How important is for an artist to have a theatre background before debuting in Bollywood or Television?
Well, that is all about destiny and luck. But, for me theatre remains an institution to achieve success. But that really doesn’t mean that someone can’t be successful if he\she is not a theatre artist. Theatre helps in honing your footwork, eye-contact and confidence, which are prerequisite for an actor.
I hail from Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and the population there speaks chaste Hindi – which the entertainment industry really expects from an artist. There is no doubt that regional artist is superb in their own way on stage – but when talking about national level – an artist should be absolutely perfect in Hindi and Urdu languages.
For me, the knowledge of Hindi and Urdu language helped me a lot in acting (Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah) and writing scripts.
Are there any other renowned actors whom you know have performed in Bhagavata Mela?
I have just heard about the great actress Jaya Pradha who has also performed in Bhagavata Mela.
Being a Marathi Brahmin, how challenging was for you to perform dance and convey a message to the audience?
Traditionally, this Thanjavur art is performed by Brahmins, and being a Marathi Brahmin, I was tempted to do this. But nowadays, people from other castes, too, act in such plays. Even my co-stars were not Brahmins – but they accepted the challenge and performed immaculately on the stage.
When did you perform last on stage?
I performed TMKOC play on a stage which was directed by my co-star Dilip Joshi (Jheta Lal). That was the last stage performance of mine. We performed the play in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – in those days when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of the state. Now, due to tight shooting schedules, I’m not able to perform on stage. Frankly speaking, I really want to perform back onstage and will surely do this in future.
Any message to new theatre artist and your fans.
Develop command over different languages; do theatres a lot which is actually an institute to hone your writing, directorial or acting skill. I thank my fans for loving and supporting my character as Krishnan Iyer in TMKOC since almost a decade.