Talk about villains and Ashutosh Rana’s excellent performances in ‘Dushman’, ‘Sangharsh’, ‘Shabnam Mousi’, ‘Kalyug’ and many others pop in our head. He is one of the finest talents we have in our industry and we always look forward to his performances. Further to this, he has dabbled in short-film category as well and has worked in a film called ‘Test Drive’. Sameer Chand directorial, ‘Test Drive’ is all about a talented man wanting to receive one opportunity to prove himself. Unfortunately, dejected on various levels, life has a twisted story written for him. Needless to say that Ashutosh Rana has once again delivered a brilliant performance in ‘Test Drive’.
As we laud his efforts and performances, here are the excerpts from a candid interview with him…
How was your experience working on a short film for the first time?
My experience was very good, I had a lot of fun. In fact, I enjoy everything that lets me perform and a character that is challenging. So it was a very good experience. Director Sameer Chand is a very sensitive human being and he shoots with a lot of conviction. And when you have a director who is this good at his work, so definitely the journey is quite great.
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Something on the character…
The basic crux of this film is that a person is looking forward to an opportunity to show his talent. If we look at the reality, all of us are struggling to get this opportunity. All of us want to grab the opportunity so that we can prove ourselves. If we see the film, Shantanu (the character) is just looking for an opportunity to prove himself. ‘Test Drive’ for me is all about that human characteristic of fighting for that one opportunity. Either you will get rejected or you will see the sight of selection. Life dwells between these two factors and that is a ‘Test Drive’. You have to drive yourself to succeed in the test of life.
How has your struggle in the industry been like…
If you see, I am from a no-man’s land. Neither my father nor my uncle belongs to this industry. But I am among those fortunate people whose passion, profession and education has been acting. When all these three things meet up, then there is no going away from the struggle. You are left with no option but to struggle. So when you are option-less, you have to struggle. It then becomes the need of time. And this is showbiz, you have to prove yourself every day. Without proving yourself, how will you get the glory of immortal-ism? When you get featured on celluloid, you get immortal. Achieving immortal-ness is like finding glory and to get the glory, you need to prove yourself.
Has there been any moment when you have felt that you do not fit into this industry?
No, never! I came to Mumbai in 1994 and since then I have been thinking that whatever I will achieve, it would be through this industry. And this industry has given me that. Every human being feels that justice has not been done to his talent or he has not achieved things as caliber. Everyone feels that he deserves to achieve more, that’s a very individual thing. But when we are getting into an art from an industry, we feel that everyone is getting their dues. It is a matter of patience. Some get opportunity quickly while some need to wait. But everyone does get an opportunity.
In reality, how important it is for an actor to know dancing?
Dancing, action, comedy, emotions and others are all form of expressions. If we see the film, after a point because of the humiliation the character starts playing with the other man. Just because I am not able to refuse to anything, I want to give you an opportunity to reject me. In Hindi film industry there are so many actors who do not know dancing but are extremely talented actors. It is not necessary that every dancer is an actor and vice versa.
What’s your take on nepotism?
I do not create a fuss around this because in a natural course, the facilities that I have not received, my kids will receive and why shouldn’t they get it? I can just give an opportunity to my kids but it is on their calibre as to how to own that opportunity. Without that calibre how will they make use of that opportunity? Look at us, we are not a product of nepotism. Be it me, Manoj Bajpayee, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar; we are not here because of nepotism. We have not faced injustice. So when we have not faced any injustice then why should I create a hullabaloo on this? If I am in a particular field and I am successful, then if not my kids, who else will receive all the facilities? Nepotism is not a new thing. Even Lord Rama’s sons got their kingdom. It is upon the son to be successful or not. Nepotism can only give you an opportunity, it is upto you how to use it.
Your last big film was ‘Brothers’, why do we see you less in films these day?
If you see my filmography, I have been one of those fortunates who has got to variety of roles. Even as villains, I have done different characters. So if you are a person who wants to do variety of characters, you have to go through this phase. People expect variety of work from you and when you do not deliver that, you would lose whatever you have earned. So you have to wait. In the year 2018, you will see me in quite a few interesting films. One is ‘Mulq’ with Anubhav Sinha. Then there is Dharma productions’ ‘Dhadak’ and then there is a film with Abhishek Chaubey. At times you have to wait and at times there is a lot to do in short span of time. All these three films will see me in different characters.
You have done quite a few negative roles, was it how you had planned your career?
I have never seen it in this manner. I never saw whether the character is negative or positive. The only thing that mattered was whether the character is challenging or not. Whether it is exciting or not. I had not planned in any way, I just wanted the character to be exciting and challenging, be it positive or negative.
Image Source - YouTube
Lastly, your wife Renuka Shahane is so vocal on social media but that’s not the case with you, so are you averse to it?
Just because she writes in English, people read it and I write in Hindi and my Hindi is a little tough, so it is difficult for media to understand. Also, our style of talking is different. I say things in my own way and hence, it does not make it to the headlines. Neither of us are trying to be vocal. We are just expressing our opinion.