‘Audience no more wants heroes but characters’

Debarati Palit Singh
Thursday, 12 October 2017

Himansh Kohli says that it was tough getting into the skin of the character in Ranchi Diaries but Prakash Jha films helped him achieve that feat

Even though the announcement about Anupam Kher becoming the chairperson of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) was made on Wednesday, Himansh Kohli, who stars along with Anupam in Ranchi Diaries, says that the celebrations had started days ago. Anupam is also producing the film, which releases today. Directed by Sattwik Mohanty, Ranchi Diaries also stars Jimmy Shergill, Satish Kaushik, Soundarya Sharma, Taaha Shah and others.

“After the news was made public, I texted him. We have been discussing this for the last few days while promoting the film. Finally someone who has immense knowledge about cinema has been selected,” he says, adding that the actor-director has shared his experiences with the cast and crew. “Anupam sir is the right guru. I know that I have finally got someone who will always guide me about acting and grooming. He is always very motivating,” says Himansh.

But ask him if mentoring is a must for those who want to make a career in films and he says, “If you have talent, you can move ahead in this industry. There are people who have contacts in the right place but they will not survive if they have no talent. For people like us, it will take time because I am an outsider. I have to make a mark on my own but thankfully, I have got such wonderful people to support me now,” he says.

As the discussion moves back to Ranchi Diaries, Himansh says that he is excited about the project because he has tried something different. But it was challenging for him to get into the skin of the character considering the story is based in Jharkhand. “Of course, it was difficult. But Prakash Jha films (Gangaajal to Arakshan) helped me a lot. Just like there are YouTube tutorials, I used Prakash ji’s films as tutorials. Our director Sattwik helped me with the body language. We had done workshops before the shoot which too helped,” he says.

He says that though the character is contemporary, he is a Maine Pyar Kiya type lover. “He is an innocent boy, an ideal boyfriend.” He says that the story is about people who have big dreams but I have realised that for those living in small cities, it’s more about achieving their target than dreams.

Lately, stories connected to our roots are working at the box-office. That’s because people relate to these stories, says Himansh. “Most people can’t connect with the stories from cities. They connect more with movies like Toilet Ek Prem Katha. They no more want heroes but characters which you get in small cities.”

Himansh’s last film Sweetie Weds NRI failed at the box-office but the actor says that he is in a phase where he wants to work. “I am open to all kinds of reviews. People loved my first film Yaariyan after which I realised that it’s my responsibility that I do not sign just anything,” he says. He further explains that the reason Sweetie... failed is because they had hoped to release the film in 1,500 screens but ultimately could release only in 100 screens.

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