Actor Satish Kaushik, who made his acting debut back in 1983, is currently rediscovering and reinventing himself with the various kind of projects he is been offered. Currently seen in the series Guilty Minds, the popular on-screen comedian has come a long way in terms of his work and has seen generations change in the film industry.
Prior to the release of his show, News18.com had caught up with him for a candid chat, where the Mr India actor talked about how people are now noticing him beyond his iconic comic role of ‘Calendar’ or ‘Pappu Pager.’ He also shared that the industry is now becoming more inclusive of aged actors. Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about the character you are playing in Guilty Minds.
It is a very interesting legal drama based on real events that happen in life. I play Tejinder Bhalla, who is a liquor baron from the north. He’s got a business and is also a powerful man who gets entangled in something and how he uses his power to get out of it. It is a very interesting and suave part and has got a little style and swag.
Of late, you have played a lot of diverse roles but do you think that filmmakers still see you as a comedy actor?
No, I think I’ve been able to erase that from filmmakers’ minds who want to cast me because I have redefined, and reinvented myself since Udta Punjab. After that, Soorma happened and then came Scam and Bloody Brothers and finally Sharmaji Namkeen and Guilty Minds. Thar is coming as well. So people know that a different Satish Kaushik has come out in the open and on the screen, who is different from his ‘Calendar’, ‘Pappu Pager’, or ‘Mutthu Swami’ days.
It is not that I could only do comedy. I am a professional actor and if something is given to me, I have to portray that whether it is as a comic character, a social character or an evil character. But why I did do so many comedy roles, because those days, we were slotted into roles. That slot was there such as ‘he’s a funny guy’, and this started from Mr India.
You have also talked about directors casting actors in age-appropriate roles now. How far has Bollywood really come in that aspect?
It is much more character-based now and a lot of films are being planned that way. It is not necessary that the protagonist of the film has to be 27 years old or 35 years old. They can be of any age. Like how Amit Ji (Amitabh Bachchan) and Rishi Kapoor Ji did 102 Not Out and Badhaai Ho had Neena Gupta and Gajraj Ji in the lead. Or you see The Kashmir Files. There are protagonists of different ages. There is Anupam Kher, there is Darshan Kumar and Pallavi Joshi. These are strong characters. I made Kaagaz and I cast Pankaj Tripathi. Actors can now play roles that portray their age.
You have also worked with two different generations of filmmakers and actors. What has changed?
It has become much more professional, and much more department oriented. Earlier everything used to be done by the director, but today, everybody’s work is divided means you have casting directors, and production designers, then you have makeup directors and choreographers. Even directors now have several ADs (Assistant Directors) and everybody knows everything about the film. It has become much more professional, and especially the woman power which has come into a movie-making. Women are so concentrated on the job.
Then, of course, the content. The content becoming the king and the variety of content, the genres of content, you know, that has become very distinct today, filmmakers are fearless they can make anything on anything. Previously we had four or five stories to tell with different permutation combinations, but now there are a plethora of subjects out there, and it is worldwide now, because of OTT.