In a career spanning more than two decades, actor Mukesh Tiwari has played several memorable roles and been a part of popular films like ‘China Gate’, ‘Gangaajal’, ‘Golmaal: Fun Unlimited’, ‘Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?’, ‘Golmaal Again’ and more. In this interview, he speaks about his recently released short film ‘Niyati Chakra’, why training is important for an actor, upcoming web series and more.
‘Niyati Chakra’ has two people from different dimensions meeting and having a conversation. It is quite a unique concept for short film.
Yes! What attracted me to this project was the way it was conceived by the director. As you rightly pointed out, such kind of concepts are rarely explored in the short film format. It is a difficult subject. Even when they didn’t have any financer, they were very passionate about making this film. The entire team pulled everything together and managed to shoot in on quite a big scale. They were very passionate about telling this story. Working on this short film was a wonderful experience for me. It’s good to see such young filmmakers telling such incredible stories.
The short film format has become quite popular in the recent past. What are your thoughts on it?
I think short films have a very good future. Young filmmakers are getting the opportunity to tell their stories and showcase their talent through this medium.
From Jageera in ‘China Gate’ to Wasooli Bhai in the Golmaal franchise to Baba Jani in ‘Pagalpanti’, you have played a variety of characters so far. At this point in your career, what is that one thing that attracts you towards a project?
As an actor, I like to take up projects that challenge me as an actor and give me the opportunity to do something new. When you start repeating yourself, that becomes a problem. A good script is one that makes me lose my sleep and wonder how will I be able to do justice to the character I have been asked to portray. Even if I play a cop after portraying a similar character in a film, I make sure that the two characters appear very different from each other.
When ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’ was being planned several years ago, you were approached to play one of the characters in it. You decided not to do the show as you didn’t want to be stereotyped as a comic character.
Yes, as I stated earlier, I try not to repeat myself as an actor. I stayed away from television as doing a TV show would have meant playing a character for months or years at a stretch. You can’t let the artist within you die. After playing Wasooli Bhai in ‘Golmaal Fun Unlimited’ (2006), I was offered similar roles in many films. Instead of playing a character similar to Wasooli Bhai in different films, I preferred playing the same character in the other films in the franchise.
Which is that one role that is the closest to your heart?
It is difficult to pick one but Jageera from ‘China Gate’ will always be special as it was the first ever character I portrayed on the screen.
Are you open to doing a series for an OTT platform?
Yes, in fact I am doing a show for Disney Plus Hotstar. It’s called ‘Fear’. The shoot is almost complete. It should come out sometime next year. I have made a conscious effort to stay away from adult content. That’s the reason I had to turn down many of the web shows that I was offered in the past. I feel even when filmmakers get a lot of freedom, they should be responsible and exercise self-censorship.
You studied acting at the National School of Drama. How important, do you think, is training for an actor?
Training is very important for an actor. Even if you don’t go to an institute, you must do certain things to train yourself. An actor could do theatre to polish his skills or learn more about his craft by watching good cinema. An actor has to keep polishing his skills throughout his career.
Niyati Chakra is currently streaming on BiiggBang.