The veteran actor is an acting school in himself and I’m sure his co-actors can learn a thing or two from him
Manoj Joshi is one of those few actors who are known for his body of work more than anything else. I was completely fascinated by whatever he said and I was hanging on his every word. Not only because it was so informative, but also because his Hindi is so pure that I had to actually sit with a dictionary while filing this interview. In spite of doing so many movies, the actor still believes in challenging himself in everything he does. Excerpts from the interview…
What prompted you to take this role?
The role itself compelled me to take it up. No person in their right mind would refuse to do the role of Chanakya. And if a person refuses to do this then he is a wasted artist.
What about Chankya grips you the most?
Chankya's intention grips me the most. The purity of the character, his determination to achieve his goal and intelligence is what attracts me about Chanakya. Someone who believes that politics is only for the service of people and puts his words into action - obviously is an inspiration. His contribution to unite the country and give it a definition is interesting. He is the narrator of the show and no one in their right mind would every refuse to do this character.
You've played Chanakya for about 14 years of your life in theatre. Your role previously has been in depth, but in this show the core concentration will be on Samrat Ashoka; don't you feel your role will be extremely short?
I don' t pick roles according to the length of the character, it is the impact, intention and effect of the role that matters most. Chanakya is an intense character in itself, it doesn't require any depth. Any actor would die for this role. I am just lucky that I was their first choice.
You've done theatre, movies, television - what is more taxing?
Time. I work like a time machine, but this role has given me everything. In television you have to put in 100 per cent of my work in less time. It is a big task so i think it is great challenge.
So at the moment what else are you doing besides Chakravartin Samrat Ashoka?
At the moment I am doing about three to four other films. I am doing a film with Rajesh Vishkal. Rajshri Films, a thriller with Abbas Mastan sir, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Kis Kis ko Pyaar Kareinge, Two Marathi films. Then there is one more big film, but I am not allowed to talk about it. Plus I have a few plays lined up as well…
Wow that's a lot on just one plate. How do you manage to find time for all this?
Like I said, I am workaholic. These are all my prior commitments. And I am thankful to Contiloe Films for their support and making this possible.
What's your take on Siddharth Nigam who is playing Samrat Ashok in the show?
Siddharth who is playing Ashok in this daily soap is a spectacular kid. He is a national level gymnast. His Hindi is clean and perfect; he may not be a trained actor but he is quick learner. When he does his scenes with me he listens to everything I say and follows it diligently. He has a very bright future in the industry.
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