Dino Morea on taking up ‘small jobs’ to stay afloat: ‘Cut a ribbon somewhere, judged some pageant in Darjeeling’
Actor Dino Morea, who is fresh off the success of the Disney+ Hotstar series The Empire, opened up about taking a break from acting after Pyaar Impossible in 2010. In an interview with Hindustan Times, he talked about why he turned down every offer that came his way, going through ‘a lot of insecurities’ and taking up ‘small jobs’ to keep himself going.
Post Pyaar Impossible, Dino’s next full-fledged role came seven years later, in the Malayalam film Solo. Since last year, he has been seen in a number of digital projects, including Mentalhood, Hostages and Tandav. He was recently seen as the antagonist in The Empire and has been receiving praise for his performance.
Explaining his absence from films, Dino said that the offers he was getting were ‘really bad’. “If I did those films or roles, I knew that I would be digging my grave further. Ultimately, the industry is watching those films and they are going to say, ‘What rubbish is he doing!’ The audience is going to watch those films and they are going to say, ‘Yeh kya kar raha hai (what is he doing), flop actor!’,” he said.
Although Dino took a ‘conscious decision to say no to anything that was mediocre’, it did not come without its share of insecurities. “It was a really tough time because you are getting further away from the industry. People are saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and you, as an actor, are thinking, ‘Will I even get an offer again?’ A lot of insecurities set in but you just have to be positive, you have to work on yourself and be ready that in the eventuality that an offer comes your way, you can just smash it and do really well,” he said.
There were times when Dino was tempted to take up an offer just for the money. “You got to run a house, pay your bills, you got to make money to survive. And it is not easy to survive. I don’t have a salaried job,” he said. But he stayed firm in not taking up work only because of financial reasons. “Those were hard decisions but I knew that if I did this, I am only sinking further. It’s like a stock market, your stocks are just getting worse and then no one is going to invest in those stocks if you keep making the quality of your stock bad.”
Dino met with several filmmakers and producers during this time but it did not translate into exciting offers. “I went and knocked on doors and I said, ‘Hey, I want to work, I am still here, I exist’, but unfortunately, nothing great came my way,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dino took up ‘small jobs’ to stay afloat. “When I say small jobs, you do these small appearances, go here and visit there, and you get paid small amounts of money just to be present because you are who you are,” he said.
“My small jobs were basically...cut a ribbon somewhere or fly to be a judge in some pageant in Darjeeling. It was those small kinds of jobs which sort of kept me going and I am thankful for people to even notice me,” he added.
Dino also invested his money in different businesses. “I lost my money there also and that was the scary part because I thought the businesses would take off… There were some really scary moments. What I earned in my previous years as an actor, I knew I had to invest smart to stay afloat. I was investing in a couple of businesses, some of them did decently well, some of them didn’t,” he said.
Right now, Dino is taking his time to choose his next project. “I have not figured it out yet but whatever I do next, obviously, I want to try and make it the best possible because I have waited nine years for an opportunity like this, so I am in no hurry to go out and prove myself again in the acting space. I just want to do good work,” he said.
“As an actor, I am looking at various things at the moment, nothing is confirmed. And as a producer, I want to back good content. I had Helmet release last Friday and now, we have got a few more scripts and a few more shows, which I am producing. They say, ‘when it rains, it pours’. It’s pouring and I am happy,” he signed off.