Friday, August 24, 2007
His name is new to Bollywood, but nevertheless, not obscure at all. Shreyas Talpade made audience, colleagues and critics acknowledge his talent with his power-packed performance in debut movie Iqbal. His second movie, Dor saw him in a different avatar. But just when the industry had almost tagged him as a serious actor, he rubbished the notion with his vivacious character in Apna Sapna Money Money.
From a Marathi theatre background, Shreyas has always rooted for the growth of Marathi cinema. So when film-maker Subhash Ghai offered him a chance to produce a Marathi film, the actor gave in, brushing aside his initial hesitation. "I always wanted to help Marathi films in whichever way I could," Shreyas said during the press meet of his first Marathi film as a producer, Kaande Pohe, based on social issues.
The title of the film comes from a popular Marathi breakfast dish of the same name. Traditionally, as part of an arranged marriage when a boy visits the girl's house to meet her for the first time, he is served Kaande Pohe. It is a symbolic assurance that the girl knows cooking.
Usually, actors make a foray into production only when their acting careers are on a high or are waning. Shreyas thinks differently. "I like experimenting and I always wanted to try my hand at different projects. I had plans of getting into production 10 years from now. But when Mr. Ghai approached me I was obliged." The young actor took the veteran's advice of grabbing the opportunity when it knocks at the door.
Production, however, is not a staple in Shreyas's career as yet, and it's still acting which gets top priority. "At present, my focus is completely on acting and not producing," he said. His current acting assignments are Bombay to Bangkok, Om Shanti Om, Dil Dosti, Aggar and a few others.
"I truly enjoyed working with Farah Khan and Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om. It is an unforgettable experience. Working with Shyam Benegalji was again an honour. I will be seen in a comic role in his movie."
In Dil Dosti, the actor plays the role of a small-town Bihari Brahmin who comes to Delhi University for studies and ends up in student politics. The character is one of the five leads, all from different backgrounds, in the story.
Shreyas, however, is concerned about his film Hangman which was acclaimed in film festivals, but has not been released in theaters. "I don't know the reason behind it. It is a fabulous movie depicting an ancient custom, with some powerful performances by Gulshan Grower and Om Puriji. It is really sad that it's still not released."
At the end of the day, diverse work is what Shreyas is looking for. "I need to experiment or else it will get boring for me. I just need to focus on acting whatever role it is. And yes, I need to keep my feet grounded as well (laughs)."
So don't be surprised when you catch this guy doing a peppy dance number in Anant Mahadevan's Aggar. Here's one unassuming actor with many roles up his sleeves.