'When you're an outsider, the journey to make it to your first film is a movie by itself.'
'It has struggle, pain, rejection, transformation...'
Chhichore actor Naveen Polishetty is trying to continue entertaining audiences through videos on his social media feed.
This is the reason, after all, he became an actor.
But he asks Ronjita Kulkarni/Rediff.com, "Will people come to theatres now? It's not as simple as the lockdown ending and people going back to their lives."
What have you been doing during this lockdown?
All of us have become actors and entertainers for a reason.
My reason was that from a very young age, I loved the skill set of entertainers who could make others forget about their lives for that duration.
That's the superpower that this profession has, and it's why I came into this profession.
It is especially important during this time, if entertainers can make people laugh or make them forget their worries for the day.
I've been focusing on that aspect during this quarantine period.
I have been writing scripts and putting up funny content on my social media, looking at this pandemic in a funny way.
If it makes people happy, it will make me happy.
But a big part of my day goes doing bartans (washing vessels) because when you avoid it for a long time, people in the house start giving you the dirty look.
I am busy making my family laugh, but nobody gives points for that.
People think that washing bartans and cooking is tough.
I enjoy cooking, but people around me don't!
Burnt cuisine is surprisingly not that popular at home.
A burnt garlic preparation is very popular in restaurants, but when I serve the same burnt garlic at home, people have a problem with it! (laughs)
How much did Chhichore help your career?
Chhichore is my first film, and it has done a lot for me.
It got me nominated for an award.
The (Zee Cine) awards ceremony was held just before the lockdown happened and it was the first awards show that I attended.
I got a rented suit and got onto the red carpet.
It was surreal.
Because of coronavirus, no one was coming close. They were doing namaskar to everyone, sitting six feet away from each other.
But it was good fun.
When you are an outsider, the journey to make it to your first film is a movie by itself. It has struggle, pain, rejection, transformation... everything!
To have your first film to do so well and to get nominated for award, that doesn't happen to everyone.
I didn't expect it all that.
I just wanted to play a character, so everything else has been a bonus for me.
Now, I am listening to scripts and getting narrations!
Earlier, I didn't have that door open, but Chhichore did it for me.
Tell us about yourself.
I come from a family of IIT-ians.
When I was in the 10th standard, I told my dad that I wanted to be an actor.
But they were like, there has been one Shah Rukh Khan in like, 25 years.
What are the odds that you will become an actor? So that whole brainwashing happened.
Right after college, I got a job in London.
But I quit it and joined a theatre company in Bangalore.
How did you become an actor?
Aram Nagar (north west Mumbai which houses struggling actors) auditions don't pay you and you need an income to live in Mumbai.
So I had day jobs. Like, I've been a quinoa salesman because I read an article somewhere that Deepika Padukone eats quinoa.
I used to host events in malls, do voiceovers for ads, radio jingles...
When you are struggling, there are months when you don't have enough money to live.
That's something everyone has to go through. You can't wait for Karan Johar to call you because that call will never come.
You just have to be out there, trying every audition. There is just no other route.
In fact, that's what brought all of us together at AIB. We were just a bunch of middle class kids with no godfather.
Sapne hai par surname nahin. Either sapne ko maar de ya surname ko.
We decided not to worry about the surname, but just create whatever we wanted to create. That's how we started making those videos.