Reel avatar takes toll on Zwigato actor Kapil Sharma’s life; comedy king weary of fans’ expectations to see him as the funny-man at all times
A comedian’s life is, perhaps, defined by the dichotomy of hoping to be the funniest man in the room, and desiring that he isn’t always, and at all times, expected to crack a joke. Fifteen years into the business, Kapil Sharma knows that drawing the line between his reel and real image is not always feasible.
“There are times when we get upset. In the past, I have also grieved the loss of a family member. But people wouldn’t have known that. People expect you to be a certain way, and will behave with you accordingly,” the comedian-actor, who will be seen in Zwigato, a film based on a delivery person’s struggles, says.
A still from Zwigato
Sharma says he is often asked how his wife perceived his dramatic on-screen act after watching him only tickle the funny bone. His wife, he says, would evidently be unperturbed by this outing. “After all, she has seen me during every phase of my life — whether I was happy, or depressed.”
In keeping with their line of profession, comedians employ sarcasm to evoke laughs while describing the tragedies of their lives as well. In the process, people also turn a blind eye to the pain behind those events. “For instance, in my Netflix special last year, I spoke of the tragic life that my family and I have lived, but my delivery was aimed at making people laugh. But, that doesn’t change the fact that those events are true. Someone’s tragedy is someone else’s comedy,” he says, adding that in a similar incident two years ago, he was branded ‘rude’ in the aftermath of an altercation when photographers began to pap him without consent when he was in a wheelchair. “Had they asked me politely about why I was in a wheelchair, things would have been different. But they didn’t. If people become a tad sensitive, it would be great.”
However, he believes that experience has taught him to focus on changing himself instead of expecting change from those around him. “For example, in the past, we used to [crack jokes] freely on TV, but now we have to be careful about what we say. You never know what may offend someone. We no longer have a [carefree] attitude towards things.”