All those who have seen Ferrari Ki Sawaari would surely agree that the one performance which stands out (apart from that of the main leads) is that of Nilesh Divekar who plays Pakya – the local corporator’s son. As ‘Worli Koliwada Ka Chava’, Nilesh hits all the right notes and delivers a knock-out performance that the masses seem to be loving. Bollywood Hungama‘s Nikhil Ramsubramaniam met up with this powerhouse of talent and discovered some crazy trivia like how he was almost shortlisted to play the role of Circuit in Munnabhai and how he happens to be Omi Vaidya’s first cousin. Read onâ€¦
First things first you seem to have absolutely nailed it as Pakya in Ferrari Ki Sawaari? What sort of feedback have you been getting?
Thanks a lot. I’ve been getting a lot of calls and messages from people (some even unknown) saying ‘We Love Pakya’. Pakya is a very colourful character, he is a lovable goon so people seem to have loved the character. Just 2 days ago, I had gone to the international airport to drop my mother and when I was pushing the trolley, lot of people called out- ‘Aye Pakya, Aye Pakya’. I was shocked that in just 2 days, the character has caught on in a big way. That was quite a high.
Since you are a Maharashtrian yourself, was it that much easier for you to get into skin of character?
Yea definitely because Pakya is a Maharashtrian fellow so getting the accent, dialect and body language was that much easier for me
Let’s rewind a bitâ€¦tell us a bit about your background.
I am from Mumbai itself. Right from my childhood, I’ve been doing Marathi theatre. In fact as a child, I’ve done over 1000 shows in Marathi theatre. Growing up, I’ve done many Hindi serials like ‘Shriman Shrimati’, ‘Maniben.com’, ‘Chupke Chupke’, ‘Kabhi Idhar Kabhi Udar’, ‘Yes Boss’, ‘Filmy Chakkar’, ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma’ and have worked with some really big names in television like Shekhar Suman, Satish Shah, Rakesh Bedi, Smriti Irani, Sajid Khan, Asif Sheikh, Kavita Kapoor, Dilip Joshi and Tiku Talsania.
So is Ferrari Ki Sawaari your first film or have you even done films before?
Wellâ€¦I’ve done small roles in many of Mahesh Manjrekar’s films like Vaastav, Pitaah, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hain, Hathyar and Viruddh. But Ferrari Ki Sawaari is my first big break.
How did you bag the role of Pakya in Ferrari Ki Sawaari?
You won’t believe it but I’ve been trying for a break with Vidhu Vinod Chopra films for a long time. I had auditioned for Munnabhai MBBS and had even been shortlisted for the role of Circuit but unfortunately didn’t make the final cut. Then I had even auditioned for a role in 3 Idiots but somehow that also didn’t work out. So Raju Hirani always had me in mind and knew what I could do as an actor. For Ferrari Ki Sawaari, Rohan Mapuskar, the casting director, got in touch with me. I still remember for each character in the film Rohan used to give 4 – 5 options to Vidhu sir but for the character of Pakya, Rohan just gave my name and I consider that my good fortune. Post that Raju sir, Vidhu sir and even Rajesh Mapuskar saw my audition and finalized me. And then the journey began.
Not many know that you are Omi Vaidya’s cousin. Omi of course debuted with VVC’s 3 Idiotsâ€¦Did he also recommend your name?
Noâ€¦Omi didn’t even know that I am doing Ferrari Ki Sawaari for a while. It’s sheer coincidence that we both made our debuts with the same banner. I loved him as Chatur in 3 Idiots and he too has liked my work as Pakya in Ferrari Ki Sawaari.
How was it working with Rajesh Mapuskar and the team of Ferrari Ki Sawaari?
It’s an honour working with a banner like Vidhu Vinod Chopra films. Vidhu sir is a legend and a thorough professional who has been in this industry for the longest time. Raju Sir is one of the most polite and humble people I’ve ever met. Rajesh has tremendous clarity in what he wants. He asked me to give him few variations for my character Pakya and after that only we finalized on this particular character sketch. We even did workshops for 2 months before began shooting. The whole unit is like one big family at VVC Films.
Which is your favourite scene from the film?
Actually the whole film is my favourite but the suicide sequence is a scene close to my heart. It was a lot of fun shooting the scene and I remember all the local people of Worli Koliwada were having a blast. It’s a full time-pass sequence. I don’t think any film has shown Worli Koliwada as beautifully as we have in Ferrari Ki Sawaari. I’ve been getting a lot of calls from people who are really happy with the way their locality has been shown in the film
Are you planning to do mainly comic roles or are you open to other stuff as well?
Comedy has always remained my forte. I’ve mostly done comedy be it in serials or now in films but I am an actor and open to any challenge. I have this dream of playing a villainous role as well some day.
Have you signed any other films post Ferrari Ki Sawaari?
I haven’t signed anything as yet but a lot of people have taken my number from Rohan Mapuskar (the casting director). There are some meetings lined up with some filmmakers and hopefully within a month I should sign more films.