Saurabh Shukla: I don’t think much about awards, my primary work is art and not to earn trophies

Character actor Saurabh Shukla finds it pretty strange that despite everyone calling him a “brilliant actor”, he has never been qualified to get an award in the Best Actor category.

bollywood Updated: Jul 24, 2018 13:36 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Saurabh Shukla,Jolly LLB,PK
Actor Saurabh Shukla has mostly done supporting roles in films such as PK, Satya, Jolly LLB among others.

Among the finest character actors in the film industry today, actor Saurabh Shukla has always won praise for his performances. However, Shukla finds it quite strange that despite everyone calling him a “brilliant actor”, he has never been qualified to get an award in the Best Actor category.

Shukla, who began his film journey with Bandit Queen (1994), was honoured with a National Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Jolly LLB (2013). Asked if the recognition was much delayed in his career, he says, “It has always been said that I’m a good actor, but in such a long career, I have surprisingly never got [many] awards as an actor. So now, I just believe that I’ve done my bit fairly well. I don’t think much about awards. It’s not that they are not important for me but my primary work is [creating] art and not to earn trophies,” says the actor.

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However, he is quick to add, “As for the National Award, it was a great feeling. I almost had no idea that my name had been nominated. That gave me immense satisfaction and happiness that my work spoke on my behalf and there can’t be a bigger prize than that.”

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With films such as Satya, Barfi, PK, Raid, Daas Dev among others, Shukla has proved his acting prowess time and again. Unlike many in the business, the actor says that he doesn’t believe in overselling himself and prefers his work to do the talking. “I know people say that if you occupy the minds of people, you are remembered more. If you are all over the newspapers, irrespective of whether you’re doing something or not... That’s the strategy, which I particularly haven’t followed. Not that I stay away from giving interviews, but I have not really gone out to say that let’s meet and I want to talk,” says the actor.

Shukla further admits that despite having been around for almost two and a half decades, people still used to refer to him by the character he has portrayed onscreen, though that’s changing now. “A lot of times, people meet me and they recognize my name but until two years back, I would hear things like ‘you are a great actor but I don’t know your name’. So, it happens and it’s not their fault because I am not constantly locking in their head and constantly reminding them that I am the same guy they saw in a film or met last time.”

Interact with Monika Rawal Kukreja at Twitter/@monikarawal

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 13:36 IST