Thursday, May 30, 2024

Actor Vishal Malhotra shares his fitness secrets and talks in detail about A.I. (Exclusive Interview)

Edited by – Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief) 

Written by – Nupur Jha

Interviewed by – Robin Tyagi 

Vishal Malhotra is a popular figure in the film industry who is known for his roles as an actor and show host. He made his debut with Ishq Vishk, featuring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao.

Throughout his career, he has showcased his acting prowess in films such as Dor, Kismat Konnection, Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi, Jannat, and Tu Hai Mera Sunday. In addition to his success in Hindi films, Vishal has gained popularity through his television shows, including Disney Hour, Hip Hip Hurray, Shararat, and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.

In a recent interview with Enigmatic Horizon, he delved into topics such as the potential dangers of artificial intelligence and its impact on society. Beyond his commedable work in the entertainment industry, Vishal offered further insights into his personal life and the unique distinction of being the first Indian actor to sell NFTs.

What’s your secret behind staying fit? You look the same as you did 20 years ago.

I would advise surrounding yourself with positive and vibrant individuals. Steer clear of those with a negative mindset and unfavorable opinions. Another secret I can share is doing what I love and am passionate about. Even after a 30-year career, it has never felt like work to me. This passion reflects in my overall well-being and appearance, contributing to my sustained happiness.

Can you share the challenges you faced during your journey from television to the film industry?

Initially, the transition was smooth, starting with Doordarshan, and then I did Zee TV’s Hip Hip Hooray. I encountered numerous opportunities that eventually led me to Ken Ghosh’s Ishq Vishk, which turned out to be a major hit and was well-received by the audience. Following my first movie, Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt approached me, making the transition relatively seamless. I consider myself blessed to have had such support and opportunities.

You gained significant fame from the Harpic ad. What motivated you to choose that particular ad?

I decided to endorse the Harpic ad to establish my name in the public consciousness. Before the ad aired, only 20-30% of people knew me, mainly as the characters I played. However, within the first year of the ad being broadcast, people began to recognize me as Vishal Malhotra because I was addressed by my name in the ad. It presented a fantastic opportunity for personal branding purposes.

Would you like to share more about NFTs and your idea behind promoting them for art?

Honestly, I didn’t give it much deep thought initially. It was during the COVID lockdown, and I found myself bored. That’s when I started exploring NFTs. I sensed that this technology was the future, bridging the gap between art and science while empowering artists with true ownership. Looking at it from a futuristic perspective, I saw great potential in the concept.

I tweeted about creating my own NFT to collaborate with Indian artists. It made me the first Indian actor to create and sell an NFT successfully. The news gained worldwide attention, catching the interest of Maroon 5, who eventually purchased one of my NFTs. This experience introduced me to this exciting new world.

 How do you perceive the impact of AI on the Bollywood or cinema industry?

AI will have a significant and somewhat intimidating impact, and it’s already underway. In the Indian film industry, we leverage AI for processes like de-aging or creating specific looks for our artists. Recently, a Los Angeles-based company shared its approach of 360 scanning, incorporating pulse and moves to capture all expressions during a 6-hour process. The term they used, ‘immortalizing,’ suggests that any actor or artist can be featured in movies at any age, even if they are no longer actively working.

For instance, if this technology had been available earlier, we could have Raj Kapoor appearing in films at various ages, just like a living actor. While I acknowledge the benefits of AI, I can’t shake the feeling of fear. We’ve reached a point where we’re transitioning to this technology, and it is evolving independently, which is a bit unnerving for me.

You’ve portrayed funny and jolly characters as an actor. Are you like this in real life, too?

Yes, I’m just a regular person with normal emotions. Like everyone else, I experience ups and downs in life, and my emotions fluctuate accordingly. However, I’m grateful that people believe I am like my on-screen characters in real life; it means I portrayed my roles honestly.

Are you planning to become a motivational speaker in the future?

I’ve recently shot my first podcast, ‘The Vishal Hour,’ where we’ve had some really interesting and amazing guests. We discuss various topics, including information, entertainment, and motivational speaking. While I don’t have specific plans to become a motivational speaker, the podcast allows me to explore and share motivational insights and other engaging content. I hope people will give it love!

Can you share which character you’ve played that is your favorite?

During my early days, I portrayed an intriguing character in Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi. Then, there’s Netflix’s Tu Hai Mera Sunday, which holds a special place in my heart. On television, I enjoyed playing characters in Hamara Tumhara, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, and Yes Mom. These roles were distinct from the usual bubbly guy characters I often portrayed.

Have you ever felt that nepotism has become an obstacle for talented individuals in the film industry?

I believe it’s unfair and shouldn’t exist, but nepotism is a reality in the entertainment industry. It’s something we are all aware of. Every game has its rules, and if you choose to enter an industry with pre-existing knowledge of such dynamics, complaining about it later doesn’t make sense. When entering any industry, especially entertainment, I advise ensuring you have the necessary financial backing and mental support. The entertainment industry may seem glamorous from the outside, but it poses its own set of challenges from within.

Some believe that OTT platforms have allowed content to become vulgar and violent. Do you think this will negatively impact the audience?

It’s a bit of both yes and no. If you are educated and can differentiate between right and wrong, it won’t impact you negatively. Our medium is audio and visual, with a responsibility to impress, but we have a censor board that certifies content for the audience. Additionally, parents should be aware and cautious not to expose their children to government-certified content for audiences above 18. I wouldn’t take my daughter to watch a movie like ‘Animal,’ even though I, as an adult, enjoyed it.

Why and how did you get into cricket? Was it inspired by the “Hip Hip Hurray” scene that encouraged you?

I’m not deeply interested in cricket, but it is connected to my career. I was involved in the movie Jannat, which revolved around match-fixing, so I got immersed in the cricketing process. Later, I had the opportunity to host the IPL, where I interacted with top cricketers and legends like Kapil Dev. Additionally, I have my distribution company, and we supply to Mumbai Indians.

Thank you for connecting with us and giving us your time!

Thank you! It was a pleasure.

 

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