interview Tom Alter on the several roles he has played on stage
Aman of many shades, the blue-eyed thespian walked through a packed hall, rising with poise to the stage in front. Meet Tom Alter, who plays God in the play When God said Cheers .
“I’ve been doing theatre since 1979, but right now I’m doing about 20-odd plays which I keep doing around the country and outside too,” says the 62-year-old actor, dressed in a casual brown jacket and a muffler thrown over carelessly. “Also, I’m directing two plays Trisanga and Yadi — on Gandhiji.”
A native of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Tom is deeply rooted to India and is often referred to as the ‘blue-eyed sahib with impeccable Hindi’. “India is my home. I was never a stereotypical ‘white-man’ in real life. Whatever you are in real life eventually gets portrayed in your art. And when people realised that was not what I was, I got good roles to play both in cinema and theatre,” he says. He has an affinity for Urdu poetry as well which is evident in his well-received plays — Maulana Azad and Mirza Ghalib .
Talking about Cheekha , his latest production where he plays the role of a monk, Tom says the film was one of the finest in his career. Having been awarded the Padma Shri about half-a decade ago, the veteran actor, in the most unpretentious way; continues to investigate various aspects of life through history, culture and socio-economic issues in his plays.
PRAMEET NARULA CHOUDHARY