MY CIRCLE STORY'S SPECIAL TALK WITH
Written by Aayushi Gupta a.k.a Pepo
VIJE BHATIA is an Indian film actor, writer and director with international awards. With an experience of more than 100 TV shows, popularly known as the king of DD, also popular for his performances in Ramayan, kabhi saas kabhi bahu, Kashmakash and films like A Wednesday, Var toh NRI, Mumbai 125kms, Blind Mind, Lakhon hain yahan Dilwale and many more. We had a great discussion with him with his carrier life and his coming projects.
Good Evening, sir this is one of my first interviews wherein I am representing My Circle Story, thank you for being my first guest first and foremost
My pleasure , many people have debuted through me I will also be one of them now (both chuckle)
What has been keeping you busy nowadays, What are your latest projects, can you walk me through it
YEs, the last thing that I had done was a film called the blind mind, due to the pandemic it did not find a release in India, so we had the idea to release it in the festivals. We did exactly that, released it in the festivals and won 24 awards in total. I myself got 3 best actor international awards for that film. Which was a milestone in my career as it marks my international award debut. That is amazing. Also it was a fantastic subject about a father and daughter. It touches a dark subject and is highly emotional, it will be out in India pretty soon in one of the leading OTT platforms. What I am doing right now is also a festival oriented film, we have completed shooting and I will be starting the dubbing from 18th onwards. The edits will be completed this week itself. The film is called saint of ware** . The title is in English but it is a Hindi film. It will be released in America, London and commercially. It will be exhibited in the festivals also and then we are planning to come down to India. That is amazing,
Actually to be honest I was going through you on the internet and was trying to scrape all the videos I can, not to come across as a creepy person. It was for research. I felt if I were related to you somehow my parents would have been like you should have been more like him, why are you not like him (inke jaisa hona chahiye tha, kyu nahi hai ese). So I think it must be intimidating for people who are related to you. That’s on a side note. You mentioned you would be going to international platforms. Let me cut you back to your point. They say ghar ki Murgi dal barabar ( ) It is absolutely true, I have no fame and respect as far as my friends, relatives are concerned. That is about it (slight chuckles), That is amazing,
now that you are in a creative field, now that I am an Indian youth, the thing I want to ask you is we usually consider being an “engineer”, “doctor” are considered to be as safe careers , you as a person who is in creative fields you have reached far, do you still stand by the statement that the typical fields are considered as safe and creative fields are considered not as such Yeah because in India, by default have not come to accept it as a profession. We talk of it highly, we worship movie stars or TV actors, or any artist for that matter. Somehow we don’t consider it as a profession . And it is on both sides of the society, on one side of the society are the people who are performers who don’t consider it as a profession and do not take professional training. I come across actors or any other people in the field from any walk be it musicians or dancers or directors or writers or anybody, they think it is a God-Gift and do not need to be trained professionally. shuruwaat yehi se galat hai () if you want to take it up as a profession and you do not want to take up any training it does not make any sense to me. The second side of the society are the people do not consider it as a profession, okay yeh karte ho () but what besides it for a living. As an artist or a musician or anybody you are not considered a professional. Coming to the third part of the society, banks do not give you loans, they do not give you credit cards, WHY? Because it is not a regulated profession. When the government does not accept it as a profession, when my people do not consider it as a profession, when I myself do not consider it as a profession then I do not think it is a profession. I understand, it is quite an interesting subject, you are talking about. This could have taken a whole one hour on a podcast I feel, absolutely I would love to do this, I am a very lazy guy as far as social media is concerned as far as social media is concerned . Mujhe koi mauka de na,() like you or anybody you know wants me to talk about any random topic I have hours and hours of footage which I can give. That’s done. That’s done. I noted this and I was like okay afterwards I am watching hold of you later.
Now as we were discussing, the world is becoming smaller day by day. Not only Hollywood films, now we are seeing that countries like South Korea, their films have also become internationally accepted. They have become a part of pop culture. Obviously, India is also on a good level. Do you feel India needs a certain factor to reach a greater level like Squid Games ? A very small sentence could make a difference, “ There is Cinema that makes money and there is cinema that makes sense “. The collision of these two will make cinema that will make a lot of appeal. Cinema which makes sense and money simultaneously at the same time. Will get you respect at a global level. Otherwise you will just be around. It is a very sad fact that my friends from Hollywood or film makers from other parts of the world really do not take me seriously. They do not take our cinema very seriously, because we have been so much through the film and nothing is really happening and why do they break into a dance segment at every given moment. Why do they keep flying all over the place while fighting, it does not make sense. So if you want to do that might as well get in the sci-fi zones, at least it’s something that is imaginary. Here you are doing imaginary things with real people that are not making sense to the world. That’s right, I understand this and actually feel it is a pain point for many artists who want our media to go international, it is not necessary but I think it would be great if it happens, right! Like at least becoming a part of pop culture. Yeah we are at par as far as technology is concerned. Now that we see films from the era gone by like the 60s, 70s,80s. All of a sudden those films started to make sense to me. They at least had a story even if it was a three hour story, it had a starting a mid and an end, Now it is just a collection of some scenes and songs and fights, right it is not making.. Specifically the commercial cinema. Also as far as the OTT platform is considered or even web series, they started off really well. But when I say this and most people agree, all the web series seem to have the same content. Is crime the only thing happening in India, is there no other genre to explore, in all the web series all I see is underworld or the mafias or drugs or s*x or abuse, that’s it. Just try an experiment at home, ask someone to put on some web series and you are in a different room wherein you just hear the show, and not see it. I bet you will not be able to tell which show is which one as all sound the same.
