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Actor Pratik Gandhi opens up on his latest movies

April 11, 20245 Mins Read

Pratik from a still in Madgaon Express

Pratik from a still in Madgaon Express 

Pratik Gandhi became a household name after Scam 1992. The actor who took the audience recently on a hilarious roller-coaster ride with debutante director Kunal Khemu’s Madgaon Express in March is also awaiting the release of the romantic comedy Do Aur Do Pyaar in April. With two back-to-back releases, we catch up with the actor about his roles in the movies, how cinema has evolved, the Hansal Mehta- Pratik Gandhi jugalbandi, and more.

Through Pratik ‘Pinku’ Goradia you have played several personalities in a single character. Was the transition easy?

The transitions were absolutely fun for me. I have been doing these characters on –stage where I used to perform six to seven characters in one play in two hours. I guess that theatre experience helped me a lot in creating multiple personalities in Pinku’s life and his journey in Madgaon Express. It was a satisfying experience for me where I could create different layers of Pinku’s world.

How is Kunal as a director?

From nowhere can I say that it’s his debut because he must have directed this film ten times in his mind. When he narrated the story to me, the film was already clear in his mind. And believe me, whatever we have seen on –screen it’s the same film that he narrated shot by shot as well as having a clear idea of the edit points. Kunal I guess is a multi-faceted and multi-talented director or artiste. He can write, direct, act, sing, compose, and do more.

How have commercial cinema and on-screen comedy evolved over the years?

Oh, it has evolved a lot! I don’t understand this tag of commercial cinema and experimental cinema differently. Any cinema that works and earns money is a commercial cinema. If it doesn’t work, it’s experimental cinema. That’s how it works na? But as far as evolution is concerned, I think performance and storytelling style have changed a lot and I guess people have started liking something which is timeless. So if you can enjoy the same kind of film even after five years, then it is a classic, that’s what I have seen over the years in our cinema.

Can you share some anecdotes from the shoot of Madgaon Express?

What you have seen and laughed at we have shot it. While shooting we were laughing at so many places. Especially the entire substance scene I could not stop laughing even during the reading sessions. It was difficult to stop laughing and perform. Also, in the sequence where Divyenndu and I wore sari, we were looking at each other and laughing.

Does the changing trend of content consumption and audience expectation influence you in choosing your roles?

Not really. It surely gives me more responsibility as an actor. Whatever I serve to the audience now has to be of a certain quality which they feel privileged to watch and feel that someone has respected them. Somebody told this to me in theatre once. After watching such good work, as an audience it feels that somebody has respected us. This is a big thing and it stayed with me. This is something I keep in mind. I actually convert this craze into my excitement rather than pressure.

What makes the Hansal Mehta- Pratik Gandhi jugalbandi click?

(Laughs) Audience’s love! But I think it’s our comfort, understanding, and respect for each other. We will be moving towards our fourth project very soon. I feel I understand how he sees a particular scene or sequence and I keep trying to add to his thought process and visualisation. He also understands the way I translate certain things. The way he instructs and guides me works best for me. In Scam 1992 also I did what I used to but I was captured the best for the first time. This kind of camaraderie is working for both of us.

Your film Do Aur Do Pyaar releases on April 19. Could you give us a sneak peek?

It’s a rom-com with Vidya Balan, Ileana D’Cruz, Sendhil Ramamurthy and me. A couple of songs are also out and with this film, Lucky Ali has sung for a film after nine years. So I’m very excited. I’m playing a Bengali character called Aniruddh. It’s about situationship and new-age relationships. It has some hilarious plots.

How do you keep evolving yourself as an actor?

I try to keep things simple for me and experiment with different characters. I don’t have a set process but I keep it simple so I don’t have to remember much when I perform a character.  

Where do you get your fashion inspiration from?

My fashion idea is, something I feel comfortable with is what I wear. I hardly experiment but I’m trying to learn on that front. My younger brother is the biggest inspiration for me here.

How do you keep yourself fit amidst busy schedules and the rising heat?

I work out every day. I also do portion control of food so that I don’t have to go on a diet. I eat everything but in small quantities. During shoots, if I don’t get to work out for one and a half or two hours at a stretch, I break it down to ten-minute breaks throughout the day. So I can work out anytime, anywhere without any equipment.

Madgaon Express is running in theatres. Do Aur Do Pyaar releases on April 19.

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