Winning Category- Best Actor
Film – “Bi the way”
Directed By- Prerna Saraff Chauhan
Country of Origin-USA
1. Hello Mr. Shishir Sharma we are grateful to you for giving us an Exclusive Interview on your new short film “Bi the way” Directed by Prerna saraff Chauhan. We are overjoyed after watching your film, could you please tell us about your journey with this project?
First of all thank you for the special jury award as best actor for Bi the Way. Actually Prerna and me had been talking about doing a film together but then the distances were too much.. suddenly one fine morning she mentioned that she is coming to India n that she has this script which when I read i immediately told her that we should do this film.. that’s how Bi the Way was made..Prerna is a very easy going kind of a person and since we had done an online theatre workshop we knew each other well but hadn’t met till we started filming Bi the Way.. the experience of working not only with her but with Gaurav my friend who shot the film and Aadhya who played my daughter was absolutely wonderful.. the shoot was extremely smooth .. the end result is there for all to see..
2. You are famously known for your role in “Raazi”, “Chhichhore” and “Dangal”, and so many others, may we know how was your experience while working on these movies and what were the challenges you had to face while performing?
Well the order was Dangal, Raazi, Chhichore. I had never met Nitesh Tiwari the director of Dangal.. my first schedule was in Pune .. my first meeting with Nitesh Tiwari was very chilled out.. He explained the character to me n there I was meeting Aamir Khan on the sets enacting the scene.. Aamir is a very loving person and an extremely professional actor.. Working with him was a breeze.. Raazi was I think the turning point in my life as an actor.. I had worked with Meghnaji in Talvar and was an extremely pleasant experience working with the likes of Irfan and Sohum shah, Prakash Belawadi, Atul Kumar, and many others.. What was particularly important in Raazi was the focus n commitment from the actors and Meghnaji .. Infact the entire team.. it was a dream to work with Alia ,Vicky Ashwath, Rajit and offcourse Meghnaji .. the professionalism shown on the sets was fantastic.. it was clock work when we were on sets.. Working with Meghnaji is a dream for any actor..the challenge that I faced in Raazi was to get every Urdu words absolutely correct.. the language was extremely important to Meghnaji .. the look was very important to.. Chhichore was another of those films which had an ensemble of actors.. Again working with Nitesh Tiwari was like coming back home .. He made you feel very comfortable when on sets.. it was a very quiet set which made working an absolute pleasure.. working with Sushant and Shraddha was great.. Having known Sushant for many years because of television was very comforting.. because Nitesh Tiwari was so focused and had everything very very clear in his head , doing scenes was not difficult at all .. his explanation about the scene made it fairly easy for the actors..I am extremely fortunate to have worked with Meghnaji and Nitesh Tiwari..
3. You have acted in more than 40 films and TV serials, how did your journey in this media industry begin?
Well this is a very long story but I shall cut it short.It happened in 1974 when I was all of 19 years.A gentleman by the name of Pt.Satyadev Dubey came into my life.He ultimately became my mentor ,my guru and a guru to a lot of other actors too.We started rehearsing for a play called Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak which we staged multiple times and in 4 different languages namely Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, English.My understanding of acting grew every time we did a play and not necessarily with Dubeyji.He was the person who helped all of us be grounded , learn the basics.After having worked with him from 1974 unto 1994, I got my first tv show called Swabhimaan on DD1.It was a show that changed the lives of many actors .Tv started with only DD1 but slowly with the advent of other channels, the scenario of television changed.Offcourse a lot of actors showcased their talent and a whole lot of technicians also got a lot of work.The competition grew by leaps and bounds.Did tv for 23 years but in 2002, I got my first film Satya which changed the face of Indian Cinema.i happened to do a lot of films.To name a few are, Om jai Jagadish ,Sarkar Raj, Bombay Boys,.With time came a different genre of films of which I was a part.Mary Kom, Dangal Raazi, Talvar Chhichore, Uri.Theatre is still my first choice and I still continue to doing theatre.
4. In this project you are seen playing the role of a father and had a understanding relationship with your daughter, could you tell us more about your role here and do you think that fathers should understand their children and support them no matter what they identify themselves to be?
Yes I believe as a father or a parent u need to understand your children first before you react to them.I wanted to understand her point of view before I reject her point completely.I also put forth my point .There will always be an argument but that argument has to be healthy and not get into a situation where it becomes ugly.I definitely think children should be able to express themselves before parents can deliberate and start rejecting not only their point of view but their children too.I think and believe children do have a say in what they feel about themselves and their identities.
