Vipin Sharma, a man known for his craft than his name, born and brought up in a slum but went onto become an alumnus of the National School Of Drama, New Delhi and Canadian Film Centre, Toronto, Canada. He started his acting journey with theatre and made his Bollywood debut with Aamir Khan starrer ‘Taare Zameen Par’. He went onto to notable work in critically acclaimed films like ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, among various others over a decade. He’s now all set to play a politician, Ramashray Shukla in Sudhir Mishra’s latest release ‘Daas Dev’ which stars Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadha and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles.
Here are the excerpts from his interview:
Q. Tell us something about your role in Sudhir Mishra’s ‘Daas Dev’.
Vipin Sharma: I play a ruthless politician Ramashray Shukla. Although everyone is dispensable for him, he even dares to eye Paro- a requirement to gain power in politics and not love. He is the key role every time the story takes a turn. Either he is part of it or the reason behind the twist.
Q. How was your experience working under Sudhir Mishra’s direction? How different was ‘Daas Dev’ from ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’ considering you’ve worked in both?
Vipin Sharma: Sudhir really challenges your notion of the character you are playing. So, you always feel unsettled. And that is what brings a completely new dimension in all his characters.
Q. In an ensemble cast film, what are the things that you look for in your role to make it relevant?
Vipin Sharma: All roles must be relevant in an ensemble cast otherwise they shouldn’t be in the script. I always look for the underlying emotion in a role. If I feel I would love to experience it, I go for it. I do make sure that in an ensemble cast I stand for something.
Q. How did ‘Taare Zameen Par’ happen?
Vipin Sharma: Long story. I had just returned from abroad after a hiatus from acting for over 12 years. I had known Amole Gupte as we both had worked with Ketan Mehta as his assistants. Amole was starting TZP and I helped him audition the last few kids for Ishaan. He auditioned me for the Hostel Warden and the Hindi teacher’s role. I didn’t know the script but I asked him to let me audition for Mr Awasthis. At that time he didn’t seem interested as he felt I wouldn’t match the kid, he was thinking to cast for Ishaan. But I insisted and he gave in and he gave me a chance. One day after almost a month Amole called me and said- Aamir ne tujhe baap bana diya!!! I was later told that Aamir actually saw my audition by mistake. I got lucky I guess.
Q. You’ve been featured in numerous relevant films? Which has been your most favourite role?
Vipin Sharma: Nearly all. I loved being part of Shahid, Gangs of Wasseypur, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Bullet Raja, Satyagrah, Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana, Inkaar. They all have been great roles. I feel very proud of the fact that two of my scenes from Gangs of Wasseypur are the most watched and interpreted memes on the net.
Q. Coming from a slum in Delhi and then being an alumnus of Canadian Film Center, and now films. How has the journey been?
Vipin Sharma: Tough but rewarding. I feel great that I have been part of the most talked about films of the last decade.
Q. You’ve also done web series. How do you see digital platform as a source of entertainment? Is the future of entertainment? How different is it from movies?
Vipin Sharma: Digital is the future. Within seconds you are all over the world. Now with the huge budgets given by Netflix and Amazon the content is going to flourish without worrying about the censorship and the constraints put across by tv networks. But I do hope that the same thing wont happen again when on television shows like Star Best-Sellers were taken over by ‘saas bahu’ junk. I hope the mainstream cinema won’t take over the web too.
Q. It’s been over a decade for you in this industry. How has it changed over the years?
Vipin Sharma: I think one of the most promising thing that has happened that the content driven cinema has started to win the battle a bit by by bit. Surge of many new fabulous actors and directors is heart warming. I call it the start of a New Indian Cinema.
Q. Is there any film that you saw recently that made you wish you were a part of it or a role that you wished you played?
Vipin Sharma: Muktibhavan (Hotel Salvation) is one film that made me really envious and jealous. I wish I was in it.
Q. List of directors you’d like to work with?
Vipin Sharma: I always look for like mindedness. One of the most difficult things in Mumbai is that most of the filmmakers dont respond to messages. They will meet you in the screenings and parties and smile and praise you but when you get in touch with them they stay silent. Sad but true. So my list is under construction.