People often feel that tragedy only results in sadness, but sometimes, it can lead one to their purpose in life. Years ago, actor Prashantt Guptha left the comforts of his life in the United States to pursue his Bollywood dreams in India. As expected, the path wasn’t easy, and it took almost 5 years before he landed his first bonafide character in a major film. He considers that period of time as one of the biggest ‘tragedies‘ of his life and, ironically, tragedy is the genre he found himself working in most often!
When one thinks of the word tragedy in the context of literature, of course, one thinks of Shakespeare first. So, it should come as no surprise that the first tragic role Prashantt played would be in a Hindi adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Issaq alongside theatre veterans like Ravi Kissen and Makarand Deshpande. Despite knowing the producers on a personal level, it took him a month to snag the role of the villain, Preetam Tyagi (based on the character Count Paris). To understand the psyche of the character, he had to undergo workshops to tap into every aspect of envy, hatred and dealing with defeat on his own front.
Prashantt found himself back in the tragedy genre with an appearance in the highly acclaimed and successful, Neerja. In the film, he played the part of the unfortunate Rahul Kumar, who was based on an actual young naturalized Indian American who was the first to get knocked off on that fateful Pan Am flight. Working with Sonam Kapoor (the main lead) on the film was an extremely easy-going and friendly experience, but he gets chills remembering the dread in free-falling off a grounded airplane in his death shot.
The actor will continue to confront reel life tragedy in his next film too – director Aparna Singh’s film Irada starring Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi! Prashantt claims this is the most beautiful and sad role of his career yet. It is of a middle class man on a mission, a terminally-ill sardar! He labels being in the same frame with Naseeruddin as an acting milestone! Irada is set for a winter 2016 release.