Currently, Ajay Devgn starrer Raid is getting a positive response from the critics as well as the masses at the box office. Inspired by the real-life I-T raids that were conducted by the officers of the Indian Revenue Service in the 1980s, this Raj Kumar Gupta’s directorial venture has managed to connect the audiences with its realistic touch.
Amid the praises of Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla and Raj Kumar Gupta, a debutant in the role of income tax officer Satish, played by Amit Bimrot, has also made his mark. Sumit Rajguru from Free Press Journal had a candid chat with Amit Bimrot in which he revealed many things about his career and his Raid journey. Excerpts –
How are you feeling after getting good reviews for your first film Raid?
Obviously! It’s a great feeling. Especially, people are appreciating it, and giving positive feedback to the story as well as the performances of the entire cast of the film like Ajay sir (Ajay Devgn), Saurabh sir (Saurabh Shukla) and especially Amma Ji (Pushpa Joshi).
Tell us how did you prepare for the role of income tax officer?
That’s an interesting thing (laughs). I was selected just before the day of shooting, hence it was challenging for me. I was on the second priority as when I auditioned for the film, they chose me for the small part. But when, I got a call from the team that I’ve been selected for one of the prominent characters, because, an actor who was chosen to be Satish had opted out from the film. So, on the first day, I directly got the two scenes of climax, which was indeed a challenge for me as I would have to keep that same portrayal in the entire film. Later, I tried to gel up with Raj Kumar sir (Raj Kumar Gupta). Also, I had interacted with the income tax officer of 1980s for research. I didn’t put much input into the character as it could have jump and mess my character.
Are you satisfied with your screen space in Raid?
Actors or artists shouldn’t be satisfied. If we look at it technically, every film has its own demand. Hence, I won’t comment on it as it is a final call of the filmmaker. I wouldn’t say satisfied, but I could have done better. I’m happy with my debut in a good film.
Raid film has a disclaimer in your voice, tell us how does it happen?
(Laughs) It came as a surprise to me again! I went for the dubbing part. Next day again, I got a call from a second AD, who told me that we want to record disclaimer in your voice. When I went, I got a disclaimer which was lengthy as well as interesting readout. That time, I told them, I’m enjoying this disclaimer recording than film shooting. Later, when I heard that disclaimer in the premiere, I got very happy with that disclaimer only.
Usually, newcomers love to debut in rom-com films, but you chose a supporting role to play, why?
I haven’t chosen the film, the film chose me! (laughs). We need to understand few things, the kind of background and journey I have, I, as well, as the actors in my league don’t have that many options. Hence, we go with the flow and opportunities that we are getting. I’m really blessed that I got this kind of opportunity as an actor. I always didn’t want to go with fix promotion-combination. I wish from now onwards, I get promising opportunities in future. But definitely, one day, I will do a rom-com for sure.
As alumni of FTII, what do you think about the chairman controversy that had happened in past years?
Right now, I don’t want to comment on such political conflicts. But I would say, bonding between students and administration should always be last long. As an artist, things can be best if it can be sorted out with understanding. It should be in favourable to everyone instead of for particular person. I won’t comment on the political part of it, but yes as an artist, the government has taken some decision in favour of students, institution which is a good thing.
As you come from the theatre background, do you think theatre artists have limited scope in Bollywood?
Actually, I don’t think so! Many theatre artists are right now doing the really good job. There is a difference of medium. When you perform among 300 people and when you perform on camera that too in a cinema, medium makes a difference. The theatre is a mother of all performing arts. I think we need to understand the craft, because, there is the only difference between technicalities, craft. Theatre artists have a huge scope and if somebody asks me about it, I would say him to start with theatre.
Does nepotism exist in Bollywood?
I can’t comment on it because there are a lot of ideologies. But the kind of background I have, it took me 9 years to get my first film. But yes, everyone has their own fight to gain something in their life. For that, you need to work very hard. Star kids also has their own fight to reach up to their respective people’s position. I fought hard to get the first film and it feels great when you taste a piece of cake after working hard.
Many stars have given their opinion on the casting couch. Have you ever faced this kind of situation?
Touch wood, I never faced such kind of things! In FTII, I started writing and direction, so it helped me a lot to forge relations with good, helping people. If you come from the Film Institute, you know where what kind of things have been done. In FTII, we have had a session of casting directors. So, after coming to Mumbai, they call us, give respect. I haven’t gone into such kind of things and I think it never happens.
Whom do you admire the most in your life?
I don’t have any admired kind of ideology but I love the work of many actors. If we talk about Indian cinema, I like Balraj Sahni, Guru Dutt, Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi’s work. Simultaneously, in mainstream cinema, I like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar Saab. I respect Dilip Kumar Saab for holding commercial as well as artistic roles properly.
What kind of roles do you want to do in future?
Right now, I don’t have that many options. But if get options, I want to explore myself more and for that my motive is people should know me in my character’s name. I want to play some raw characters which haven’t yet explored. Nowadays, anybody can be a Hero, that’s the best part. My main focus is to concentrate on heroism through raw characters like Rajkummar Rao in Shahid, I would like to explore that kind of cinema. I also want to do rom-com but that too should have a message in it.
Right now, intimate scenes in films have become a common thing now, so if you have to do such scenes in your career, will you be comfortable to do that?
It depends! As an artist, I don’t have a problem with the intimate scenes but those should be a part of the story. It shouldn’t be forcefully. If character or script demands, I would definitely do that on my own terms and conditions. I can do dark but not unnecessarily bold. There is a nude scene of Rajkummar Rao in Shahid. If such kind of scenes are there in the script, which is actually necessary for the film, I would do that.
How did you feel sharing screen space with actors like Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla?
It was a great feeling. The first film that too with actors like Ajay sir and Saurabh sir. Apart from great actors, they are good human beings. There is a scene of mine between Ajay sir, Saurabh sir, at that time, I forgot that they are big stars. I gave my best in that scene. Especially, Ajay sir who tried a prank at me but before he do that, I got to know about it. I didn’t fall for it. Professionally too, Ajay sir, Saurabh sir and other actors never made me feel that I’m debutant and gave me comfort. It was a learning experience to work with them.
Among current young actresses, whom do you want to work with?
There is no specific name. But I like Kriti Sanon and Radhika Apte’s work. I don’t want to work with only these actresses but other actresses too. Let’s see how it happens in future.