Juggling between two worlds
Divyenndu is one of those actors who gets into the skin of the character he plays, brings it to life on screen and makes his audience feel every emotion that the character is experiencing. That is why as much as we love the aggressive yet sweet Liquid of ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnaama’, the evil Munna Bhaiyya from ‘Mirzapur’ fills our heart with anger and hate. To prove his acting skills yet again, Divyenndu is back with Zee5’s feature film ‘Badnaam Gali’ and Season 2 of ‘Mirzapur’. Read what he has to say about playing two entirely different characters at the same time. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHow is it to work on two different characters at a time (in Mirzapur and Badnaam Gali). My character in ‘Mirzapur’ is entirely different from what I am playing in Badnaam Gali, and it is tricky to keep the two worlds separate. It gets even more difficult when I have group reading and rehearsal sessions for ‘Mirzapur’ and Badnaam Gali happening simultaneously. Though I can’t do much about it, I try and concentrate on one project at a time and not think about the other. This helps in keeping things sorted to an extent. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardPeople have high expectations from you after ‘Mirzapur’. Does that scare you? I actually don’t think about anything apart from my work. I believe in honesty and 100 percent involvement. That is why audience’s expectations don’t scare me, instead they inspire me to improve my craft. Moreover, I think, as actors, our only job is to work hard and enjoy every bit of what we do. Do you agree that web platforms give more artistic freedom to the actors. How? Yes, I totally agree with it as web platforms have no restrictions or rules. There is all the freedom to present a story in whichever way you want. Also, unlike movies, you don’t have to be worried about the weekend’s collection. You don’t compete with anybody and anything. All these factors have made web actors more fearless and creative, thereby giving them the scope to explore and experiment. If given a choice between web shows and movies, what will be your pick? That’s really difficult! But honestly, the platform doesn’t really matter to me. I would have been equally excited to play Munna Bhaiyya if ‘Mirzapur’ had been a film. It’s not the medium but the content that tops my checklist. I pick projects according to the content, character, and story. What’s your most prized possession? It might sound like a cliché but people who like and appreciate my work have a belief that ‘if this guy (me) is there in the film, then there must be something special about the project’. This appreciation towards my work…towards my craft… is what I value the most. Your feature film Badnaam Gali revolves around surrogacy – an extremely sensitive topic. Did you have inhibitions while signing a film, which discusses surrogacy in a humourous way? Not really, because it totally depends on the intention of makers and how they want to present it. What hit me was the fact that it is important for us to talk about things like surrogacy as normally as possible, without considering it a taboo. It is not something to be ashamed of, rather it’s a great way to give hope to couples who can’t have a child due to biological issues. Tell us about your character in the film. On a scale of 0-10, how challenging was it? It was quite challenging because I was playing a Punjabi guy who comes from a well to do family and is extremely confused in life. For somebody who is not a Punjabi, it is challenging to get the dialect right and maintain the essence. I had to pay attention to minute details and that consumed a lot of energy. So, I would say it was 8/10 for me. The story is focused on Patralekha’s character. Was it difficult to make your character look equally prominent? Not really! The story justifies both the roles equally. The story is about how Randeep Singh Sodhi (played by Divyenndu) comes to this Badnaam Gali and meets Patralekha (who is playing a surrogate mother). It revolves around how people have different opinions about her, consider surrogacy as a taboo, and create negative views in their mind. Randeep stands along with her all the while and appreciates her effort in helping couples who are biologically incapable of having a baby. So, both the characters are equally important for the story to progress.