New Delhi: National Award winner Ashish Vidyarthi has acted in hundreds of films in languages like Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Bengali, but the actor in him wants more. He also feels he has had fewer opportunities in Bollywood.
A few weeks ago, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj said Bollywood hasn’t given justice to Ashish’s talent and that he is an underrated and under-utilised actor.
“I would (agree with Bhardwaj),” Ashish said with a laugh.
“There are many roles and I haven’t had the opportunity to do any of them. I jokingly tell people ‘Sometimes I wonder, is the film industry waiting for me to die and then say it’s sad. He was a good actor. He was underrated and didn’t have enough chances’,” he told IANS in a telephonic interview.
He wants the filmmakers to know that the actor is around.
“There are many roles and I am waiting for directors to come out. The actor is available,” said the “Aligarh” actor.
He has been in the film industry since the early 90s and he believes he has maintained “my sanity and kept my hunger alive for doing powerful roles”.
“There are many mature directors. I am sure someday they will say ‘You know what? Let’s do something interesting’.”
In fact, one of the reasons why he tried his hand at regional films is because the makers offered him roles of his choice.
“I have done 200 plus films in other languages,” he said comparing himself to a traveller.
“Thanks to this travel of mine, so many other languages have discovered me. I belong to them. I make the most of my journey. I am available as an actor across languages. I am looking forward to interesting roles…. in Hindi too,” said the actor, known for films like “Droh Kaal”, “1942: A Love Story”, “Arjun Pandit”, “Vaastav: The Reality” and “Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai”.
But is he happy with his acting journey which started almost three decades ago?
“I am grateful and continue to ask for more. The journey of an actor continues. Even as we continue our life, what is important is that, we must keep hope for the future alive,” he said.
He is looking forward to the release of his Tamil film with actress Amala Paul.
“It’s an interesting one,” said the actor, who feels he has remained relevant.
The digital platform also excites him.
“It allows more people to consume entertainment. It is is readily available to people on their mobile phones,” said Ashish.
His short film “Kahanibaaz”, presented by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films, also released on the digital platform last month.
The thriller, helmed by Sandeep Varma, features Ashish Vidyarthi as a cab driver, who takes an odd turn during a drive to Shirdi with a couple.
Talking about his character’s actions in the film, he said: “Even though we hate something, we do something else. People can’t express themselves where they need to and that’s why it comes out somewhere else.”
It is inspired by Gaana’s original “Kahanibaaz” podcast.
“I love that podcast,” he said.
Apart from acting, he keeps himself busy by being a motivational speaker.
“Over the last few years, apart from my acting, which has taken me all over, I have also had a very interesting inning as a motivational speaker. I conduct the Avid Miner programmes all over the world.
“Each time I curate a conversation. So, each conversation is new,” said the “Athanokkade” actor, who creates learning environment for life skill development and workplace well-being of corporate professionals, entrepreneurs and individuals.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at [email protected])