I am choosy about roles as I want to survive for another 25 years in the industry: Neeraj Kabi
He may have started his career very late in the film industry but Neeraj Kabi, 48, is in no rush. The actor says he gets offered a lot of roles but most of those are clichéd and uninteresting. He feels at this stage of his career if he starts taking up such roles, he will surely be written off in no time.
“These are not creative decisions, these are business decisions. I don’t do a role because it is creatively satisfying. I take up a film because I want to stay in the industry for the next 20-25 years of my life. If I have to stay here for many more years and do many films, then I have to be selective of what I am doing. It is mainly because I entered late,” says Neeraj, who has been a theatre artist for long.
Neeraj, who has starred in films such as Ship of Theseus (2012), Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015), Talvar (2015), Hichki (2018), among others, says that had he began his acting career in his 20s, he would not have been so picky.
“Once you reach a particular age the audience looks at you in a certain way and expects more from you. I am choosing these roles as I want to survive. There are many offers that came right after Ship of Theseus but they were all very clichéd films. I don’t want to lose my dignity by doing anything that comes my way,” he adds.
Also, the kind of roles that he wants to do rarely come, but Neeraj has a solution for that as well. He feels that if actors keeping pushing themselves and not take every role that comes their way blindly, then there is a great possibility of filmmakers taking a note of it. “They (directors) typecast you all the time. It is crucial that you have to keep qualifying yourself as an actor with each film and keep pushing the bar. People will see that you won’t do certain roles and then they don’t typecast,” he says.
Citing the examples of actors Irrfan, Manoj Bajpayee, Kay Kay Menon, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rajkummar Rao, Neeraj says that they are the “greats of the generation and are doing their job very well”.