy. It was the weather that was the difficult part. It was my first time in Canada and the cold just got to me," says the actor who had also played the role of the insensitive husband in a production of Girish Karnads Nagamandala.
The play inspired a basic premise of Mehta's film the magical metaphor of a mythic cobra that can assume any form it wants.
"Every human being has two sides good and bad," says Vansh. "I tapped into my bad side and came up with this performance." He does not, however, feel that he had to make any major adjustments in order to play a role in a new medium.
"I know there are obvious technical differences between the two media, but I dont think there is too much difference between theatre and cinema from the standpoint of an actor. My job is to simply play a character whether I am on stage or on the screen."
Bhardwaj, who owns a Punjabi theatre group called 'The Company' and would love to play more characters with depth, will also be seen in 'Stella', a Deepa Mehta production directed by her photographer-brother Dilip Mehta.
"This role is poles apart from the grey character I've played in Heaven on Earth. I am a light-hearted, romantic Young man, a sort of a present-day Romeo," he says.