Actors are like puppets’

Sanjay Suri may not have a huge fan following. But, he has been inching into the audiences’ hearts in his own way with films like Sorry Bhai, Speed, Bas Ek Pal, Jhankaar Beats, My Brother…Nikhil etc.

Now, he seems to have bagged a role that he has been waiting for all these years. Sanjay, who plays a reformed militant leader striving for peace in a strife-torn region in his forthcoming film Sikander, explains why it is so close to his heart. “He is powerful and trying to bridge in the gap between the separatists,” says he. “It’s a thriller set in a place which has seen violence for over two decades. The movie unfolds in Kashmir.”

That Sanjay hails from Kashmir makes the character even more endearing for him. His voice chokes with emotion when he says, “I went back home after 18 years. The golden moments came gushing down, and it almost seemed like a catharsis. I went back to my house, my school and many other places. My past flashed right before me.”

Years ago, at around the same time, he had lost his father to a terrorist attack. Did it rekindle the painful memories too? “I think that was one of the reasons I never went back there. But, I thought like a professional and decided to face my fears and agonising memories. I’m glad I did, as it was like an inner cleansing. Back then, there wasn’t any media coverage and what happened here died here itself. It was never national news, so very few people knew the trauma Kashmiris went through,” reflects Sanjay.

Since Sikander smacks of seriousness, is serious cinema on the cards? “Not exactly, I’ve done only one serious film — Nandita Das’ Firaaq. I won’t call Sikander serious cinema, it is a realistic film. I loved my part and the entire dynamics of the film,” asserts he.

How was the process of sharing cinematic space with two teenagers, Ayesha Kapur and Parzan Dastur? “Children are so candid about their performance and that’s the best part about working with them,” states he.

Apart from Firaaq and Sikander, Sanjay will be seen in Flat with Jimmy Sheirgill, made by the makers of A Wednesday! and Sanjay Gupta’s Alibaug. Isn’t he juggling with too many genres? “Actors are like puppets and can be moulded into anything. There should be a good director to do that,” states he. With fine filmmakers getting a chance to prove their mettle today, Sanjay can only expect to have better roles in future.