If there’s a crying scene, you can’t think, ‘Let me cry better than the others’. You can’t compete with your co-star because he is in the same frame with you. Acting is reacting to someone in a scene. Insecure and selfish co-stars, who only think about their camera angle and their lines, put me off. I really can’t work like that. I wouldn’t be honest with my work then.
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It does exist for sure. I’ve been affected by it. There was a film that I was supposed to do with a big director for a renowned production house, but someone (star kid) influenced the director and wished to do it instead. And he got the part. Luckily, that film never got made. It’s my good karma.
I once heard a story from a certain director and I told him I’d like to audition for it. Sadly, I was told, ‘You can’t audition for the main guy (hero) but you can for his friend’s role.’ I argued, ‘Why not? I can do justice to the lead role.’ They didn’t say why I couldn’t do it but I got the hint. It has happened to me a couple of times.
I choose a film by looking at the story as a whole. For instance, I knew right from the beginning that ‘Queen’ is a special and different story. No matter what your role is, it’s always great to be part of a good film than do a lead part in a bad film. Also, so many people know me today because of that film. I knew that Vijay (his character) was not the lead actor and that people won’t like him, but without Vijay, there won’t be a ‘Queen’. He’s an integral part of the story.
Please work on your craft before hitting the gym and going to a beauty salon. Selfies and social media hoopla are fine, but work on your acting. Fortunately, the casting process has improved a lot. There are opportunities for everyone. Yes, nepotism exists but there is a ray of hope. I am just an ordinary guy from Gurgaon, who dreamt of becoming an actor. If I can do it, anyone can do it.