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Home / Bollywood / Manu Rishi Chadha: I knew no one would just pick me and say ‘I will launch you’ in the industry

Manu Rishi Chadha: I knew no one would just pick me and say ‘I will launch you’ in the industry

Actor Manu Rishi Chadha says that there are opportunities for every kind of actor today — ‘jo actors hain unke liye bhi, aur jo kamzor hain, ya jinhe galat fahmi hai, unke liye bhi’.

bollywood Updated: Aug 07, 2020 19:21 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Actor Manu Rishi Chadha has been a part of films such as Angrezi Medium and Phas Gaye Re Obama.
Actor Manu Rishi Chadha has been a part of films such as Angrezi Medium and Phas Gaye Re Obama.

It’s a misconception that every Bollywood aspirant who comes in, expects to do only lead roles. At least Manu Rishi Chadha didn’t believe in the same. At 29, he made up his mind to act in films, and was aware that making a mark won’t be easy, especially without any connections.

Confessing he anyway didn’t aim for lead roles, he says, “When I went to Mumbai, in my head I was a 38-year-old. Today, I feel I’m 60. I always try to think above my age, get a handle on my life and maturity. My aim was just to do good work. Mujhe pata tha koi mujhe uthakar nahi kahega ‘Main aapko launch karta hoon’. I did theatre, and even that was a difficult learning process. I got to know what backstage is all about. I would be in the double cast, be a proxy for other actors, and that’s when I got know that this isn’t easy. I too must have thought at 20, ‘I want to be like Kumar Gaurav’ or like stars of that time, but when you actually do it, you learn to balance your expectations.” 

Chadha started his film career with Saathiya (2002), and went on to do critical roles in films such as Phas Gaye Re Obama (2010) and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008), for which he also wrote the dialogues and won several awards.

He says the scenario today is such — with so much work available — that even people who can’t act well get chances.

“There are better opportunities now, jo actors hain unke liye bhi, aur jo kamzor hain, ya jinhe galat fahmi hai, unke liye bhi (laughs). Everything has a structure. You get work through casting directors, they understand how to take auditions. Because of smartphones, the generation is also very smart. We, on the other hand, had to wait,” adds the 49-year-old.

Chadha is astonished that young actors today find the time to do things other than acting. He shares being scared initially to tell people his flair for writing.

“There’s a difference between theatre, and cinema ki waiting wali acting. The generation is so smart, and can do 10 other things at the same time (like singing, etc). I had one talent — writing — and I kept that hidden. I had to take it out for my survival,” he signs off.

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