Movies

Saurabh Shukla: Keeping it real

Doing justice to meaty parts: Saurabh Shukla   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

How did you prepare for your role in “Family of Thakurganj”?

The film explores peculiarities of the Hindi heartland, and I was expected to mould mannerisms and dialect into one seamless performance. I knew the setting very well as I was born in Gorakhpur. To bring out the flavour of the backdrop is part an actor’s work. Observation and research play a big part in it and that improves with experience.

You are a writer as well. Has characterisation improved in film scripts in last few years?

The sudden attention towards content compelled the makers to go beyond the utilitarian value of the character in the story. They are exploring personalities in detail. Having said that, it is a choice between the popular and the real. There is nothing wrong in what used to be the earlier way of delivering dialogues but my choice is realism. I like it that way. I am in love with the life of an ordinary man because I think there is a lot more hidden in his life than what is already portrayed in our films. For an actor, being relatable is very important and that has been my approach. I find nuances in characters I essay. Whatever the role may be, it should be multidimensional.

Does the present chaos in real life require more escapist fiction to strike a balance?

There is a saying that reality is more fictitious than fiction. Reality is bizarre and that gives us enough ground to write fiction. One can argue that fiction was always an escape from ugliness of reality. But I think it is debatable.

Your are equally active in theatre...

Acting is acting and there is no difference for an actor. Your job as an actor is not to work according to the medium but to bring out the truth of the text and the character with your performance. My advice is forget about the medium, it will take care of itself.

Tell us about your formative years and how do you look back at your journey?

When I used to study in Khalsa College, I read Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” which was in my English literature course. It blew away my mind. Later Then I read Mohan Rakesh. His “Aadhe Adhure” left a deep impression on me.

I have no time to see myself. I just keep working. It is up to others to decide where I am. I never thought that I have reached somewhere or have made it big in my life or not. Raste guzarte rahenge, makaam aate rahenge (The journey will go on, milestones will keep coming).

A.K.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 4:16:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/saurabh-shukla-keeping-it-real/article28708523.ece

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