From the stage to playing some of the most beloved character roles in 80s and 90s classics to working with the biggest of superstars to still doing impressive work and still tickling our funny bone while collaborating with Today’s generation, Satish Kaushik has seen and done it all. In an exclusive interview with BollywoodLife the veteran actor dived deep into a range of topics from the best qualities among gen-Z’s actors and what it takes to sustain in Bollywood to how the biggest stars of yesteryears used to submit themselves completely to the script and the passion he permeates to keep working and keep reinventing himself to date.
Opening up how the current generation is so well prepared and why it’s so necessary, Satish Kaushik said, “Today’s kids like Ishaan (Khatter) work very seriously. From morning to night, their discipline is amazing or rehearsing their lines or working on their physicality, they do it all. If I work with Rajkummar (Rao), I know how dedicatedly he works, be it on his lines, the script, with respect to his character. I worked with Kangana (Ranaut) in Judgementall Hai Kya, and I was so impressed to see how she was in a corner going over her likes, since her character was so complex, she kept rehearsing her lines in different ways. It used to happen before, too, but then, our cinema wasn’t so competitive — it has to hold itself before the world. And today everyone is a critic, even the audience knows what’s writing, editing, everybody knows everything. The mystique of cinema is over because of Hollywood and Google. Earlier, the audience was very innocent, they didn’t know anything, they didn’t have Google, they used to accept anything, our reviews used to arrive only on Monday.”
Highlighting on where young actors could go wrong and what earlier generations always did right, the Haseena Maan Jaayegi actor elaborated, “Today, everyone has to be on their toes, be it Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ishaan Khatter, everyone is doing so good. Shahid gave such a fantastic performance in Kabir Singh. And nobody becomes a master in two to three movies, and neither should they think so. Actors shouldn’t interfere in the film, they should blindly follow the Director, otherwise that spoils the movie. If you’re a veteran of 60-70 movies, you can suggest things to your Director, but if you think you know everything about the story after tasting success in two films our of four to five, then that’s wrong. They should very innocent in approaching a script and they should work with everyone, not only young Directors. It happens today, where young actors only work with new filmmakers. They don’t work with older makers even if they get a good script because they think they’re outdated. Earlier, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Anil Kapoor were all very faithful, whatever the Director said they did it. You can’t become a lambi race ka ghoda by blabbering about themselves, thinking they know which script is right or wrong.”
Commenting on his own MO and how it keeps him going, Satish sir added, “I’m working since 40 years even at 60 plus by the grace of God because I’m still very passionate. You should be very submissive to your work. I’ve always been a receiver that’s why I’m acting, directing, writing, working with all the youngsters, what can be bigger than that? It’s the biggest boon from God and it’s because I’ve always been a receiver.”
Delving into the best qualities of some of today’s stats, he continued, “Tiger (Shroff) is such a down-to-earth ladka, kitna accha baccha hai woh. Ishaan ko dekho. They are such normal guys. They’re all so dedicated to their work. Rajkummar and Ayushmann very talented, Ishaan will turn out to be a very commerical actor, wait and watch. Varun took up the comedy space left open by Govinda. And he’s still a very good actor, look at how different he was in Badlapur and October. Tiger’s qualities are very different to pull off great action and dance. And his personality is so lovable, he just looks like a very dependable person, be it as someone’s brother or lover — good qualities that we look for in a nayak, he has it all. So, they’re all doing so well in their individual space.”
Signing off on those who don’t go far in the industry, he concluded, “Those who do it for the heck of it, their packup happens after 1-2 films. Giving 3-4-5 success in this industry isn’t a big deal, when you given 15-20 successes, then you become something like Bachchan saab. Anil Kapoor and Sunny Deol have given these successes. Anupam Kher is working in Hollywood, Paresh Rawal is still relevant today because they’ve proven that. When you’re directed by Hansal Mehta in Chhalaang or when your role makes such an impact as in Scam 1992 or when you work with a youngster like Ali Abbas Zafar in Khaali Peeli, I feel very, very happy that I’m getting such roles, and it is the best time.
Satishji’s passion and work ethic is something all of us, especially those years younger to him, should aspire to.
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