One does become a soft target when it comes to Bollywood: Ashmit Patel

He hasn’t been in the news for quite some time though one did hear a lot about his ‘DJ’ing – supposedly, he’s quite a favourite at top clubs – and his ‘Ashfit’ insta-videos which roll out some helpful gyaan on keeping fit.

…That’s right, we are talking about the fit ‘n’ fab Ashmit Patel, who is back in acting arena with a bang. His digital debut Peshawar in which he played the role of a dreaded terrorist Abu Shamil has garnered a lot of acclaim. Currently, Ashmit has bagged the lead role in the film Dhananjay where he plays a bad boy with a heart of gold. Read on… as Ashmit talks about his journey, trolling and social media, film Dhananjay and more…

Your life hasn’t been a cakewalk; you have always been under the radar of the media and the audience. What do you have to say about that?

It definitely toughens you up and makes you strong. But as you said that we are always under the radar. People don’t target, but one does become a soft target when it comes to Bollywood. We have seen a lot happening even during the lockdown – be it Sushant’s (Sushant Singh Rajput) case or drugs, everyone made sweeping statements that ‘Bollywood is like this or that’.

But why do they forget that people who work in Bollywood belong to various parts of the country too? It is definitely tough, but one learns how to deal with it – and it makes you stronger! But initially, things used to affect me much more. They forget that actors are human beings too and there are other people involved like our family —mother, father, siblings who get affected with the things written about you. Likewise, there were days when my parents used to get really upset with the things written about me and I think because of that, they were a bit harsh on me.

Do you feel criticism has made you thick skinned?

People are frustrated! And where do they take out their frustration? Social media! This is one avenue where they take out their frustration as they know there will be no repercussions because there is no real censoring or backlash. It is an easy way to let off frustration.

Fortunately, I have not been trolled that much on social media but when it happens, I feel sympathy for the person and I don’t reply. And even if I do reply, it is only with love because only love can heal a person. If I react in the same way with negativity, it is going to nonetheless enhance his negativity. So, I rather give them compassion so that they can heal. And I think that’s what we need in the world today – more love and compassion for everyone.

Coming back to Dhananjay, what would you like to say about the film?

I am super excited about this! Because I have not come across a film like this in the longest time. The genre of the film is very similar to Mirzapur. It is as raw as it gets, and is about a nexus between the mafia, police and politicians. I am playing the title role of Dhananjay in this one.

Are you playing the bad boy?

…a bad boy with a good heart. He is like Baahubali – very respected but feared in the area that he comes from. No one is completely black or white, we all have our grey areas which we need to work on.

What are your flaws in real life?

I don’t know from where to start! (laughs) Every human is in the process of evolution and that is life. It is about living, learning and if you take things positively, you learn. Whenever I make a mistake, I am not too harsh on myself because I wasn’t born knowing all the lessons on how to go about life. But with every learning and lesson, I try to incorporate it in my life.

Do you think this phase of your life is the best one?

Yes! This is the best phase of my life. I am blessed. I have gratitude for the universe that has given me everything. I am not aiming to be the biggest star, but I am working and I am happy – I think that’s more than I could ask for. Since September last year, I have been working back-to-back and I have so much gratitude.

I am very sincere with my work! But I do try to find the perfect balance and hang out with my friends and do parties and stuff. I also DJ on the weekends...and I travel to a lot of places in India. Travelling has been a part of my life – I make sure that whichever city I travel to I shoot fitness videos and I am planning to put them up soon. Recently, I went to the Taj Mahal for the promotions of Dhananjay and I shot some crazy videos doing push-ups and stuff. What do I say… I am enjoying my life – I am not looking too much into the future – but just trying to enjoy life as it happens.

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