How the web series Paatal Lok and TVF Pitchers put him in the spotlight
Getting a foothold in Bollywood is tough and no one knows it better than Abhishek Banerjee, who has established himself as a versatile actor and casting director in the Hindi film industry.
Taking a trip back to his early years, first break and struggles, Banerjee shared stories of his trials and triumphs at a session of EDGE Talks, a talk series organised by Geekonix, the science and technology club of Techno Main Salt Lake, as part of EDGE’21.
Here are excerpts from the talk.
From school plays to ‘Rang de Basanti’
My thoughts were far from being an actor when I took the stage as Lord Rama in my first school play! When my dad got transferred to Delhi, I started to perform on stage again and it was the beginning of my journey as an actor.
‘Rang de Basanti’ was fun. One of my friend’s brothers was an assistant director and they needed young actors. I got selected and played a youth who was auditioning for a short film on Indian freedom fighters. It was a very small role without a name or introduction. Nevertheless, I got Rs 300 for that. It was a tremendous experience.
Working as a casting director
My first job as a casting associate was for the film Dev D. I learnt a lot by simply observing how films are shot.
During the shooting of Chak De India, they needed a casting director as well as actors who played hockey. It suited me perfectly because I am an actor who knows other actors and understands performance.
On the iconic line ‘Tu beer hai’ in the web series TVF Pitchers
I never thought that a single line could tickle popular imagination for so long! Whenever I go to a pub, a youngster would approach me to offer a beer and then ask me to say the dialogue! They tell me that the scene has motivated people to follow their passion, which is great to hear.
Reaction to the role of Hathoda Tyagi in the web series Paatal Lok
I would be lying if I tell you that I had no idea about the possible impact of the role of Hathoda Tyagi. The day I got the role, I knew it would either make me famous or destroy my career as you don’t get to play such characters every day. We, actors, are nothing without our characters.
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