‘I am a man of limited needs’
Anushuman Jha talks about his character in Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain, working with actors like Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi and why we do not see him in commercial films
NFDC and Drumroll Pictures’ Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain has been in the news because of the talented actors featuring in it. The film that stars Sanjay Mishra, Ekavali Khanna, Pankaj Tripathi, Anshuman Jha, Shivani Raghuvanshi and others, has made it to different festivals and won many accolades.
Anshuman, who plays a pivotal role in the film says that despite the festival tag, Angrezi.... is a popular genre film. “Right from the beginning, it’s an entertaining film. People might assume that it’s an art house film but it’s not and that’s why NFDC is releasing it in a unique way. In fact, we received amazing reactions from those who have watched it at festivals, including the youth,” says the actor. The film releases in theatres today (May 18).
Anshuman says that when director Harish Vyas offered him the script, he could see shades of Govinda in his character. “He is a young hero who is loud, colourful, real and innocent when in love, which was kind of challenging and I wanted to take it up. Everything about him was positive; he’s one who doesn’t find situations difficult,” the actor says. In addition to this, the film had a brilliant ensemble cast. “It stars Sanjay Mishra and we have all grown up admiring Sanjay sir; he is one of the best actors in the country. I remember watching Kadvi Hawa and my jaws dropping. He makes the smallest of roles come alive. The one month I spent in Varanasi shooting for the film was probably the best experience of my life,” he says.
He adds that working with actors like Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi, is not just enriching professionally but personally too. “I believe you are a sum total of your experiences as an actor. I have been doing theatre for 15 years but there are some things that come to you with experience. When you are working with someone like Sanjayji, there’s a lot of jamming that goes on while doing a scene. Sanjayji and I would start improvising on set. As an actor, you get a beautiful insight into how to jam with a co-star, which becomes a huge learning experience,” he says. He adds that as an individual too it was enriching because each of the senior actors has had a different journey. “Every person brought a lot of experience. The discussions you have with them about their experiences give you a real perspective on life,” he quips.
The actor who has worked in films like Yeh Hai Bakrapur, X: Past Is Present, Chauranga, Mona Darling and others, will be next seen in critically acclaimed filmmaker Ashwin Kumar’s No Fathers in Kashmir. Anshuman says, “Ashwin has done films like Road to Ladakh and Little Terrorist and all his subjects are strong. His films are about our times, revolving around Kashmir. Like most of his films, this film too deals with a strong message about Kashmir that we haven’t spoken of before because we talk about flashy issues. I wasn’t aware about this issue either. Sadly, I won’t be able to talk about it much, apart from the fact that I am playing an army officer.”
He says that it’s one thing reading newspapers about the condition in the Valley and a completely different experience being there.
Since the beginning of his career, Anshuman has experimented with films and the characters he has played including Love Sex Aur Dhoka. In spite of being touted as a talented actor, he doesn’t see himself in mainstream films. That he says is because he is no one’s favourite. “I am a simple person and a man of limited needs. I don’t party or socialise much nor do I make any special efforts to be into anyone’s friend circle. I have never been part of camps. There are people who repeatedly work with people they like but not me. My gurus have taught me to be disciplined, punctual and hardworking.”
He says that he likes to work in his own way. “I like to flesh out a character and work on it, which a lot of people think is unnecessary and time consuming. But if something appeals to me, I like to work with my directors on different aspects of the character,” he signs off.