5. What is your message to all the fathers out there? and your opinion on bisexual teenagers who are afraid to come out!
Well its not just fathers but the entire society who need to understand their children more than just superficially loving them.they do have a life of their own too.The fathers mothers and the relatives need to give this thought .Just like you dislike certain foods doesn’t mean you are an outcast.Similarly u need to talk to your children take them into confidence bring them closer to you and understand their world too.They have their dreams their aspirations and I dont think we are in a position to undermine that.Give them a free hand and let them choose their paths,.
6. Do you think this story had a tough concept, if yes then why do you think so?
Yes I think more than tough it was a story where there was to be more understanding between the father and daughter.Its a subject that is not talked about in the open.Still a very closeted subject.Its a subject that is still spoken about is hushed voices.
7. Do you think a parent child relationship should be open and more friendly?
I have always felt that the relationship between parents and children has to be as open as possible.Normally daughters are closer to their mothers and the fathers are kept away.so also the same with sons.closer to their fathers.But overall I feel the need for the parents to take their children into confidence and understand them more .The need is for parents to talk to their children more as friends than as parents.Once you start doing that they they will also treat you as friends and come out with what’s on their minds.Otherwise they will clamp up and you will never get to know what’s on their minds.
8. Could you share us some glimpses about your upcoming projects in this entertainment industry?
Well in the last year and half I had the opportunity to work in some very good projects like Capsule Gill with Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra, Kumud Mishra,Pawan malhotraand many others.Pune Highway a play turned into a film with Amit Sadh, Jim Sarabh n others.A film on Sant Tukaram with Subhodh Bhave.Parable a film with Ekavali Khanna.Two very lovely web series namely Permanent Roommates and Asmara Diaries.
9. What were some of the hardest roles you have taken up in your acting career and what were the obstacles on the path of the your journey?
The hardest roles that came my way was the very first tv show that I did which was Swabhimaan.Since this was my first show and had not faced the camera I was very nervous ,the anxiety levels were high and the thought was what if I dont deliver what was needed of me.But slowly and surely I settled down to doing my work as was needed of me.Then came my first film Satya.Although the role was small it still had to performed.It was Manoj Bajpayee first film and we had worked together in Swabhimaan although we were not doing the scene together.I finished the scene and everyone seemed happy with it.Then straight came Mary Kom.Was a biopic and I was to play the character of a coach.Never did a sports film and to top it all it was a boxing film.We had to undergo training in a boxing ring and understand the lingo that was spoken, the way the boxers moved, the hand positions and what we were supposed to do outside the boxing ring.We had to be alert all the time during the shoot and use the language as was meant for the person boxing in the ring.I wouldn’t say it was an obstacle but yes surely challenging as an actor.Then came Raazi where I had to play an army officer from Pakistan.The hurdle was to master the language Urdu.Also to play the army general in a manner that would be human.Coz although he was an army man he was also a father .The human side was also important to show as he was a Pakistani officer .
10. What do you think about the current film industry, it is mostly now we depend on Web Series and OTT platforms.
Well I think OTT is here to stay.The film industry will have to top their game to surpass the OTT .They would need to bring in films that content oriented to bring in the audiences to the theatres .Today there are so many OTT channels to choose from that you can sit in the comfort of your homes and watch the content you wish too.The entertainment quotient has gone up tremendously .U dont need to go to the theatres as you would expect the same films to be released on an OTT platform.Well I think the web and OTT has definitely given a lot of work to actors , technicians, Assistant directors and the audiences.The abundance of talent that we see now coz of OTT and the web would have gone unnoticed otherwise.There are directors waiting to showcase their talent.Cinematographers who otherwise would have struggled are now getting a lot of work.This I think has been a boon to the industry.
11. Where do you get so much inspiration from?
Well I started way back in 1974 on stage. My inspiration came from a lot of actors.Naseeruddin shah, Pt. Satyadfev Dubet our Guru, Sunil Shanbag, Ratna Pathak shah and may many others.I was fortunate to witness some of the best talent on stage.Amrish Puri, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah.It was an absolute delight to watch them perform on stage.When you have such talent in front of you ,you desire to perform like them.Naseer Sahab has been my inspiration from the very beginning as we did a play together in 1975 which was written and directed by Satyadev Dubey.Its a dream come true when you work again with an actor who was your inspiration.
12. what message do you have for young actors and actresses?
The one advice I would like to give is that whatever you do ,do it with a lot of commitment, Focus and Discipline.If you are serious about acting then do at least 7 years in theatre.It will be your grounding for life.