I am primarily a stage actor, says Neil Bhoopalam

The actor talks about the current environment that exists within the world of theatre in India
By Sanskrita Bharadwaj | Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON NOV 14, 2019 04:43 PM IST

Actor Neil Bhoopalam, who is known more popularly for being a theatre actor than a mainstream Bollywood actor has acted in several prominent plays such as Nadir Khan’s A Few Good Men and Hamlet — The Clown Prince by Rajat Kapoor. Neil admits that he is “primarily a stage actor”. “I am comfortable on stage because I have done a lot of theatre. It’s been about fifteen years now,” he says.

Neil, who hasn’t had any formal training in acting, always wanted to be on stage. “I became part of plays immediately after college because I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he says.

However, the actor, who’s acted in films and shows on OTT platforms as well, thinks that even though he feels at home when he’s on stage, his job is that of a performer and he can’t choose a particular format where he enjoys acting the most. “The formats don’t really matter to me, I am going to keep acting,” he adds.

When asked if he has seen the Indian theatre scene evolve over the years, he says, there is a level of caution that seeps in when someone is writing a script for a play. “Now, there is a purdah, earlier there was a lot of freedom, in terms of what you could say. I think it has been this way for a while now. Once you get out of the whole feeling of feeling really good about yourself for being on stage, you will realise all these other things that exist in the world of theatre. Sometimes, you have to think twice about whether a particular dialogue should be there or not. One needs to be slightly mindful. You can’t just go up on the stage thinking you would be able to say exactly what you want to say and perhaps that’s where the challenge lies. One should probably come up with ways to use this shortcoming to their advantage instead,” he explains.

The actor will be next seen performing, Hamlet — The Clown Prince, at St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra, this month. He signs off by saying that he has always had a lot of fun working on Hamlet, “We have taken it all over the world now”.

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