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Last Updated 26.02.2020 | 10:39 PM IST
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“Responsible media could be a boon to society” – Neeraj Kabi



Neeraj Kabi's performance as the ailing monk who won't take medicines in Anand Gandhi's Ship Of Theseus and now as the father of the slain daughter in Meghna Gulzar's Talvar has rightfully earned him the reputation of an actor who owns every character he plays. A trained actor and an acting teacher Neeraj explains to Subhash K Jha what makes his world go round.



Neeraj Kabi's performance as the ailing monk who won't take medicines in Anand Gandhi's Ship Of Theseus and now as the father of the slain daughter in Meghna Gulzar's Talvar has rightfully earned him the reputation of an actor who owns every character he plays. A trained actor and an acting teacher Neeraj explains to Subhash K Jha what makes his world go round.

How close did Talvar bring you to the actual Arushi Talvar case?
Extremely close! Almost like living it.

Did you do your own research or relied only on the written material provided to you?
Both! The material provided was only the foundation of my work. This led to a very exhaustive research of written as well as visual documents on the case since 2008. I read and researched everything I could lay my hands on. Although I have not yet read Avirook's book.

Do you believe Arushi's parents to be innocent/guilty?
As an actor I have just portrayed a neutral stance of the case with three different perspectives in the film Talvar. If I were to take a stance as early as this, it would be unfair to my craft as well as the film. I would rather reserve my opinion for some other day over coffee with you.

The film raises crucial questions on the media's role in influencing public opinion. How far do you agree with that?
Print and visual media play a huge role in influencing public opinion, especially the visual media as it reaches the farthest corners of the country and is much more accessible to the people. Any biased portrayal of any case whatsoever or a sensationalized exhibition of a piece of news without a moral responsibility could be extremely hazardous to any human victim caught in a tragic case. People very easily believe nowadays. The effort to sit and analyze or re-think over news is not a common culture. Which is why people "jump" to conclusions. A responsible media could be a boon to society. The film raises these questions very powerfully, at times in black humor.

What was it like working with Konkona on recreating the trauma of parents who have lost their only child?
Konkona is an experienced actress and a very sensitive human being. A very giving and accommodating actor. Her instincts and intuitions are very strong as a performer and it was a pleasure to work with someone like that. I am a preparatory actor. I do a lot of homework before a shot. Here we were with two varied methodologies creating a "jugalbandi". To add to this, we are both parents as well in our personal lives. So as a performing artist all these elements just fell in place to portray this enormous human tragedy.

You are now shooting with Gurinder Chadha for Viceroy's House...your second film with a female filmmaker. How different is it to be directed by a woman as opposed to a man?
I am on my toes when I am with a woman director. Their sensibilities are far more mature and complex than we men. In due respect I am very careful therefore. With male directors it is much more relaxed as being a man I can empathise, sense and predict what the other "man" has in his head and heart. I play the role of Mahatma Gandhi in Gurinder Chadha's film called Viceroy's House.

More Pages: Talvar Box Office Collection , Talvar Movie Review

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