Tuesday, May 28, 2024

“Award ceremonies should not be taken seriously”- Actor Pawan Malhotra in an exclusive interview

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

Interviewed by – Sheikh Raisa

Written by – Nupur Jha

Pawan Malhotra is a well-known figure in the Indian film industry. Alongside his contributions to cinema, he has been seen on television shows and web series. He has been seen in main roles in critically acclaimed films like Bagh Bahadur, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Aithe, Black Friday, and Road to Sangam, Malhotra has also delivered memorable supporting performances in hits like Don, Jab We Met, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and Rustom. More recently, he played the lead role in the highly praised web series Tabbar, which had garnered significant critical acclaim. Enigmatic Horizon recently engaged in a conversation with the actor, exploring his journey and gaining insights into his perspectives on cinema, award ceremonies etc.

You began your career as an assistant in the internationally acclaimed film ‘Gandhi.’ Could you share how it all began and your experiences during that time?

Actually, I started as a wardrobe assistant on that film and it was my first time on a film shoot. Prior to that, my involvement was in Delhi’s theater scene. Witnessing a film shoot for the first time, especially one with such a large crowd, Hollywood actors, and big cameras, was quite overwhelming. Subsequently, I moved to Mumbai and worked as a production assistant on the film Jaane Bhi Do Yaro. That marked the beginning of my journey. It was a challenging phase, and I had to take up odd jobs to sustain myself in the city.

Your performances in Sayeed Akhtar Mirza’s Bagh Bahadur and Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro garnered nationwide popularity. Could you share the struggles that brought you to this point in your career?

Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro was my first lead role in a film. This film and Bagh Bahadur presented completely different characters, and both films were critically appreciated and earned National Awards. Following these successes, more opportunities in movies and TV opened up for me. Despite the achievements, I sought to explore my preferences and broaden my horizons.

Of all the significant movies you’ve been a part of, which role has been the most impactful or your favorite?

Commercially, roles in films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Delhi 6 hold significance for me as they tell compelling stories through distinct characters. I’ve enjoyed the diversity of roles in my acting journey, spanning both TV and film.

Would you be reprising your role as Narang in the upcoming movie Don 3?

They will be working on the project after nearly 20 years. Personally, it doesn’t excite me anymore, so I don’t anticipate being part of the project.

Can you share who your favorite co-actor has been to work with?

I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best co-actors and directors. In the early stages of my career, I sought out these opportunities, and it was indeed a blessing to receive such offers.

You’ve played lead roles in web series like Grahan and Tabbar. Do you believe OTT platforms will replace cinema one day?

I don’t believe so. Similar sentiments arose when television gained popularity, with some speculating that it would replace cinema. However, that didn’t happen, and I feel that the same applies to OTT platforms. Cinema and OTT, both have their distinct spaces.

Throughout your career, you’ve received multiple awards as well. What is your opinion regarding award functions?

I would say it depends on the award. I’ve received recognition in France, Punjab, Andhra, and I was also honored with a National Award, but other than for my work in Tabbar, I haven’t received awards in Mumbai. I would say that many of these award ceremonies should be taken with a grain of salt. Even well-known stars have questioned the credibility of these awards functions.

Recently, RRR and The Elephant Whisperers received Oscars, making them the first Indian movies to win Oscar. What are your thoughts on this? Why aren’t Indian films getting much recognition internationally? 

RRR won an Oscar for its song, and The Elephant Whisperers was a documentary. I believe Bandit Queen deserved an Oscar but didn’t get the opportunity. Plus, it is not always about good movies; sometimes films with far better stories are nominated against your own. Moreover, after the nomination, it’s the responsibility of the nominee to present the work to the jury. Many are unaware of this, or they lack the funds required for it.

What advice would you give to aspiring actors?

There is no hard and fast rule in this industry. When you secure a role, all you can do is grab it and give it your best. Success in this field is a combination of luck, opportunity, and talent. Also, it is important to develop resilience to failure as you navigate through your career.

It was a pleasure talking with you; thank you so much.

Thank you!


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