Anubhav Sinha gives me confidence to experiment, says Manoj Pahwa

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Mumbai, Aug 1 (IANS) Veteran actor Manoj Pahwa, known for his comical acting in various films, says “Mulk” has given him a chance to play a very different character.

He credits director Anubhav Sinha for giving him the confidence to experiment with his image.

Manoj told IANS here: “I think I know Anubhav for almost 23 years now and though people offered me comedy roles the most, Anubhav always says that he sees a grey character in me. Isn’t it interesting? However, I must say that the character I am playing in ‘Mulk’ is very different and he only gave me the confidence and challenge to experiment.”

According to the actor, the director came up with the character of Bilaal to him saying though he was eager to offer that serious role to Manoj, he was also initially apprehensive.

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“Anubhav was a little worried that what if my strong image of a comedy actor affects the character in the film because the story is emotional and my character Bilaal is serious. I said, ‘That would be challenging for me as an actor and that is why I would love to do it’,” said the “Office Office” fame actor.

In “Mulk”, Manoj plays father to a young boy who becomes a terrorist and gets involved in a huge terrorist attack in the city they live.

Sharing an insight into the character, Manoj said: ” I felt for my character Bilaal who is actually a simple man, never had a job, education and only followed the footsteps of his elder brother Murad Ali (played by Rishi Kapoor).

“He does not know what is going on in the life of his son. He is living in his bubble, doesn’t even know what the philosophy of Jihad and terrorism is all about. And one day suddenly things go wrong and he along with his whole family get dragged into the involvement in terrorism and in the killing of innocent lives.

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“The fact is, he is an innocent man… Like those people who are killed in terrorist activity.”

As Manoj has worked with two generations of actors in this film, he believes the young generation is smarter than artistes of his time.

“When we were young, we did not have such vast knowledge of world cinema that these kids have and that perhaps gives them an extra mile towards natural acting. We had to learn it the hard way — from theatre, cinema, workshops,” said the actor, who is keeping himself busy with projects like “Abhi Toh Party Shuru hui hai”, “Housefull 4” and British TV series “Beecham House” among others.

“Mulk” is releasing on Friday.

–IANS

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