Candid and unbiased Ishwak Singh opens up like never before!

Ishwak Singh has done a lot of Bollywood films wherein he is seen portraying character roles be it TAAMASHA, VEERI DI WEDDING and many more, hailing from a theater background not many know that Ishwak is also a national level table tennis champ and is also an avid cinema lover and movie buff. He has read books on literature about film making and studied it well.
Not only is he inclined towards character roles he also wants to make a mark in regional cinema,
Currently he is shooting for a Malayam film too.

His latest advertisement directed by Imitaz Ali shows Ishwak playing a metrosexual guy and this way he showed the industry that he is one actor who can pull off any role with ease.being an architect by profession he is all set to follow his passion that is acting, and he is entertaining the audience with his meaty character roles in film.

candid conversation with Ishwak he speaks in length about how he began his journey and how is he surviving in a city like Mumbai and his plan of action for upcoming films and his comparison with Fawad Khan.

Excerpts from the Interview:

How did you enter Bollywood?
I am an architect. But I started doing theatre in Delhi and a little dance alongside. I was always very keen to learn acting. I got to know about a theatre group in Delhi called Asmita Theatre Group, which followed the journey of Stella Adler’s acting studio. Asmita helped me do exactly that, I then did plays. In my theatre days, I did a play in which Mahesh Bhatt was the narrator in the beginning. I played the central character. He saw me, he came up to me and said I was very good. I was surprised at first and initially wondered whether he was really talking to me. It was such a huge compliment to have Mahesh Bhatt say this. It gave me confidence when he told me that I had what it takes to be a good actor. I thought I needed to take this seriously because I may have a shot at acting.

I also started to give auditions and was lucky enough that I gave auditions at Mukesh Chabbra’s office and went through, But that journey too wasn’t easy, you need to be very efficient. What I learnt from theater is you have a graph of the character, I know the base and I can perform wherein films you shoot the climax first and then you shoot the introduction the character.

Being a natural Architect taught me that the practical aspect is very different from theory, and that was true here as well. I did workshops with them, worked with them and honed my skills. It has been eight years in the industry and it has taught me to survive and choose the apt script, I have turned down offers from banners because I wasn’t comfortable doing a character, the connect was missing.
Go on..

I went back to theatre after that but I still wanted to focus on acting, Incidentally, based on auditions, I got small parts in TAMASHAA and FITOOR. I was doing those smaller roles while I geared up for ALIGARH. I played Deepika Padukone’s boyfriend in TAMASHA and in FITOOR, I had a scene with Tabuji, which is great for a new actor.

Asmita (Theater group) has a very strong reputation in the theatre industry, and boasts of names like Kangana Ranaut, Deepak Dobriyal and Piyush Mishra. Aanand L Rai came there to do a workshop to prepare Sonam Kapoor for RAANJHANAA. He did some casting from our theatre group too. That is how I got to play Sonam’s fiancé in VEERE DI WEDDING.

I recently have shot for an ad which is directed by Imitiaz Ali, and not a huge commercial ad, a very simple ad but I liked the concept and it’s always good to work with Imitiaz as he understands what he has to deliver from an actor and now as I have interacted with him, I know my craft well.

How has theater helped you in your acting?
All these roles really helped me become the actor that I am. When I went to shoot for ALIGARH, one of my first scenes was with Manoj Bajpayee. He has been my idol for a very long time and it was such a big deal to do a scene with him. I was very nervous, I prepared for it, and when it was done even Hansal (Mehta) sir came up to me and said it was good. He complimented me after every scene. That felt great.

It was a challenge for me to switch from theatre to films. I think you kind of take your audience for granted in theatre. It is more difficult in films. In theatre, you can dramatise a little, you can improvise with your emotions, but you cannot take that liberty when you are shooting for a film. People want to see you in a realistic way in a film. However, now I feel that whether in theatre or cinema, it is just acting and you just need to adapt yourself to the medium. Infact I have done films in south and that has also given me a so much confidence as an actor to perform. I remember when I was performing a scene they stood and applauded me which is something I didn’t believe that is happening, despite having such cut-to cut deadlines they acknowledge the work of actors. I got a project in the South through my work in theatre and it was another enriching experience. It was called MOHAVALAYAM and was directed by TV Chandran.

Are you open to television?
With my temperament and my work, I am a little more attached to films. Of course, I am open to the television but my heart is in films. I like the structure of movies; it is just like a play for me. Whatever films and roles I do get, I will continue to give my best. Everything else is secondary.

You are driven by character role, would you like to portray a role which is on a lighter note?
I am open to good work, and all genres, I want to do a film that entertains the audience and also give out a message as well, I just don’t want to work for the heck of it.

Had you not been an actor, would you pursue architecture?
One thing is for sure whatever I would do, would be with utmost hard work and passion. I always wanted to be an actor, since a kid I had that drama, even while I would play tennis I had a certain drama on field I remember I was very young and I had to walk like a turtle and I thought a lot about it, how should my walk, be people will see, a young kid who has to walk like a turtle wouldn’t thinks so much but I thought a lot. I knew I wanted to be an actor.

So you overthink a lot when it comes to choosing a script or it your instant decision?
I have this sense of understanding that I have turned down offers from banners which I knew I wouldn’t connect and perform, thanks to theater I know myself and the role how will it shape up. I don’t overthink atall, I go with the role and character which I feel I can believe in.

Will you be continuing with theater?
Of course, I will do it as and when I get time, my plays have been appreciated and there is huge audience for the same, I am inclined towards films and I have a wish list of directors to work rather than roles.

What do you do when you don’t shoot?
I love watching movies, I love films like GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, BLACK FRIDAY, films by Anurag Kashyap, which are realistic, rooted. I love things which have deep philosophy. Infact I have watched the film GANGS.. more than 100 times, I read books, I play tennis and I work out.

What’s next on the cards?
I am doing one more film down South, which is being made in Malayalam, Tamil and Sinhalese. It has a very big Sri Lankan model named Piumi Hansamali.

You have been compared to Fawad Khan, what do you have to say?
Well, I don’t know where this is coming form, we only look simalar,but he is a very different person, I haven’t watched much of his work but yes I can say, I am not like him, we are different. I am more into philosophy as well as into in-depth and detailing of the subject.

Here’s wishing Ishwak all the very best for his future endeavors!

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