I feel like an attention-seeking child: Paresh Rawal
Be it Baburao from Hera Pheri (2000), Teja from Andaz Apna Apna (1994), or Manilal from Awara Paagal Deewana (2002), Paresh Rawal’s contribution to the Hindi film industry has been immense. Although his comical roles are majorly popular, his intense performances in films such as Sir (1993), Sardar (1994), and Tamanna (1999) cannot be ignored. The actor is also a popular face in the Gujarati and Hindi comedy scene and has been ruling the hearts be it on big screen or on stage nevertheless.
The actor is also known for his play Kishan vs Kanhaiya which he has staged it in the Capital in 2018. Enlightening us about the initial days of the play, Rawal says, “We started this play some time in 2010. At that time, only one Gujarati play was running. So we were kind of adapting it into Hindi and we wanted it to be a bit more hard-hitting, bitter and truthful than the real one. And during the rehearsals, we used to improvise a lot. This is the biggest advantage of doing plays. In plays, you keep on improvising, adding, deleting etc. All this helps to keep the play alive and fresh. We can tweak the story or the performance as per relevance. We complete more than nine years now as we did the first show on August 18, 2010.”
The play was a hit on stage, and was made into the movie - Oh My God. The film, too, turned out to be a hit. Rawal says that once the film released the popularity of the play soared. “We’ve had more shows after the film was released. We have done some 300 or more shows post the film’s release. People from Radha maa’s ashram had seen the movie. Akshay’s (Kumar, actor) mom is very close to the Radha Soami Satsang. The baba had come and seen the show. After the film got released, I got a call from the ashram asking me to do a show. I said that the film has been released now, he can watch it anytime. But he said that he would still prefer watching the play because it is live. There are many things that we couldn’t put it in the film. So, that speaks a lot.”
Every theatre actor says that the best part about being on stage is the live audience. For Rawal, the stage is like a training ground. “On stage, I can be myself. I get the freedom to do what I love the most. Stage gives instant approvals or rejections. There’s a connection formed with the audience. As we all know, theatre is an actor’s medium, I can play a lot with acting. It permits you to do a variety of different subjects. It keeps you ready for any eventuality of a terrific role. So, you are prepared as an actor,” he adds.
Remembering his initial days, Rawal says that he always loved it when the crowd looked at him. “Theatre and the stage mesmerises me, and it’s not just for one particular play. I feel like this child who is an attention seeker. I love it when everybody is looking at me. I get to play different characters with have different lives, without actually facing the real-life consequences. That’s the biggest joy about being an actor,” he says.
The former Member of Parliament, calls Mumbai the theatre capital of India. He says, “Mumbai is arguably the capital of theatre. But we still need a lot of space for theatres where one could watch a lot of plays. Especially, the one where young generation could come and display their talent. The government must definitely look into it.”
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