On meeting him in flesh, he may come across as one of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit, but beware because his aspirations as an actor stand tall than the tallest formation in the world. Dressed in the most simplest of outfits – jeans and a ‘khadi’ half sleeve shirt, we meet at Costa coffee house to talk about two of his biggest movies slated for release in 2012 – Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai and Shirish Kunder’s Joker. In the day and age of ‘superstars’ and ‘A’ list actors Pito, (as the industry well wishers call him by) has carved out a niche for himself – a category that would be aptly called ‘tailor made’. You pick any of his movies, be it the recently successful Shor in the City or 99 or even the critically acclaimed I Am Kalam, the actor has managed to fulfil the viewers with his unimaginable skills and often weird and never before seen expressions, something that’s a delight to watch from the swarm of clichÃ© acting now-a-days. Step up…Pitobash! It’s time to stand tall. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist brings you a two part special on Pitobash and his next year outings. The actor takes us into Dibakar Banerjee’s satirical view of politics, his dark sense of humour, the song that’ll soon be the talk of the nation and why Shanghai will be 2012’s most talked about thriller movie. This one’s titled ‘Shanghai and Pito’
Shanghai and Dibakar: “Dibakar’s movies will always be relatable and realistic”
Firstly, I am blessed to be working with the likes of Dibakar Banerjee. His films are so realistic. What I noticed about this man is this – Film making is about aesthetics, technical knowledge, etc. But the most important thing is that how a director handles his actors. This is the only art medium where the director is showing his vision by using actors. Dibakar’s vision is conveyed by me, Emraan and Abhay in the movie and the rest of the cast. The good thing about Dibakar is that on the sets he is only focused in handling his actors rather than seeing the technicalities. He brings out strong performances from his actors and that’s his forte. And of course, Dibakar’s sense of humour makes his movies worth a watch. You never know, this one too may see some dark wit.
Shanghai and Songs: “Bharat Mata Ki Jai song is going to be the talk of the town”
Emraan Hashmi and I have shot a song together called ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai‘. Dibakar has this habit of filming a song to such an effect that it takes the story forward. This is a ‘street song’. We’ve shot with almost 200 to 250 people and Emraan and I are doing some maddening dance. I’ve performed on the stage all my life and I can keep on going on and on for an hour or two on stage but here the song took two days from 6pm to 6am. It was twelve hours of mad dancing. The song has turned out absolutely frenzied.
Shanghai and Emraan: “He is a very disciplined actor”
I haven’t worked with Emraan Hashmi before but he is definitely an introvert. But that’s him. I haven’t got many scenes with him in Shanghai. I have done a song with him though. He is no doubt disciplined and reached the sets on time. The character he plays in the movie is awesome. His costume and look is so believable that you forget Emraan and remember his screen name. That’s the passion he puts into his acting.
Shanghai and Abhay: “The praises I’ve heard from the unit of Shanghai about Abhay is something to be seen”
I don’t have a scene with Abhay Deol but I know him. Like Emraan, he is much disciplined and comes from a different school of thought as far as movies are concerned. He likes to breathe and live his character. The praises I’ve heard from the unit of Shanghai about Abhay is something to be seen. I wish I had a few scenes with this talented actor.
Shanghai and Thrillers: “When I read Shanghai, I got a shock of my life”
Johnny Gaddar worked for you, am I right? You also like Abbas Mustan thrillers, am I right? Good! The movies that Abbas Mustan makes are larger than life. While Sriram Raghavan’s was a more realistic take on thriller, more believable. The latter applies to Shanghai too. Dibakar has made an absolutely believable political thriller. You will relate to the movie. It will shock people. When I read Shanghai, I got a shock of my life.
Shanghai and Z: “Dibakar has twisted Z and made the best political thriller ever”
Shanghai has been inspired by a mid-1960s book, ‘Z’, by writer and diplomat Vassilis Vassilikos. The book was first translated on the big screen with the same name in 1969 directed by Costa Gavras. But Shanghai is set in contemporary India. Dibakar is a smart director and an intelligent one too and has made his first ever thriller in which he believed so much since he saw the movie Z and read the book. There are so many small characters in the book that Dibakar has twisted and made it meatier and vice-versa in the film. This man knows how to twist a thriller for sure.
Watch this space for ‘Joker and Pito’ (Pito’s take on Shirish Kunder’s next) Coming soon!