In right this moment’s Large Interview, ETimes sat down with Vivaan for a freewheeling chat the place he addressed the topic of nepotism, spoke about rising up with legendary actors as dad and mom, chasing stardom and extra. Excerpts…
You can be bringing Munshi Premchand’s traditional tales to life. How does it really feel?
It feels fantastic to have the ability to carry Munshi Premchand’s lovely, tender, humane, shifting, trenchant and poignant brief story, ‘Gulli Danda’ to life on Zee Theatre’s ‘Koi Baat Chale’. Premchand is one in every of my favorite writers of all time. He has the uncommon means to fuse highly effective dramaturgy (necessary topics) with a levity, sensitivity, and humour, at all times furnished with a really incisive social commentary. I have a look at him as our Tolstoy, a weaver of parables concerning the human situation.
You have got grown up listening to those tales and watching your dad and mom stage it. How particular was ‘Gulli Danda’ for you?
I’ve carried out Premchand’s ‘Bade Bhai Saahab’ on stage earlier than for Motley, and that was such a deal with. What a stupendous story that’s! ‘Gulli Danda’, which is part of Koi Baat Chale, is barely comparable when it comes to temper, setting, and spirit. They each are comparable works each thematically and in addition when it comes to the feel and cloth of the tradition they signify. They’re additionally a few of the most evocative depictions of childhood I’ve even encountered. ‘Gulli Danda’ is a narrative about friendship, and the best way by which societal inequalities and hierarchies can insidiously creep their manner into what was as soon as a pure and real relationship and wholly have an effect on the dynamic. It is usually a really illuminating dissection of the caste and sophistication system. It’s, briefly, about what constitutes a stage enjoying area. It’s a story about benefit, an awfully important theme that society right this moment is grappling with the world over.
How was it working beneath the mentorship of Seema Pahwa?
I’ve been an enormous fan of Seema ji ever since I used to be a toddler, as an actor, and now additionally as a director. I used to be deeply affected by her movie, and in addition by a play she directed by which my household acted, which was a set of tales by Bhishm Sahni. She is herself a really literary director. She is a visionary, and has a particular, distinctive, and idiosyncratic model to her work, each as author and director. She was actually in a position to illuminate sure facets of the story with private anecdotes, rhythmic directions with regard to issues of tone and dialect. I discovered an incredible quantity from her, not simply as an artist, but in addition as a human being.
You will characteristic in a movie together with your father Naseeruddin Shah. How excited are you?
I’m very excited. It’s the most particular factor I’ve ever completed in entrance of the digicam. It was a sacred expertise; a dream-come-true second. It was the primary time our household was on a movie set collectively in knowledgeable capability. In any other case, we solely go to one another’s units. This was the primary time we labored collectively on the identical shoot. Phrases can not describe how necessary this was each for our household and for Motley.
Everyone knows and love Naseeruddin Shah as an actor. How is he as a father and a household man at house?
He’s a really compassionate, type, empathetic, humane, delicate and terribly acutely aware individual. In addition to an individual that has a really robust worth system. I’ve learnt ethics and the best way to be a very good actor, and a very good human being from him. He’s my finest buddy, and probably the most stimulating firm an individual can ask for. We’re kindred spirits, and share most of the identical pursuits and tastes, in especial almost about artwork. We’re continuously sharing concepts with one another, studying poems and brief tales to one another and introducing one another to movies the opposite won’t be aware of. He additionally has an ideal sense of humour, and is a eager listener and observer.
You have got typically mentioned overtly that you’re conscious of your privilege. Has the problem of nepotism ever turn into a roadblock in your profession?
A second-generation individual like myself should always remember that he’s a second technology individual. He mustn’t ever be defensive when somebody reminds him of it. He should take heed to it, and be grateful and conscious of the privilege and advantages that he has loved. He should study to place himself within the sneakers of 1 who isn’t as lucky, and study to have a look at the world via these eyes. The thinker Jean Paul-Sartre had a well-known adage — ‘You might be what you aren’t!’ he mentioned. In different phrases, I’m not an individual who has come from a small city, who has no contacts on this city and on this enterprise, who has to fend for himself, who has to attempt to amass three sq. meals a day, who has to battle to discover a roof over his head, who has to face the slings and arrows of a hostile world. I need to always remember that! If I do, then I’m an fool and a brat, and an individual who lacks consciousness. In fact, the time period nepotism has been politicized, exploited and manipulated by the right-wing lunatics and Bollywood bashers to fulfil their very own sinister agendas, however that doesn’t imply that it isn’t a major topic that should be addressed.
How has it been to develop up with two immensely proficient and revered actors within the leisure trade? How have you ever handled the strain?
It’s a constructive strain, one which propels me to work more durable, and enhance my craft in order to make them proud. It motivates me to do higher, and push additional. It’s an honour to be talked about in the identical breath as them.
In one in every of your earlier interviews, you have got talked about the way you remorse not listening to your dad and mom about not chasing stardom and success. Inform us one thing about it…
Once I began out in 2010, the enterprise was a really completely different place. The emphasis was on changing into a standard main man, and adopting a sure posture. The craving and greed for stardom was one thing that I possessed, however by no means labored in the direction of in any important and concrete manner. I obtained some silly recommendation from friends and other people on the perimeter of the enterprise who would preach and fancy themselves as consultants on Bollywood, however I can not blame them. It’s totally my fault that I fell prey to that form of considering. My dad and mom at all times warned me of such insidious incentives. They informed me to have an interest within the work, and to concentrate on the craft and to not be swayed by the bells and whistles. They might inform me to be an actor if I used to be interested by appearing, and actually liked it. Additionally they informed me that if I wished to be a star, then I must work very laborious to have the ability to accomplish that. I must put in a special form of laborious work, and develop a special form of expertise and talent which I didn’t do. So I’ve nobody accountable however myself.
Aside out of your dad and mom, who have you ever idolised rising up?
I look as much as individuals like Edgar Allan Poe, Jim Carrey, Kader Khan, James Cagney, John Huston, Saeed Mirza, Joseph Conrad, Edward G Robinson, Laurence Olivier and Clifford Odets.
How do you look again at your journey to this point?
I look again at my journey as a relentless evolution, each as an artist and as a human being. It has been a journey of self-improvement and an increasing of consciousness. I additionally really feel lucky to have seen each eras, each the pre-OTT period and the digital revolution. I really feel the digital revolution has made the distribution of labor extra democratic and we’re shifting nearer to a stage enjoying area.
What does 2023 have in retailer for Vivaan Shah?
I’ve ‘Koi Baat Chale’ by Zee Theatre, a web-series about docs, a brief movie with my dad, and a brand new science fiction novel which releases subsequent month.