Permanent star

HE HAS been a near permanent feature in films made by the Bhatt camp. His roles may have seen short, but actor Avtar Gill says he can't say no to them, no matter whatever be the length of the role. "I have done 23 feature films with them so far. From `Ashique', `Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin' to `Zakhm', it has been a long list. I usually don't really ask them about the length or anything. It is a relation based on trust now," says Gill.

But while on length, the actor seems to have a grouse that is probably shared by all character actors in the industry. That of never knowing how long their role is going to be. "Our roles often change on the editing table. Not that one blames the director for it. Films are often made an hour longer than the required length. And since they cannot cut the hero's role, it is often our scenes, and sometime very good ones, that are often edited out. Most often ," he rues.

Having played everything from a comedian to villain, the actor who started his career in 1978 with `Noorie' and made his presence felt on the small screen with Kundan Shah's Nukkad' is now busy maintaining a balance. "I will do projects that pay me well," he says with a snigger, before quickly adding that the role obviously does matter.

"Television is definitely better than cinema because of the choice factor. In cinema there is not much to choose, but as far as television is concerned we get to do good roles, and get noticed for our work," believes Gill. For someone who literally got slotted as the corrupt police officer or politician, it was not easy to break away from the routine. But Gill says television has given him the liberty to choose the kind of roles that he wants to do.

His latest is the serial `Ehsaas', which has him playing a business tycoon. A daily soap the serial has huge star cast. But the actor is clearly not worried. "The best thing about a serial is that it gives everyone the opportunity to perform. You may not have an important part to play everyday, but there is plenty of time and scope."

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