The laws of acting
Cyrus Dastur has his finger in many pies - theatre, films, the law and investment banking
Photo: D. Gopala Krishnan
CYRUS DASTUR believes "theatre runs on passion. There is not as much money in theatre as there is in films or television. One cannot make a living out of theatre." For the 28-year-old investment consultant (now you know where the bread, butter, jam and cheese comes from!) theatre is a joy. "I love every aspect of theatre," he says with a merry twinkle in his eyes. "What I love most is acting - because there is less responsibility there!"
In town with his directorial debut, Now She Says She is God, Cyrus says, "The play runs through a gamut of emotions. It demystifies God. It is philosophical without being preachy." In English and Hindi, the play features "Tom Alter as God in the first half and as a beautiful young lady in the second half. Our perception of God has always been this mystical heavenly being who passes judgement from high up there. What the play says is God could be anywhere in any form - he could be the taxi driver or Aishwarya Rai!"
Compare and contrast
"I know there are going to be comparisons with Bruce Almighty, Oh God and It's a Wonderful Life. The play was actually inspired by a very short story. My friend Anurag (Kashyap - the same who wrote the power-packed screenplays of Satya, Kaun? and recently Yuva) wrote a 45-minute one-act play, When God Said Cheers. Anurag played God. The play did well but then Anurag got busy with his film, Black Friday. The play was close to my heart, so we extended it to a second act. Anurag suggested that Tom Alter to play God and was kind enough to talk to Tom."
"Directing a senior actor like Tom was a pleasure and the other thing was the play was already set and was easy to direct." Cyrus who lives for the "energy of theatre," wrote his play, "The Home Coming" when he was twenty, is a bit of culture vulture being involved with play readings - "I would call it drama by voice," and the Mocha film club.
"It is a short film club and we meet on the first Sunday of every month and screen short films from India and abroad. We invite the directors and have interactive sessions. Incidentally, all Hyderabadis interested in screening their short films could mail Cyrus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cyrus' short film Naseeb, is much acclaimed and selected for the upcoming Digital Film Festival in Delhi.
Cyrus would not like to talk about the future, as he would "rather concentrate on what I have in hand I would rather wait for things to happen instead of talking about it." At the rate at which this commerce graduate with a degree in law (he admits to it guiltily) is going, things are bound to happen whether he talks about it or not!
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