Actor Sanjay Mishra talks to Governance Now about his journey from working in TV commercials to Bollywood
Geetanjali Minhas | March 8, 2019 | Mumbai
Sanjay Mishra, an alumnus of the National School of Drama, worked in TV commercials and serials before choosing to exclusively work in films. He has worked in Hindi, Telugu, Bhojpuri and Punjabi films. People love him for his comedy; and connoisseurs appreciate his versatility and finesse. Mishra received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role in Ankhon Dekhi and the Best Actor Award at the Indian Film Festival Los Angeles for his role in the film Masaan, among other honours.
If not an actor, you would be: A musician. Definitely something related to the entertainment industry, artistic and creative. When I came to Mumbai, I wanted to survive in this industry not as an actor but as working on anything creative.
Acting to you means: Acting is my life and my lifestyle. I’m passionate about acting. This is what I’m meant for.
Your most memorable role so far: My role as Hedu in Kadvi Hava. The message the film conveyed through that character left people thinking.
How has your long struggle to get work shaped you? It is an ongoing and continuous process and shaping me every day.
You have been called an underrated actor. What are your views about the industry typecasting actors? My only answer to that question is: Bas itna hi.
How has the film and television industry changed over the years: Digitisation is changing cinema in every aspect. With the camera getting digitised, the entire process of film- making is changing. There is a technical change. Content-wise, content is the king.
How necessary is prior training in the craft of cinema? It is all about how much time you give to think about the script, character, music, and observe people. More than training, it is important to analyse things.
How does the social and political environment impact your creative expression? Not only my own creative expression but it affects the industry as whole too. It affects each and every one’s life in all aspects.
What are the governance issues that matter to you the most? Since the time I was born, I see things are the same. There is no change. Bas baatein ho rahin hain.
What can the government do to promote parallel cinema and low-budget films? We need action. If the government wants it can do many things. Like in Maharashtra, Marathi films get huge respect even though they are of small budget. This is a good thing.
Your favourite pastime: Walking, playing the sitar and cooking.
– As told to Geetanjali Minhas
(This interview appears in the March 15, 2019 edition)
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