Ishteyak Khan: ‘Character actors like us prepare a lot so our small parts stand out in a film’
Actor Ishetyak Khan, who has previously impressed fans and critics as Hiraman (Anarkali of Aarah) and Rajesh Autowala (Tamasha), was recently seen in Anurag Basu’s Ludo as a cop who plays an important role in the narrative.
Calling himself a character actor, Ishteyak said in an interview with Hindustan Times, “Character actors like us make space for ourselves really slowly. We rarely get such great roles and projects. We need to make space for ourselves. We prepare so much to ensure even the smallest of parts stand out in the entire narrative of a film. Us film ka hissa humare naam se bhi jana jaaye (So that at least a part of the film should also be recognised by our work).”
“A lot is happening around my character and he is frustrated that little can be done about those events. I think this(Ludo) was a first time I played such a character and to work in a multi-starrer film, by a filmmaker like Anurag ji, is a lifetime opportunity for an actor like me. This is the first time I worked with him and much like any other artist in the country, I always wanted to work with him,” Ishteyak said about his recent film.
Asked about his experience of working with a filmmaker like Anurag, Ishteyak said, “You always want to work with artists who have contributed to the film industry. I am lucky that Anurag ji called me and offered this part. On the sets, I found him in sync with the film’s mood. Ludo is a light film and deals with problems in a light way as well. That is how I saw Anurag on the sets. Maybe he is like that in real life or, maybe he decided to be like that for the film so that the artists can easily slip into the mood. That is what I loved about him - the way he was with us on sets.”
The Bharat actor also opened up about the time when he felt Imtiaz Ali had him tied in definitions. About working in Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone’s Tamasha, Ishteyak said, “Imtiaz was a huge name when I worked with him on Tamasha. He had a very clear, precise view of how he wanted his characters to look and act. He even remembered each of our pauses. I felt like I was tied down by these - I prefer improvising and was not too happy initially. However, I later realised Imtiaz had a great vision and that is when I completely surrendered.” Ishteyak essayed a small but pivotal role of an auto driver in the film.
Talking of Avinash Das, who directed him in Swara Bhaskar’s Anarkali of Aarah, Ishteyak added, “Tamasha and Anarkali of Aarah are the greatest and path-defining films for my career. Avinash made me realise my own potential. He is not one to give orders but would make friends with everyone around.” Ishteyak’s character Hiraman was loosely based on Raj Kapoor’s character from Teesri Kasam.
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