Exclusive: Scam 1992 actor Pratik Gandhi: Anybody searching Harshad Mehta, my name pops up

Updated: 11 November, 2020 15:30 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Pratik Gandhi, who reprised the role of Harshad Mehta in Scam 1992 spoke on the role, and the difference the series success has made in his life

A still from the trailer of Scam 1992- The Harshad Mehta Story, Picture Courtesy: YouTube
A still from the trailer of Scam 1992- The Harshad Mehta Story, Picture Courtesy: YouTube

Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story has been in news ever since its release. The web show traverses highs and lows in the life of entrepreneur Harshad Mehta. The financial thriller is based on Debashis Basu and Sucheta Dalal's book "The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away". Mehta's show has been winning applauds for its storytelling and treatment.

Pratik Gandhi, who reprised the role of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker who took the stock market to dizzying heights and his catastrophic downfall spoke on the role, and the difference the series' success has made in his life. Speaking exclusively to mid-day's Chirantana Bhatt, Pratik said, "Suddenly people across the nation know me. I am on every house's screen. That's the big difference in my life. I have been offered a lot of new projects, giving a lot of interviews."

Check out the full interview here:

The actor, who has been working in Gujarati plays for quite a while remembered how director Hansal Mehta selected him for the role. Mehta also said that the show will be different from the typical stereotypical Gujarati-character. "He told me that he has watched two of my films and watched me performing on stage. He said that it will be interesting to work with you. And he said, this is the character, and I don't want the typical Gujarati-image portrayed in television and films. It’s going to be very subtle, very live."

Gandhi, who is known for films like Luv Ni Love Storys (2020), Dhunki (2019), Love Ni Bhavai (2017), had to shed a lot of sweat to portray the character of Harshad Mehta. Revealing how he prepared for the role, the actor shares, "I try to feel the emotions when you say those lines, create those situations live. Jo dil se nikalta hain woh dil se nikalna chhaiye (Whatever comes from heart, should come out from your heart). If it’s not done, then you are merely and protagonist, not an actor.

He continues, "Any dialogue, any scene, I try to look at the reality. For this also, I tried to learn how share markets operate in the 80-90s without computers, the actual cycle of transactions between banks. So that whenever I say the lines, it should feel to the audience that it is coming from within and not just the lines that I am reading."

Which scene was the most difficult to enchant? "There is this scene in the 10th episode. It’s a confrontation scene, where I clash with Shreya Dhanwanthary and Nikhil Dwivedi. That one was very difficult for me; it took a lot of re-takes".

Also Read: Words For The Win! Dialogue Writer Karan Vyas Talks About Scam 1992

There's one more. "Then, there was this scene that was very difficult to enact. It was the jail scene, where Harshad Mehta is changing clothes in front of everyone. His entire ego is crushed like anything. This is the first time that he fears for his life. Portraying his emotions was very difficult. He was not only naked physically but from within."

Released on October 9, Scam 1992 is currently the highest-rated Hindi-language Indian web series on IMDb with a rating of 9.6 out of 10. Gandhi says, although he was confident, he didn't expect this kind of overwhelming response. However, according to him. But Hansal Mehta knew what was coming.

"We were so confident that it will be a good product", says Gandhi.

"I called Hansal during the lockdown and asked how are things. Once the final edit was locked and it was about to be released, he said that you will not believe it, you have outdone yourselves." He added, "Anybody searching Harshad Mehta, my name pops up."

"I had taken it in the pinch of the salt", he laughs.

For the world, Hansal Mehta was the mastermind of the financial scam, but how was he for Pratik Gandhi? "I felt him as a very interesting character. I saw an interview of him after the scam broke out; he had a long-run in jail. The way he was sitting, the way he was using those lines and words carefully was very intriguing for me. He was trying to put up a brave, strong face. There was fear, concern inside him. It was a complex emotion", the actor says.

Giving a quick word of advice for others, Pratik says, "Everybody talks about success, not a failure. Once you are successful, people tend to listen to that success story. But failure is also an important part of this industry. Getting discouraged, disheartened is not the option."

Set in the 1980s & 90's Bombay, Scam 1992 follows the life of stockbroker Harshad Mehta – his meteoric rise and catastrophic downfall. Currently streaming only on SonyLIV, the series features an ensemble cast of Pratik Gandhi, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Sharib Hashmi, Ananth Mahadevan, Vishesh Bansal, and more.

Hansal Mehta is known for films like Shahid, Citylights, Omerta, Simran, and Aligarh. Pratik Gandhi, who plays the titular role, was also seen in the 2018 comedy film, Mitron.

Also Read: Scam 1992- The Harshad Mehta Story Review: OG Bad-Boy Billionaire!

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First Published: 11 November, 2020 09:00 IST

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