Shekhar Suman will soon be seen as the co-judge in India’s Laughter Champion. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
You are coming back with the comedy show India’s Laughter Champion. What would you like to say?
I have been doing comedy off and on, so I left comedy deliberately. I had a never-ending contract for Movers & Shekhars. I left that because I was getting very good at it. An actor needs to showcase all the nine rasas. People loved me doing comedy because it brought laughter and happiness to their life. I was not keen to be associated just with comedy and thus moved on. I have made a comeback after a few years as now we will bring some other flavour to comedy. Change is the spice of life.
What are your future projects?
I have a web series called AK 47. It is about the criminalisation of Bihar politics in 1990. My role is pivotal and interesting. I am planning two films under my new production house. My latest web series with director Imtiaz Ali will be releasing soon. I am planning to open an acting academy for speech and acting. Then I have a play Ek Mulaqat, with Deepti Naval. In it, I essay the role of Sahir Ludhianvi. I am also writing my own book.
Your son Addhyayan Suman’s role as Tinka Singh in the Aashram web series has opened new vistas for him. How confident were you about it?
When Aashram was released, his role as Tinka Singh was very small, and he was very sad. He showed me the scene, and I told him, ‘It’s not the length of the role, it’s the strength of the role. Tinka Singh will garner huge eyeballs’. After the first season, Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi wrote a letter to the show’s director Prakash Jha that all artists in Aashram were on one side and Tinka Singh was on the other side. Tinka Singh, in his small role, has left an undying impression on all.
Addhyayan is so much like you. What could be the reason that nepotism didn’t work in his favour?
Yes, I feel proud as a father that my son Addhyayan has now started getting good work. Also, people find him like me and bring it to my notice. The way he talks and also his mannerisms are so much like mine. I think only time and opportunities matter. I don’t agree with this term, nepotism. An actor is nothing without opportunities. If he doesn’t get an apt opportunity, how will he showcase his talent? It’s like a swimmer is asked to swim in a pool without water. How will a swimmer show his talent in a pool without water?
What message do you wish to give to parents who never like to support their children in the profession they choose?
It is very essential to support your children as they go through a lot of emotional and psychological ups and downs while growing up. After 25 and 35, their thought process changes drastically. When they are young, they all have a wavering mind, not very static. Also, they revolt against their parents, saying, ‘You don’t know it was not so in your times’. You should lend them your ears and also extend a helping hand. You should make them understand, never stop loving your kids and never get angry at them. Explain to them the ifs and buts of life. Never humiliate them that you are useless and can never do such and such a thing. In their impressionable mind, the more you extend your love and explain to them coolly, the better they will understand you.
Every human being goes through ups and downs in a relationship. Addhyayan has had bitter experiences. What’s your take?
Yes, Addhyayan has gone through emotional trauma. I told him, ‘If you concentrate on your work, your relationship will automatically turn good’. I asked him what his priority is, work or relationship? He replied work. Emotionally he was badly devastated. This is a part of life. Some you win, some you lose; all this happens in life. Despite all that has happened in his life, he has the will to fight back and come out a winner. Marriages are made in heaven. His soul mate will automatically come to him.