Sense and Sanjay Suri

He prides himself in being an alumni of NSD — the Natural School of Drama. Sanjay Suri who has learnt acting through trial and error has never really been an ‘in-your-face’ actor. But he’s left his mark on audiences and critics alike with his sensitive portrayals in films like Pinjar, My Brother Nikhil, Firaaq and others. Sanjay who will next be seen depicting someone who’s been a victim of child abuse, talks to CS about being a sensitive actor and how he caught the acting bug:

Who: Sanjay Suri
What: Talking about evolving as an actor
Where: At his Andheri residence

Character analysis
When you are working on a subject like domestic violence or homosexuality or child abuse, you get sensitised to it. As I played the character of Nikhil Kapoor in My Brother Nikhil, I became more aware about HIV and the condition of AIDS patients in India. And that helped me in my acting. My soon-to-be-released film is inspired by a true incident. When I thought of the horrors faced by a child abuse victim, I was automatically psyched up before the camera. My wife is a psychologist so she also helped me understand the mindset of a victim. Anurag Kashyap, who plays my abusive father, has himself suffered child abuse. So, having him on board helped me understand the situation better.

Repeat performance
After playing Bhiku Mhatre in Satya, I remember Manoj Bajpayee telling me that he was offered hundreds of similar roles. Film-makers offer me roles in films with social themes because they feel I am ‘well suited’ for those serious roles. I feel they’re a bit short-sighted, creatively (laughs out loud). They seem to forget that I have done light-hearted films like Shaadi Ka Ladoo and Jhankaar Beats as well. I am really proud of the fact that I have done 25 films despite not having a single super hit under my belt. I would love to do a comedy, though I’d steer clear of mindless slapsticks.

A complete natural
As a kid, I never thought of becoming an actor. But I was always interested in movies. We used to see film stars coming to Kashmir (my home town) to shoot songs and romantic scenes. Then, there was the problem in the Valley and we came to Delhi. It was in the capital that I rediscovered my passion for cinema. Slowly, I started with a few ad films. Even in ads, I chose ones that would let me act a little. That’s how it all started. I call myself an alumni of NSD — the Natural School of Drama (laughs). Though I don’t regret my lack of training, I do feel that I could have learnt a lot more in lesser time if I had some training under my belt. Source: Mid-Day