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Being a part of cult films: Ishwak Singh!

By Armin Sethi Friday, Aug 31, 2018 12:53: AM

He’s had pivotal roles in some of the biggest films in the recent times, be it Ranjhanaa, Tamasha, or the 2018 hit, Veere Di Wedding, in which he plays Nirmal (aka the man Sonam Kapoor calls “mother lover”). He piques much curiosity and so we thought we’d chat! Ishwak Singh has had a memorable journey so far and he talks about being appreciative of being involved in cult films but knows that in five years from now, he wants to keep doing the same thing but in more leading and prominent roles. Here’s our chat with Ishwak.


I have to ask, what is a mother lover and are you one?


It's somewhat an arbitrary term. We all love our mothers and in that sense everyone's a bit of a mother lover.  If Nirmal from Veerey di Wedding is a Mother lover then let me tell you he's very different from a mumma's boy, who seeks approval from his mother for pretty much everything. Nirmal, according to me, and the way I played him is very independent. He listens to his parents but does what he thinks is right. Nirmal's not a mumma's boy - neither am I.


You've had a journey that has your name attached to some of the biggest films of recent times, be it Ranjhanaa, Tamasha, Aligarh, or the recent Veere Di Wedding. Are you satisfied with where you are at right now?


I had a dream to act and to become an actor for as long as I can remember. Somewhere down the line that dream was lost and I fought my way into the world of acting. It was really hard but I did it. 


The feeling that I got after I performed the first play was sublime. It was Gulzar saheb's Kharashien and I got a lot of appreciation for my performance; it was a big deal. But I kept my head down and moved on, didn't think about any of it once it was done. Yes, it's a big deal and satisfying in a way to be a part of these films because all these movies have a cult status. Nonetheless I still keep my head down low and look forward to what's next.



Is it a tough go-around being associated with such Hindi films but not necessarily being the lead?


These days most of the films are very story centric and the protagonist is only a character just like every other character in the film. That is what I've learnt on stage and that's how I approach my work.


As long as I'm able to create a character that is original and my performance is honest, I don't really think about the length.



You've been trained by Arvind Gaur - what has that been like for you when you come before the camera?


Arvind sir's training is very relevant in cinema and I say this for a whole lot of reasons. I've had the opportunity to work with some of the best directors like Hansal Mehta, Imtiaz Ali and TV Chandran. Fortunately, almost after every scene, I've been given a pat on my back and told that I've done a good job. I guess it's because every time a director tells me to approach a scene a certain way, I'm able to comprehend and deliver. All this is only because of Mr Arvind Gaur's training. He empowers his actors, doesn't teach a method but rather makes you discover, identify and evolve your own method. He is a great teacher.




Where do you want to see yourself in five years?


I'll be doing the same thing - laying bricks! I use that expression because to me creating or rather finding a character is like making a building brick by brick. Five years from now I might be doing bigger films and may have prominent or lead roles; nevertheless my motivation to do the job will be the same and my ambition would still be to consistently deliver honest performances.


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