Interview : Vinay Pathak

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Vinay Pathak is known for dabbling with various avatars on screen and stage. In Kolkata for staging his new play The Blue Mug, the actor tells our correspondent that he is scared of autobiographical plays.

Having experimented with different genres of plays, what struck you in The Blue Mug?
This is the first time I have become characterless. I am not playing any character but myself in The Blue Mug.

So, is it kind of an autobiographical play?
Autobiographical plays are scary. I think the success of this play is that when you come to see it, the flow of events stirs something within you…and you start thinking who you are, and hunt for an answer in your memories. The play, presented by Ballantine’s Leave An Impression, is not an intellectual or thought-provoking one. It is a very simple approach to relive and explore memories in whatever theatrical forms we have in hand.

How difficult it is for an actor to play himself?
It’s tiring and demands lots of hard work…where nothing’s fixed…there’s no script, no character. The play is about memories. One of the case studies of Dr

“I have become characterless…”

Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat) is our place of creation and then we devised our play’s structure accordingly. Only after rehearsals and workshops, we decide on what can be done and how.

Is it easy to be spontaneous when you are working with your long-time friends (Rajat Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey)?
All the time. Spontaneity is all about pairing and shedding (the mask). The best, hopefully, comes out then.

What kind of films or plays do you prefer when it comes to you making it?
I don’t know. Nothing’s fixed when it comes to me scripting a film or a play. I have been writing. Let’s see.

You took a dig at Shah Rukh Khan at an awards function long back. And yet you acted with him in RAB NE BANA DI JODI and MY NAME IS KHAN. How’s that?
I think I am suffering from memory loss…so can’t remember the incident you mentioned. But SRK is a very cool guy…a wonderful guy.

You are always seen playing short roles when it comes to commercial films…for example, your last release MY NAME IS KHAN…
See, I am an actor and I don’t have a high nose. I am open to everything….television, regional films, Bollywood, Hollywood, theatre…you offer me and I will do it.

You want to do regional films?
Why not? That’s why I am here in Kolkata and also touring other cities…looking for directors to cast me (jokingly).

Big directors…you mean?
I am available to do films for anyone and everyone. But I need to read the script first. Any man…or women, with a good script can call me.

You are known for your humour…
That’s because I binge on all sorts of sweets all the time. Scratch me and sweets will ooze out of my veins instead of blood.

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