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'I like people who are ballsy'

December 13, 2023 10:44 IST
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'I only challenge myself in every way possible and feel that an actor's job is to be universal.'

Photographs: Kind courtesy Angad Bedi

Angad Bedi is currently basking in the success of his Telugu debut Hi Nanna, starring Nani and Mrunal Thakur.

The actor also has a new OTT show coming up, A Legal Affair.

It's a bittersweet feeling for the actor who is yet to come to terms with the passing away of his father, the legendary cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi.

"It's something I will never come to terms with because he was not just been my father, but also my guru, and my friend. He's the person I was the closest to, and I will miss him every single day of my existence," Angad tells Mayur Sanap/

You are simultaneously dabbling in what's popular these days: OTT and pan-India projects. Is this a conscious choice on your part?

Not really.

I just look for good scripts.

I look for the things that I have not done, or the roles that I have not played so far, something that's new and challenging.

I feel South cinema is on its way up, and there are some really nice stories being told there.

I'm liking a lot of trailers and films that I am seeing, and I hope to find a small place in the hearts, as far as the audience is concerned.

I would love to do a lot more work in the South if approached by the right people, and see how my life pans out in Telugu or Tamil, or for that matter, in Kannada or Malayalam.

How did Hi Nanna come to you?

The director had seen me in PINK and Inside Edge. He said he enjoyed both my performances.

He wanted to work with me, but the word back to him said that I might not be interested in the South.

If a film-maker wants to work with me with such passion, how can I not listen to him?

I like people who are confident of my ability.

IMAGE: Mrunal Thakur and Angad Bedi. Photograph:

After Lust stories 2, this is your second outing with Mrunal Thakur this year.

Yeah, she is now a huge star in the South. With Hi Nanna, she will reach another big level.

She's a wonderful co-star and a friend.

Success changes a lot of people, but she's much grounded, very humble.

She's got a great sense of humour, and it's fun being around her.

Did you speak your Telugu lines in Hi Nanna?

Yes. I learned them and rehearsed a lot. I also used to write the emotion and then record my voice and listen to the audio clip.

It's a technique, it is about how you learn to play an instrument. You learn it like that and then somehow you see it coming all together in front of you and then it becomes a habit.

The first few days were tough, but then I got the hang of it.

Do actors no longer worry about language? How does it benefit you as performer?

No, I don't think language is such a worry.

By venturing into different dialects and different markets, you are only widening your audience base. And I feel that for every actor, it's very important that different people get to see you more and more.

I'm sure a lot of people down South have seen my work, but they have not seen me in a South film.

I really felt this was my first small step. I hope I can do many more South films.

How do you feel that different audiences are going to see your work? Are you excited or nervous?

I'm not nervous. I only challenge myself in every way possible and feel that an actor's job is to be universal.

Language has never been a barrier for me, it just opens new avenues.

I've done work in Hindi, got an opportunity to work in the South. Hopefully, if I get an opportunity I would love to work in Punjabi cinema too.

Only then I will consider myself a Pan India actor.

IMAGE: Angad on the sets of Hi Nanna.

Did you notice any difference working with Hindi and Telugu crews?

Ultimately, difference happens when the language is different. They are obviously more comfortable in their native language.

They are very hardworking, time-bound, professionals, totally invested in their work. It's nice to be in that environment.

But I'm not here to make any friends with team members. I want to keep it professional and let my work speak for itself.

We can engage as far as the project is concerned, but eventually, everybody disengages and goes their own way and moves on to other projects. That's the life of an actor or a film-maker or a producer.

I figured I will just do good work and go back to my family.

You once said that makers didn't imagine you in romantic roles for the longest time. Do you think that's finally changing?

Yes. I've been able to make it happen for myself, and I will take credit for that.

People never saw me the way they saw me in Ghoomer. They accepted me and gave me a lot of love.

I will count it as success only if it makes me sign another film.

Are you happy with the way your career is shaping up in Bollywood? Would you have done anything differently?

Not really. My career took off after 2016 and I'm very happy with my choices.

I don't feel I did a wrong thing.

I've done all this for the right reasons.

What kind of roles do you wish to do at this juncture of your career?

I would love to do combination of romance and action as a story. I would love to do comedy and action.

Any film-makers on your wish list?

Karan Johar for sure. I hope he finds that I'm able enough to be part of his films.

Then there is Ali Abbas Zafar, Ayan Mukerji, Siddharth Anand, Imtiaz Ali, and now, Sandeep Reddy Vanga. He's somebody I would love to connect with.

I like people who are ballsy. He (Vanga) is very unapologetic.

IMAGE: Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi.

Your wife Neha Dhupia started her career in the Telugu film industry. Did she give you tips about the industry?

Neha and I don't talk work much.

My work is different from hers.

Our discussions are more about the children, our families and elderly people in our house.

Work tends to happen and will always happen, but I don't dwell in the failure or the success of a film beyond a point.

I try and keep a mental equilibrium, which is very important.

Are we ever going to see Neha and you in a film or show?

I don't know. It all depends on what the audience wants to see. They see a lot of us together on Instagram, so maybe on screen, they would like to see us with different actors or different personalities.

And that matters more.

It is not important that real life couples should also work together. But yes, if you get an opportunity and both roles are really good, then why not?

IMAGE: Angad with his father Bishan Singh Bedi, inarguably the finest left-arm spinner of all time.

How are you holding up after your father's demise? What's the priceless wisdom he taught you?

It is a big loss to me, for the nation, and also the cricketing fraternity.

It's something I will never come to terms with because he was not just been my father, but also my guru, and my friend.

He's the person I was the closest to, and I will miss him every single day of my existence.

He said no matter what, keep working, keep your head down and let your bat do the talking or let your ball do the talking as I used to play cricket as a young man.

When I started working in cinema, he said, let your films do the talking. You don't need to shout on rooftops about your work.

Don't try and sell yourself too hard.

Work in silence and let the fruits of labour find the way through your goodness and your hard work.

In this industry, you have to talk about your work, about yourself, be seen at the right places. He always said that whether success or failure, you should not take it too seriously.

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