Seeking asylum in films
Anoop Soni... Now on to films. Photo: K. Gajendran.
THOUGH HIS expressive eyes say it all - finally there is space for his breed of actors in `commercial' Bollywood - still Anoop Soni gives words to his contentment. "At last roles are being written for us. I think this change is representative of the society. Producers are trying different things and so is the audience. The growing multiplex culture has allowed the producer the flexibility to release his film in two shows. Maqbool may appear a flop in an 800-seat cinema but in a 200-seat multiplex it looks sustaining," points out this NSD product playing the main villain in Sheen.
"Things have improved largely because my seniors from NSD are quite different from theirs. People like Tigmanshu Dhulia are mixing genres. Soch mein farq aya hai. They are mixing Govind Nilhani with Manmohan Desai with success. There are no more scenes where the actor is brooding for five minutes. And actors are not carrying the baggage of theatre to films. Today, when a filmmaker hears that this fellow is from the school of Irrfan Khan and Rajpal Yadav, he takes you seriously."
A common face on small screen, remembered for his characters in Sea Hawks and Saya, Anoop calls his shift as a conscious effort. "Life was safe but it was getting repetitive. So in 2001, I said no to serials. However, I had to start from scratch. For film industry, a film background and a two-month course in acting is enough. They do not give weight to theatre background. But once you get a break then it definitely helps in improvisation."
After doing small roles in films like Godmother, Anoop got a major break in Kagaar. "I received appreciation but the film didn't do well. I still feel bad about it. Now after Sheen, I dread I will be offered all villainous roles." And he is right. His next effort is a dark character without any basis in Gurdas Mann's Political Asylum, which is being made in English and Punjabi. Monotony, yet again!
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