“The biggest challenge was to get the local accent of Bhopal”, Sushil Pandey

Everyone is attracted by the glamorous and star-studded life of celebrities. But what goes into getting to that position. What does it mean to an actor and a performer? How can a middle-class boy get to that position? We got to Sushil Pandey, seeking answers on what it means to an established actor.

He answered by telling us about his journey for his first role, saying, “When I was 5 or 6 years old, I used to take part in Ramleela in my home town in Gaya. My father and elder brother used to read Mayapuri magazine, in which I used to see photos of all these actors, but I didn’t have any knowledge or exposure about this field. But this used to attract me. When I went to college and my friends, we started a theatre group in college itself, which is there till now. When I was in high school, I lost my father, and since I belonged to a middle-class family, finishing my studies and getting a job was my priority. After completing my hotel management studies, I got a job at Taj, Goa. Alongside the job, I enrolled myself in a local theatre. After working there for about a year or two, I resigned and went to Delhi to pursue theatre. After a while, I left for Mumbai and in the initial days in the city, I did many things from work which I got from my contacts from different hotels to minor roles in other TV shows. With those, I managed my finances. Around 2007, I was cast in a show called ‘Jab Love Hua’. Later in 2010, I did ‘Phas Gaye Re Obama’, and after the release of Jolly LLB, people started recognizing me.”

There is always something for every person that inspires them; similarly, what was the inspiration for Sushil? We asked to which he answered, “I have always been fascinated by the life of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Whenever I have time, I try to read or listen to his books, life stories, etc. I can’t pinpoint what exactly, but his life has impacted how I lead mine. Another person is my teacher from Gaya College; he also had led a fantastic life. He was an IFS officer, but he resigned from his job and started teaching in Gaya because of homesickness. I learned a lot from him as well, about many different topics.”

Every stage is an opportunity for an actor, but what do these different stages mean for an actor? Sushil gave an insight by saying, “I believe that whether it be acting for theatre or camera, in both cases you have to work, so fundamentally there is no difference. However, while acting for theatre, you are involved in other parts of production as well, such as set design, costume design or lighting, which is in contrast to acting for the camera because there are specialized teams for each role, and you have to act. I enjoy both theatre and film sets.”

There is always a character that sticks to the heart of an actor; what was this role for Sushil? He told us, “As an actor, I am rarely satisfied with my work. Although I personally prefer stories over characters, if the story is exciting is for me, I would like to play any kind of character in it. To be specific, one of the characters I played in ‘Jolly LLB’ has a special place in my heart; I could relate to it. And another is my character in ‘Article 15’, which was another character many people will relate to.”

Adding to it he also told us, “I try to play my part in a way that accentuates itself. For instance, in Human, the journey is about Mangu and his struggles to help his family, so my role was to support his character and do my best for the story’s sake. I just try to enjoy my part and fulfil it with utmost honesty.”

Sharing more on his experiences while filming Human he said, “The biggest challenge for us was to adapt to the local dialect of the region, as the story is based in Bhopal. For around 15 days before the shoot, we practiced our lines with a local person who helped us with our accent. Apart from this, the team was supportive and talented, so it was fun to work.”

Talking about his acting and roles we got curious about what more projects he plans on bringing in the future. He informed us, “There are three projects, ‘Maharani 2’, ‘Anek’ and ‘Bheed’. Maharani 2 is currently in the production stage. The shoot for ‘Bheed’ was wrapped around 28th December, and Anek is also set to release at the end of March if everything goes well.”

While we were talking to him he advised the younger generation saying, “whatever you want to do in your life, make sure you’re educating yourself about that field. Because it is really important for anyone to study about their respective fields as it gives you confidence in your work.”


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