Pratik Gandhi was a bright star of regional cinema. One show later, he is all set for his Bollywood debut and how! After appearing in every list about breakout actors of 2020 for his show Scam 1992, that’s how! Let me rephrase it ; there are very many public accounts/interviews of the scamster Harshad Mehta but the mind automatically thinks of Gandhi when one mentions Mehta. It’s almost a reflex! And thanks to Achint Thakkar’s banging theme music, Scam 1992 has been immortalized in the minds of mere mortals like us. And so has Gandhi’s foray into the world of web-shows. But what was it like to bring the character to life? In this episode of The Bombay Journey, Pratik Gandhi breaks down how he pumped the material with his theatre experience and background.
Interestingly, director Hansal Mehta hadn’t even seen his audition when he gave him a call for the hit series. He had seen his earlier works and that’s that! In fact, while it may seem like the man of the moment became a popular face overnight, he has actually been around for a long time. He landed in Bombay with an engineering degree and some theatre experience from Gujarat in 2004. And he did everything it took to get where he is today, everything including working kids shows, corporate shows, kitty shows along with consultancy work. He had even joined a full-time corporate job. But as luck would have it he took leaves and did his first Gujarati film. Then came Wrong Side Raju which also bagged a National Award and there was no looking back! Except when he borrowed the wisdom of the stage to infuse the edge that was so memorable about his performance. That and a lot of observations as an artist. From Harshad Mehta’s body language to his mannerisms, Gandhi inculcated all for his part and the attention to detail translates well. So does he still have to fight the tropes of mainstream cinema that often doesn’t give regional cinema the respect it deserves. Oh yes! The actor is however glad that he got to dismiss the stereotypes by playing a ‘neutral’ Gujarati character and not a caricaturish role who talks in the reductive way that has been often portrayed.
Not just that, Gandhi also opens up about his relationship with Bombay and sums up the pull and push that a lot of settlers from different parts of the country feel. The passion, the professionalism and it all. He also listed a few things that define the city and its unmissable – Bombay is local trains and its noise, Parla ki vada pav, Chowpati ki bhel, Juhu ki barf ke gole, and kulfi. Mogre ki khusboo in the market area etc. Ultimately you can’t miss Pratik grooving to the track of Scam 1992. So, what are you waiting for? Click away!
Cover Image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India