Bittu Joshi became a much-hated name after the release of Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che, thanks to theatre person Manav Kaul, who played the mama’s character. Kaul, who also directed a film recently, talks about how he simply got lucky to have landed a role in the film. Excerpt:
You have been around for a long time but acted in very few films. Why?
I cherish acting. I love it and that’s why I don’t do it too much. It takes so much of my energy. I want to do less work but do it very well. I don’t like money. I don’t want to own a car or a house. Whatever I earn, I put it into my experimental theatre or films. People are telling me to grab things and make hay while the sun shines. But I would rather live. I know I’m a good actor. I don’t want to do a lead role in a s****y film. And I don’t want to do a film I will regret. Now I’m doing two more films -- one with Ishaan Trivedi and another with Soumitra Ranade. Soumitra’s script is one of the best scripts I’ve read so far.
Do you think this is an exciting time for actors like you in Bollywood?
It’s a beautiful time for actors. We have wasted so many good actors like Annu Kapoor and Pankaj Kapur. We have turned them into mimicry artistes. But now it’s great that people are thinking of casting a Nawazuddin Siddiqui opposite a Bipasha Basu.
Your performance in Kai Po Che was much appreciated?
It was such a lovely script and Abhishek was a very sensible director. He was very precise about what he wanted. I had fun performing this role. There was no melodrama. Every emotion was in my eyes. As an actor, you’re always in search of a role that satisfies you and a director with good sensibility. I’m lucky I got everything.
You recently directed a film titled Hansa. How was the response?
Hansa released recently and we go some amazing reviews. Every newspaper wrote about it and some even gave it four stars. I recently made another film called Tathagat, which is in the editing phase. It’s about a monk who after spending many years in the forest, realises that he was fooling himself and he wants to go back. But the thing is, you can’t go back to what you’ve left behind. It’s poetry in cinema.