Nine years of theatre has prepped me enough for that: Actor Hitesh Bhojraj on playing versatile roles
Actor, Singer and voice artist Hitesh Bhojraj who made his debut in the Bobby Deol starrer Class of 83, portraying inspector Vishnu Varde is currently seen in MX Player's show Ek Thi Begum season 2
How did theatre help you to develop as an actor?
Theatre made me the actor I am today. Theatre taught me the discipline to be an actor, how to approach different characters. It taught me the most valuable lesson as an actor that it's okay to fail, rehearse more and rise again. Values like hard work has no substitutes. It is and will always remain my first love.
What was the biggest challenge in portraying the character of Ashwin Surve?
The part of the show where he is confined to a wheelchair. I hadn't ever played a part where the character is disabled. Not only was it challenging as an actor to get it right but it was also mentally taxing to perform it. After the shot was done, I would take some time to snap out of what it was making me feel, to be bound to a wheelchair, not to be able to talk and just communicate via a bell.
What kind of responses are you getting for the web series?
It's been amazing! I'm getting such wonderful messages and calls! It's overwhelming. People are loving the show and especially me in it. Even the critics have singled me out for my performance in the show . It's all very heartwarming.
How do you feel after watching your work? Are you satisfied with your work?
I'm the most critical of my own work, despite the audiences and the critics loving my work I'm harsh on myself. I think it's important for an artist to never be satisfied and always work towards improving the craft, there is always scope for growth. That being said, I'm still very happy with how Ashwin Surve has turned out. The grandeur that the show gives to my character, I mean I have a proper entry sequence with the music and the high speed shots, how cool is that! I'm over the moon!
Was it difficult to switch from cop to gangster? How challenging it is to switch genre?
Nine years of theatre has prepared me enough for that. I've done plays where I've played multiple characters in one show and with theatre at times one does different shows in the same timeline.. so the training to switch characters is strong. To answer your question, no it wasn't difficult to switch from the role of a cop to a gangster. Also I had time in between the two projects. To be honest I deliberately waited it out to be able to make that switch, I had many cop offers on the table.. I didn't want to play the same cop as in my first film. All these cop roles that were coming my way had shades of Vishnu Varde (Class of '83). I had to be patient and it paid off, I got Ashwin Surve.
With whom do you wish to work with next ?
I do have a wish-list of directors, for now it's safe to say I'll work with a director who gets me an amazing character and an awesome script. I just have to maintain that I do my work honestly and to my full potential. God willing my work will get my wish-list directors wanting to work with me soon.
What is your dream role ?
The one that allows me to do what I've already done on stage. Act, sing and dance. I definitely want to voice a song for my character, that is the dream.