I understand it is like I do not want to insult anything, like we used to see the Indian TV series, and literally everything sounds the same, the dadis and nanis watch like te bahu and saas having issues, there is this one formula used everywhere. They are just changing the title of it. The same thing is happening with the OTT platforms, I understand that part. Yeah, you know, just the other day I as at my mom’s place. I happened to watch the show which is balika vadhu, which has had a comeback after a big gap, and I thought it would be modernized. The whole show looks very modern as far as the look is concerned but the content has gone behind the earlier segment. It has become so regressive. It is unbelievable how people can conceptualize such a show and then have the guts to shoot it and telecast it.
It is like till a point media plays a major role in influencing people, after seeing a certain movie you feel like you are that main character so the content we are putting across our audience is also alarming. Media is very very much responsible for whatever is happening in the county at large, whether it is the political media or the entertainment media. The media decides who becomes the next star. Who will get all the limelight, all of sudden there is one new star then he stays around for a couple of months of years, the person disappears and somebody new is created. It is all media created, how they decide I do not know and I am not against it absolutely. These people are given a lot of stardom, correct they deserve it but there are so many unsung heroes in the country. Who goes unnoticed. I think if it is a democracy it should be that the people, journalists, press, media just do not understand the kind of power they have, their cameras and pens have so much power which they should understand. They should be more responsible in what they do. I understand,
nowadays there is a term among the youth that journalism is going into the garbage, I mean not only in the media, the topic will get totally diverted but even in politics this is not what we want to hear tell us the whole story.
So that is true as well. Coming to personalizing a question I want to ask as an actor you’ve been in many T.V shows (100), yeah 100! I actually had searched it out, (chuckles, I am Sachin Tendulkar of T.V) And if I am not mistaken you have played Bharat in Ramayana, I even checked out your LinkedIn profile, I saw that you are a very very creative person. My question is what is your process as an actor, what is your methodology. If I have to lay an emotion I really do not like again and again it traumatizes me, so as an actor you do have to bring certain emotions, you have to cry or pick a certain emotion so does that not affect you,, or harm you mentally Yeah absolutely, it takes a toll on you. It took me a long time, wait it hasn’t taken me a long time I am still not able to get out of Bharat, that has had an impact on me. Major! And the last film that I had talked about the Blind Mind, that had an effect on me and the film that I had done recently had taken a toll on me health wise also. Because the film I am doing “Saint of the Worried” , I was supposed to play a man who has to stay hungry for 30 days, I actually did starve for 30 days. I was on water, that’s it! As I was doing the workshop for the film, I realized however hard I try, the performance and the look in the eye of a man who has starved will not come when you have food in your stomach. So, I had no choice but to starve, to get that look out. During the shoot nobody actually realized how big of a task it is. But now that they have edited it and everyone has seen the film they do mention that there is something that is different that is coming out. Everybody is noticing it. I know it is because you do these small things that make your character from one level to another top level, That is what makes the difference. For preparing, for any character I do not learn my lines, My way of approaching a character is getting into the character. When I get inside the character, the lines that come out of me are not Vije Bhatia’s lines. They will belong to that character. Because I am into the psyche of that character, but if I just learn the lines and say it, it will just be me who is saying some lines that I have just learned. That will not make a difference to the character. Until and unless I get inside the psyche. And understand the character on a deeper level, I will never be able to portray it. That is how I approach any character.
One question that comes to you is that, now you are living with so many characters. Are living many lives the question lies that do you feel that you lose the actual Vije Bhatia, are you losing your individuality. If you are playing a character you adapt the personality in our own lives, so do you think that happens? It is a toll on your personal life. I am suffering that personal phase because I have been so much at work that there is nothing left to give at home. When I am home I am generally very very annoying for people at home. You do have to pay the price of being an actor.
The next question is that what is that one cause that you really care about, one cause that you really feel for Education. Education is very very important. It makes a huge difference, to personality and once you have an educated person that leads to an educated society and you can see it in our country the governments come and go, the people in power change but the nation does not change because the sensibility of the country of the youth of the people is still of the uneducated people whoever comes in power can try as much as he or she wants butt it does not percolate down to the lowest level. There is no understanding in educational people over there. I feel it is a very good cause to fight for/
Concluding the interview I would like to ask if you could give a title to your life what would it be and why ? (long Pause) A cup full of life. It is like a cup full of life is an analogy to tea, wherein you put out some water it is like childhood, when you start becoming a young adult youth seeps in, water starts boiling, you will add some sugar that resembles romance and friendship. You go further in and tea leaves are added, suddenly everything seems dark and it showcases difficulties. It starts boiling. There are problems when you step into the real world and then all of sudden some milk is put inside and everything becomes calm and serene. You get the knowledge of life and the cup full of life is ready.
Next time I have a cup of tea I would not look at it the same way. I would be like okay this is what is happening. Thank you so much and I hope to catch you on more interviews and ask such intense questions like this.
Interviewer : Aayushi Gupta a.k.a Pepo
Editor : Aayushi Gupta a.k.a Pepo