On the sets of the political satire Abhi Toh Party Shuru Huyi Hai (ATPSHH) in Lucknow, we saw how intently Prateik Babbar prepared for his shots, even if it was a brief comic scene that would crack you up. We were invited by Sony Pictures Networks Productions, Sneha Rajani, and Anubhav Sinha who are co-producing the film. The young actor was engrossed in deep conversation with his co-stars, offering suggestions and discussing lines to improve the scenes in between the shots.
Directed by Anubhav, ATPSHH also features Richa Chadha, Saurabh Shukla, Kumud Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Manoj Pahwa, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Cyrus Broacha, Divya Dutta and Pavan Malhotra. The release date of the film is yet to be announced.
After a long day of shoot, when we sat down to interview Prateik, he promised to answer every question with utmost honesty. To begin with, let us tell you that despite working alongside such veteran actors in an ensemble cast, the young actor never felt intimidated or under confident.
“It is like a big, crazy family working together on a fun project where everyone is having a great time! Although I was nervous on the first day of my shoot, each of them supported and guided me. It was like a learning curve,” says Prateik, whose recently released film Mulk is making headlines for good reason.
Before Mulk, Prateik was seen in Baaghi 2 in a negative character.
Talking about his role in ATPSHH, he says that it is very different. Says the Jaane Tu ….Ya Jaane Na actor, “Ah well! It is quite a contrast to what I essayed in Baaghi 2, where I played a baddie. In this film, you’ll see me in a different avatar. I play a regular guy who is an obedient employee. To cut the long story short, I’m playing a timid and submissive guy who just knows how to follow his boss’ order,” says Prateik, who is working with Anubhav for the second time (after Mulk).
Working with the Tum Bin director again was indeed a great feeling. He adds, “My experience of working with Anubhav on Mulk was amazing. I got to learn a lot from his process of filmmaking. In ATPSHH, I’m getting to work with a group of such amazingly talented actors. It is another chance for me to learn from all of them. Anubhav is a very liberal and flexible director to work with and that helps the actor give his/her best performance.”
Prateik, who played a misguided youth in Mulk, isn’t shy while talking about his personal life or his ugly battle with substance abuse. The actor says that he was tired of living a dual life — one, as a normal guy and the second, as a drug addict. Prateik went to rehab and overcame his addiction, which, according to him, was a burden and filled him with guilt.
“I didn’t want to continue living a life that was a lie. After a point, the guilt just got too much for me to carry on. It called for confession, hence I chose to speak up about my addiction and my struggle to overcome it,” he adds.