A shopkeeper, constable, hotel manager and vendor — Brijendra Kala has played several small but important roles in movies led by superstars like Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. But the actor doesn’t feel overshadowed by them and is happy to get visibility due to the Bollywood stars.
In his career spanning almost two decades, Brijendra has featured in hit movies like “Tubelight”, “Qarib Qarib Singlle”, “Rustom” and “PK”. Doesn’t he feel overshadowed by the stars’
“If we look at the box office collection of ‘Tubelight’, it was a flop movie but it gave me success. People said Salman’s movie was a flop but I am happy with the fact that my film had earned Rs 200 crore,” Brijendra told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
“The audience gets to see actors like me because of the stars. After watching a movie, when they step out (of cinema hall), they say ‘Oh, he was also there in the movie’. And then, the co-stars also like my work.
“Directors take us only when they really need us in their films. We do get visibility in a superstar’s film,” he added.
Big or small, the budget of the film doesn’t matter to him.
“I just need time. If there is no time then there’s a possibility of losing out even big films,” said the “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” actor.
And his kitty is absolutely full.
“I am shooting for a film almost every day. I have a film with Anil Kapoor called ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’, then there’s ‘Rajma Chawal’ with Rishi Kapoor and one film with Sunny Deol. There are more,” said Brijendra.
He has so many projects in hand that the former writer of the popular daily soap “Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii” doesn’t have time to do TV shows.
“I don’t have time for TV. Even if I book dates for a show, it won’t be possible for me,” he said.
But he manages to take out time for finite web shows like “The Aam Aadmi Family”, which is hosted on the YouTube channel of Timeliners — a millennial focussed lifestyle channel.
“After doing ‘The Aam Aadmi Family’, I realised that web series…the digital medium is gaining popularity. Earlier, people used to know me because of my work in films. Now the youngsters know me because of my work in ‘The Aam Aadmi Family’ which means that it is being widely watched,” he said.
The show about a Punjabi family nestled in the heart of West Delhi is returning with its third season.
“What I like about the show is that the story of the Sharma family is similar to my family to a great extent. For instance, the way we showed the excitement of getting the first pressure cooker or a TV and putting up the antenna,” said Brijendra.
“There will be new developments in the script for the third season. So, it’s not easy to get bored with the show,” he added.
He is happy that some big companies are venturing into the digital space but he also fears that the quality of content might suffer.
“It will be commercialised and once it gets commercialised, it will become bigger and money will be more…actors will get more interested but when a lot of people get involved in something then the quality suffers.
“The good thing is that there will be competition. That way the good thing will come up. The medium is interesting and wherever you go, you don’t have to take your TV set with you, you have mobile in your hand.”
Brijendra is known for playing characters that are close to reality.
“Maybe it is the way I act that it looks real. My style of performing is close to reality. I try to make my characters look interesting,” he said.
Surprisingly, he has no specific character in mind that he would like to portray some day.
“I have not had this in mind that I want this type of a character otherwise I will keep waiting for it. I just think that I should be able to give my 100 per cent to the characters given to me.
“I am willing to do any kind of role and make it interesting.”
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Natalia Ningthoujam