Working with Prakash Jha helped me overcome depression: Prashantt Guptha
Despite being part of lauded projects like Neerja (2016) and The Tashkent Files (2019), and having been a part of Bollywood for over 15 years, actor Prashantt Guptha rues the fact that he hasn’t been on most filmmakers’ mind.
Ask him if people from the industry are supportive towards ‘outsiders’, and the actor says, “Supportive? Rarely. But people here are certainly sympathetic, at times, judgmental or straight up condescending. I’ve heard a big producer tell an outsider, ‘Why are you even trying, and wasting your father’s hard-earned money?’ Sure I did get some great opportunities, few and far in between, but that doesn’t change the overall scenario that the industry thrives on nepotism and favoritism,” explains Guptha, who ventured into the OTT space with Special Ops and is now looking forward to his next show, Aashram Chapter 3.
He holds the upcoming project close to his heart and credits director Prakash Jha for it. “Working with him was an honour. The experience helped me overcome anxiety and depression I was facing for a long time,” says Guptha, who doesn’t find any difference between working in films and web shows. Asked why? And he explains, “Acting is acting. In fact, these days even films release on OTT platforms. So, there’s no difference at all.”
While many artistes feel upset about staying at home in the last two years of the pandemic, Guptha has a different story to tell. “The first three months were the best. For the first time in all my years in Mumbai, I didn’t feel like, ‘Yaar, main ghar mein kyun baitha hoon? I should be shooting.’ In fact, I would tell myself, ‘Abhi toh Shah Rukh (Khan; actor) aur Akshay (Kumar; actor) bhi ghar baithe hain’,” the actor laughs, adding that he utilised the time “to grow as a poet, do a short film and start writing a novel”.