Often, actors besides the lead actors come shining through in a film. Recently, we saw supporting actor Sunny Kaushal from GOLD leave a strong impression with his stupendous work in the film.
On the brief
Reema (Kagti) told me that Himmat Singh was a hockey player. As a back story, he starts training for hockey a little later in life. He had been a street hockey player. The other important thing she gave me was the back story of his family. He belongs to a family of freedom fighters. That is why he refuses to join the police force. He feels that Indians who work in the British police force are traitors. As a person, he is very impulsive, gullible and non-manipulative and does not understand politics at all.
On the character
Himmat Singh is very different from me. I am still discovering how to step into the shoes of a character different from me. No matter how much you learn, theoretically, you need a playing ground to put it into practice. During the process, I realised that many things were not working. So, I had to start all over again.
The main difference between Himmat and I was that he was an athlete and I am not. Athletes think very differently. I was lucky that it happened organically while learning hockey.
We were training with hockey players. Spending time with them and getting to know how they think, how they carry themselves and how they view life helped me build my character. I don’t have a set pattern for how to do it, it just happened.
Adding nuances to a character is important. With a writer, director and actor, there are three points of view. The grit of a character is created when they come together. I used to keep adding and subtracting things.
On the director
Reema is a sweetheart. I realise that women directors view the world very differently. They understand emotions much better. She saw nuances that I, as a guy, could not see in Himmat. She helped me see those layers in my character. It was a great learning experience and one that I will carry forward throughout my career. She is also a taskmaster on the sets, which is very necessary for a film like GOLD. She is a rock star!
On the co-stars
The dynamic on the set was great. We trained for six months before filming, during which Vineet (Kumar Singh), Kunal (Kapoor), Amit (Sadh) and I, along with the rest of the team, were together. There were 24 of us. We were like brothers on the set. There is a saying that ek baar sports jo aapko jod deti hai naa, toh usko todna bahut mushkil hota hai. The bonding was so strong with everyone even before we went on the sets that we actually felt like a team.
On the response
The response is overwhelming, sweet and humbling. I read every comment on Instagram every day to see if there was a new comment (Laughs). I make sure I reply to everybody. The greatest compliment I have been getting is that people did not know me and once they got out of the theatre, they could not stop thinking about me. My family says to me every day, ‘Beta, we are so proud!’
I am open to whatever comes to me. I don’t know what kind of roles I want to do or my limitations and extent of being an actor yet. I am looking forward to any interesting roles that come my way.
I still have to go and give auditions. It is not that the appreciation has brought me a flood of scripts. I am still meeting people. There is no shame in giving screen tests. That is part and parcel of it, and I love it.
– Titas Chowdhury