“Acting Has No Language At All”,- Manoj Malhotra
For a guy who made his debut in Kannada films way back in 2011 in the film Hogi Baa Magale with a role akin to the role which was made immortal by Shah Rukh Khan in Darr, Manoj Malhotra has indeed come a very long way with his stint in not only Kannada but also Hindi films besides TV serials in Mumbai in a short time. Besides Hogi Baa Magale, which was his debut film in Kannada as an actor, Manoj has also been seen in films like Ashok Kadappa’s Namaste Bangalore which was an out and out comedy like Hera Pheri and Mahesh Babu’s Crazy Boy in which he shared screen space with none other than Puneet Raajkumar.
Manoj followed up his stint in Kannada films with his first Bollywood film called Sarkaaar Haazir Ho directed by Pradeep Vyas and right now, he has the film Careless on the floors with Hemant Pandey and Shefali, an actress from Switzerland as his co-actors and Alok Srivastav as the director. Strangely enough, Manoj who was an Under 19 cricket player in Kolkata is actually playing a 400 meter race player in Careless. Careless, according to Manoj is not a biopic but an out and out fictional film on a 400 meter race winner but a UP based film about Allahabad players who work hard though they do not get the facilities.
Manoj is also part of a Tamil film which is being directed by Attllee who had directed the super duper hit Tamil film Bigil last year with Vijay and Nayantara in the leads. When asked how he managed to be part of Tamil as well as Kannada films when he himself is a North Indian, he shot back, “Acting has no language at all. In fact, I am today ready to do a Hollywood film too.
Among the TV serials in which Manoj Malhotra has acted till date are Ganesha, Ashoka and Shaktipeet Ke Bhairav in which he essayed the roles of both Ram and Krishna besides Vishnu. According to Manoj , his five best TV serials till date as an actor are Kis Din Mere Viyaah Howega, Rab Se Sona Ishq, Shaktipeet Ke Bhairav, Ganesha and last but not the least Saavdhaan India, in which Manoj was part of a few episodes in different roles.
Born in Lucknow, Manoj Malhotra has also won the title of Mr U.P. “I left cricket and started concentrating on acting after I joined IPTA and continued to be there for three years in Lucknow with the organization before I came down to Mumbai to train under the tutelage of Satyadev Dubey. In theatre, I learnt from Satyadev Dubeyji how to play with my characters on the stage by improvising a lot. Manoj rues the fact that because he does not know Kannada , it is very difficult for him to improvise on his lines during the take when his co-actors who are well versed in the language since it is their mote tongue resort to improvisation with effortless ease, flummoxing him in front of them.
Right now, Manoj Malhotra says that he has taken a deviation from TV in order to concentrate on films in Kannada as well as Tamil and Hindi as an actor. Manoj Malhotra reasons that there is a lot of difference between films and TV. “On TV, there is less of creativity and more of jaldbaazi because there is a greater emphasis on delivering your episodes to the TV channel than creative excellence. He adds that among the directors who are on his wish list are Kabir Khan, Sandeep Anand , Shriram Raghavan and last but not the least the director duo Abbas Mustaan.
Manoj adds that in order to understand the nuances of acting especially in films, he made it a point to join the acting classes of Acting Guru Namit Kapoor and did a six month crash course there. Manoj adds that though he dotes on actors Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff and Vidyut Jaanwal a lot, his favorite actors happen to be Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt and his favorite Hindi sports films are De Dana Dhan Goal with John Abraham on football as well as Chak De India on hockey with Shah Rukh Khan.
I could not but help ask Manoj Malhotra what he thinks will be the future of Indian cricket today since it ahs Virat Kohli as the skipper and an ex cricketer like Saurav Ganguly as the President of BCCI and he is quick to shoot back that he is of the opinion that Indian Cricket today is very secure especially since both Virat Kohli as well as Saurav Ganguly are very aggressive and hence it will be very difficult to beat the Indian team in the furor.
Manoj feels that he is lucky that he had started his tryst as a sportsman with cricket since it has made him very fitness conscious as well as extremely disciplined to the core as an actor too. Manoj Malhotra signs off by stating that he is of the opinion that acting in films consists of only 30 per cent acting and the rest 70 per cent is achieved by having the technical knowhow.
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