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I am an ex-wannabe JNU guy, says actor Vinay Pathak

Set to perform on the Delhi stage for the play  What’s Done Is Done, actor Vinay Pathak talks about his secret fantasy to get into Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The actor also talks about parallel and commercial cinema, and his love for the Capital.

art and culture Updated: Nov 02, 2016 07:54 IST
Nikita Saxena
Nikita Saxena
Hindustan Times
Vinay Pathak,Rajat kapoor,What's Done is Done
Actor Vinay Pathak is all set to perform on the Delhi stage soon.

From biopics like Gour Hari Dastaan to comedy films such as Bheja Fry, actor Vinay Pathak tickles the funny bone just as much as he strikes a chord with the audience’s heart with his emotional roles. The actor who will be in the Capital soon with the troupe of actor Rajat Kapoor directorial What’s Done is Done, says he fantasised to be a student at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He also says he isn’t fit for the 100-crore films, as well as his love for the Capital. Excerpts:

On his secret fantasy to get into JNU

The actor, who did his undergraduate from Allahabad University, shares that getting admission in JNU was his secret fantasy. “I am an ex-wannabe JNU guy. After I was done with my undergraduate in Allahabad, I wanted to go to JNU and do the JNU thing. But I went to New York instead to pursue MBA which I quit after a year and joined drama school,” says the Khosla Ka Ghosla actor.

Ask him what about the varsity was so fascinating, and he adds, “I had visited to JNU just before going to the US and when I saw their open theatre space, I thought to myself how wonderful it would be to perform there. I even thought that maybe I will become a teacher and take my classes in the open air space.”

On parallel and commercial cinema, and 100 crore films

Talking about commercial cinema, Pathak says that he does not get attracted to it. “I am the most inadequate person to answer a question around the 100-crore film race because I don’t get attracted to commercial cinema. I am an actor and I do get excited about all kind of roles but maybe I am not equipped to be a part of commercial cinema, or vice versa,” he adds. He also believes that parallel cinema has alienated the masses. “In the 80s, it was either art cinema or commercial cinema. It was quite demented in a way, I think the art movement became very alienated and snobbish in itself, and it did not give space to breathe. The masses were deliberately alienated. This has made commercial cinema stronger. Why shouldn’t people like Dabangg? If they like it, they like it.”

On his equation with the Capital

Pathak, who often performs on the Delhi stage, says the experience is always wonderful. “I have been coming to Delhi for 20 years, and the city has a very strong theatre culture for sure. It is very theatre friendly – there are a lot of young theatre groups who manage to put up plays which is very heartening to see.”

Ask him what he loves and hates about the city, and the actor quickly responds with “pollution”. “And a lot has been said about this – there is some very misogynist about the culture and I find it very tragic. My friends who moved to Bombay say they can’t move back to the Capital anymore,” he adds.

The Bheja fry fame actor, who considers himself a true small town boy, says that the Capital will always hold a special place in his heart. “It is the first big city I saw in my life and I love everything about it. Dilli ki sardiyaan meri favourite hain – they are to die for! It’s such a beautiful city!”

The love for the city continues to pour as the actor adds, “I also always found it culturally very rich. We were in Delhi for almost a month for a movie shoot and we would always be on the lookout for new food joints. Andhra Bhavan hum lunch karne jaate the, Dariyaganj hum dinner karne jaate the. My fascination for the city hasn’t diminished at all.”

Catch It Live:

What: What’s Done Is Done

Where: Sri Sathya Sai Auditorium

When: November 6

Timings: 5pm and 7.30pm

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line

First Published: Nov 02, 2016 07:54 IST