“Clean humour is diminishing because it needs wit and research! Since, now people want to earn quick, they make a mistake of going below the belt but they drop the standard! There was a time when subtle comedy was welcome, the most recent being Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. After that we were catapulted into the age of sexual innuendos. Look at Seinfeld! That’s sheer genius!” says actor Raashul Tandon in a candid interview.
Born and raised in the beautiful city of Lucknow his childhood according to him has been amazing and full of fun. Graduation in commerce gave him the confidence to face the world. His banker father, home-maker mother and younger brother had been supportive in his ambition to achieve something in the acting field.
How would you describe your life before movies happened to you?
Life before movies, ahhh… it was simple but beautiful. I mean, I used to hang around with my friends, tension free life, bunking lectures and trash talks! In short, free life without worry about the future. But now being in Bollywood everything’s changed. It’s very competitive and you have to be on your two feet all the time.
How is your life now that movies have happened to you?
Eventually, everybody has to settle down with a career, so I chose to follow my dream, my passion. My life hasn’t changed much, as I’m still the same ol’ Raashul from Lucknow and still meet my old friends. In a way, I think I’m lucky to have made a career out of what I love doing. I’m here to stay.
Tell us about your TV serials experience.
I’d say T.V. has been a great teacher to me, as in, how to work fast, technical knowledge, it all came from doing T.V. It’s grooming me as an actor to understand how to keep up. It taught me how to manage quality with quantity. The best and the toughest challenge of TV is being versatile. You have a new script almost every week and you have to deliver as per the script’s demand. It can be tricky, but you get used to it fast.
Tell us more about your latest movie. What is your role in it?
My latest movie was, Barkhaa. I have played an important character in it, I played a friend who guides his friend who’s lost in life and helps him get the girl he longs for. In the movie, I had different shades to play, which was fun!
What is your experience while doing the movie-with the director and co-artistes?
I have been lucky to work with beautiful people. It was lovely working with Mr. Shadab Akhtar, the director of Barkhaa. The co-actors, Taaha Shah, Sara Loren and Punnet Issar Sir, were amazing to work with. We used to have loads of fun while shooting!
Does it help to have a Godfather in the industry?
I haven’t experienced it, as I don’t have anyone, hence can’t say much! But the fact is, I’m working and earning it with my hard work, nothing else matters. Godfathers may exist, but the joy of getting work because of your dedication and sincerity is something else.
What are the problems faced by newcomers in this industry?
It’s difficult to be updated with the casting calls and type-casting! But, I guess, it can be taken care of.
Why good gags are not being written for comedians today in Bollywood? There is a lot of reference to sexual innuendoes, discrimination against women and disabilities, castist humour, etc.
We have always followed the western style for a long time now and have come too far to turn back. It was a good change, but everything has its adverse effects. We have entered the age where the male lead has to do pretty much everything from looking like an athlete to being a good dancer to being a good actor to being a comedian. With him filling up the shoes of almost 3-4 extra characters, there’s less creativity. Today, it’s more about confusion rather than comedy in tragedy. If you look at movies like Andaz Apna Apna, Hera Pheri and some parts of Bhool Bhulaiyaa, you can say that Bollywood was good. But now it has reached a point of no return. But, we still have some hope as many TV shows with good humour are keeping it alive.
What do you do when not performing in front of the camera?
I love to watch movies, read books, listen to music and of course travelling!
What are your future projects?
I’m busy with a movie called Jhol, it’s under post production and will release down this year!