“I go with the flow,” says Raqesh Bapat, as he talks about how he chooses a project. The actor is a former model and runner-up at the 1999 Mr India contest. He also ventured into Bollywood with films such as Tum Bin (2001) and Heroine (2012).
Speaking about his journey, the actor reveals that entering the entertainment industry was unplanned. “I never wanted to get into modelling or acting. It was in my destiny. Initially, I enjoyed doing films, but after a point, I didn’t. The industry demands actors to do their own PR. It’s a big pain and I can’t do it. There are times when I’m creatively satisfied. But sometimes, I feel it’s (entertainment) the wrong profession for me,” he says.
What’s in a name?
In 2010, Raqesh changed his surname from Vashisth to Bapat. But has it contributed to his professional growth? “It didn’t help my career,” he says, adding, “I’m not superstitious at all. I’m an artiste and I like to be creative. I got bored with my surname after a point, so I changed it. I’m a little weird that way.”
Comedy of errors
Raqesh recently replaced Karan V Grover in an ongoing comedy show. Talking about the dominance of the slapstick genre of comedy today, Raqesh says, “The audience needs to become mature to be able to accept intellectual content,” adding, “Sarabhai vs Sarabhai was a much talked about show, but that didn’t reflect in the ratings. Today, there are comedy shows that are massy and rate well. There will always be a clash between commerce and creativity.”
Working with the missus
The 38-year-old actor has earlier worked with his wife, Ridhi Dogra, in the show Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak?. The actor tells us that he would like to work with her again. “We don’t have any qualms about sharing the screen, but [we] don’t get to [do that] because people still have the notion that among married couples, the on-screen chemistry dies.”