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For Pratik Gandhi, theatre is what keeps him 'grounded like a root' -- IANS Interview

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Mumbai, June 6 (IANS) Actor Pratik Gandhi has been deeply connected to the medium of theatre from a young age.

The actor has been a part of Gujarati theatre for the longest time and still continues to work in theatre. While he has seen monumental success with his work on the silver screen and OTT, he feels that theatre is one medium that enriches the soul of an actor.

The actor, who is currently receiving a lot of positive response to his work in the streaming movie 'Dedh Bigha Zameen', spoke with IANS about the craft of acting, his first love as an actor -- theatre, and the language of his film.

Talking about the medium of theatre nurturing an actor, he said that the theatre arms up an actor with an acute sense of emotions, the logistics given the backstage work that every junior actor does, and the spontaneity.

He told IANS, "For an actor, they get everything from theatre. Theatre enriches the soul of an artiste, solidifies their craft and makes them spontaneous because there's no retake on stage. Theatre is like a root, it not just keeps you grounded but also helps you to derive the nutrients to nourish your soul."

As he climbs up the ladder of success with years of his hard work paying off, the Maslow's hierarchy surely kicks in. Pratik wants to lead the change for theatre as he reaches the top of Maslow's pyramid.

Pratik said that he wants the perception of theatre being a poor medium to be changed, poor not simply in terms of money but its overall perception.

He told IANS, "I really want the perception of theatre being a not so affluent medium of exhibition to be changed. Theatre sabse ameer medium hona chaahiye (theatre should be the most affluent medium). If people are willing to pay Rs 500 for a film then they should be willing to pay Rs 1,500 for a theatre play. I feel with technological evolution reaching mind-boggling heights and information travelling at lightning speed from one part of the planet to the other, a live experience like theatre will become more exclusive."

He then quoted an example of Covid-19 which made human touch a luxury.

He said, "During the Covid-19 pandemic, we had everything accessible, food and grocery delivery on fingertips, video calls and messages sorted for communication but, what we craved for was the human touch. Many places started the pets hugging club. Human touch is fast becoming a luxury. So, I think theatre will see a lot of changes over the period of time, and I wish to be a part of this change as a 'give back' to the medium."

When asked about the particular style of speaking Hindi in 'Dedh Bigha Zameen', the actor shared the trick that his dialect coach told him about.

The actor said, "The kind of Hindi that has been used in 'Dedh Bigha Zameen' has a very melodious texture. I have many actor friends in Mumbai in cinema or in theatre who follow this style of speaking in Hindi. Even the director of the film, Pulkit speaks with the same style. So the ground was already set for me. We also had a dialect coach who told me a trick. He said that I should highlight 'H' in the words to set the metre and rhythm for the speech pattern."



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