What do you have to say about this new format of a play releasing on OTT?
It’s been a beautiful experience.It’s a very beautiful new concept and it excited me as a director. It’s a very new concept, because the stories which are taken from literature always excite me – whether it’s on stage or on OTT.
: We have been doing theatre for a while but theatre has a very limited audience. OTT has a huge audience so people who don’t go to theatres can watch plays on OTT. The younger generation is just not aware of the writers in our literature for example, Munshi Premchand, Manto, Harishankar Parsai. With such an initiative, they will be able to know their work. And if their interest develops, they will be able to go to the theatres and watch it. People love it and sometimes find it better than regular stories. So, it’s a great initiative to introduce more people to theatre, plays and literature.
You’ve been around for so many years, since the 80s with shows like ‘Hum Log’. How do you see the huge change in the way things work today?
Kamaal ka change hai
. I’m here since years and I’ve seen so many changes. Technology has changed. It’s a beautiful phase where people can experiment so much. We have the best of cameras and lenses, the technology has improved so much. I’m enjoying it. I feel it’s a lot of fun and
actor ka kaam kaafi aasan ho gaya hai. Dukh ki baat yeh hai ke actor ka kaam jitna aasaan hota jaa raha hai, utne actor kam mehnat kar rahe hain.
(An actor’s job has gotten easy. But it’s sad the the easier an actor’s job has become, the less hard work actors are putting in now). But technically, we are so advanced and we can do so much better.
But you both have not been complacent. You’ll still keep honing your skills with every project, isn’t it?
Practice makes a man perfect but when you’re doing something for 40 years or 50 years – if you’re doing something with full honesty, it’s very natural that you will see growth in that and improve your skills. First we had television and we had such lovely subjects from literature and shows like ‘Hum Log’, ‘Buniyaad’, ‘Just Mohobbat’.
Unke saath hi hum log hi grow kiye.
(We also grew up with such content). Television was a great medium for us and it proved that good actors don’t just have to depend on films. Later, automatically, we went to movies and now there’s OTT. We’ve also moved with the flow, and with every project, our intention is how do we put in our best.
I feel the learning process should never stop. The new generation may or may not learn from us, but we are surely learning from them. Things change every ten years and if we don’t evolve with them, we won’t be able to get work.
Now we’re at a time when the audience gives the same amount of love to supporting actors as the main leads and take them home after watching a movie. How satisfying is that also in terms of more opportunities?
There is a shift in the film industry and now stories close to reality are being picked that led to actors like me getting work. But there was a time when movies were all glamorous and actors like me didn’t get work since their faces didn’t suit that glamour world. Now actors like me are getting work and I’m happy we have the opportunity to show our talent. Also, earlier, we used to see that the mothers had very limited scope in the movies. But now writers and directors are paying attention to other characters than the main lead. Ever since there’s a shift in the way these stories are written and every character is gaining importance, people have started taking these supporting characters home. Also because, main leads are usually larger-than-life and cinematic, but it’s these other characters who are more real and relatable. So, it’s a great time for actors like me.
How do the two of you strike a balance between being colleagues and being husband and wife?
When we are at home, acting or work is not a prominent conversation for us. We have kids and other responsibilities at home and that’s what we talk about. And then, when we are working together as professionals, outside our house, we don’t discuss our private life. We only talk about work when at work, that’s where we concentrate. It’s such a benefit that we are in the same field because we can give feedback to each other and support each other, criticise each other. But when we are just husband and wife, for us – our house, our relationships, our kids are important to us.
Tab hum sirf ghar ghar khelte hain