Versatile actor Chunky Pandey is known for his comic roles in various Bollywood films. One can't forget his one-liners, 'Mama mia , I am a joking'. Chunky is known for his role as Aakhri pasta. Apart from comedy films, he has also essayed the dark and intriguing role in films like Saaho, Begum Jaan and Prasthanam.
Chunky will now be seen in Abhay season 2. And this time the actor is raised the bar high with his performance as he will be seen in an all-new avatar. Darker, deeper and scarier than ever.
In an exclusive and freewheeling conversation with International Business Times, India, Chunky Pandey spoke at length about his role in Abhay 2, a golden piece of advice he gave Ananya Panday, how he deals with social media negativity and more.
Experts from the conversation
Role in Abhay season 2
For the first time, I am essaying a three-dimensional character. He is a lovable guy with crazy mental issues. He has an appetite for human flesh. He is dark, gritty, and at the same time, he is normal, and that makes it scary.
Why the shift from playing a comedian too dark intense roles
Three years ago, I made the shift from comedy to negative roles. I started with Begum Jaan followed by Sahoo with Prabhas and then Prasthanam with Sanjay Dutt. And now Abhay season 2. I love the first season of Abhay. Ken Ghosh and I go a long way. When I heard the character, I was utterly blown away by it.
My role is inspired by a real-life incident and I have borrowed this role from my school teacher, who was very nice, sweet, timid, and at the same time, he had a foul temper.
I have done negative roles in the past, but a character like this was something that I never thought I would do. It was challenging for me to play that now I am so scared as I have essayed it with so much ease that I sometimes wonder if this character is hiding in me (laughs).
Has OTT changed the way we look at the cinema?
OTT has been around for a long time and always had great content. We love to watch shows on OTT, the seasons which you see on OTT is sheer pleasure. What I believe is cinema is meant for theatres, it engages us, we cry, laugh, abuse. Watching a film with family having popcorn and samosa. Films are to be enjoyed on a big screen with the family. The movie that you watch on OTT you might not remember. But we do remember watching a good or a bad film that in theatre. I am sure when everything gets back to normal, people will want to go out and watch films. Having said that, there are certain films and shows that you would like to watch on the digital platform. For instance, Game of Thrones you will enjoy only on OTT.
How has the industry changed over the years?
The industry has become better, professional and it's all for good. It's such a welcoming change. There are so many mediums for actors to perform and showcase their talent. This is a golden period for the industry.
Our days were tougher, we had to knock on doors, show our photographs, we had to struggle. And now we have a casting director, there are various platforms available. If I was born today. I would have been much more successful.
On dealing with social media negativity
Social media has to be used as a tool. You can't be personal about it and you need to use widely. People will keep saying things. We don't know who are they and likewise, they also don't know us. Somewhere a guy out there has posted something on social media is not aware of our situations. The whole world is going through a crisis. There are times I get anxious, cheerful, paranoid, insecure, happy. We are all social people and are now under this lockdown. Therefore we can't judge what is happening.
What's your stance on this ongoing debate nepotism and insider vs outsider
I would like to tell you, for me the definition of an outsider is till the point you haven't got a film. The moment you sign a film you are an insider. I signed my first film I am an insider now, I am a part of the industry. I always believe that talent always comes up. There are certain permutation and combinations. Sometimes you are the first choice, sometimes you are the last resort. So there is no actual formula to it.
Advice that he gave his daughter Ananya Pandey and did she get bogged down with the constant social media negativity.
When she was about to join the industry, I had told her all of this. I told her, you have to be prepared and remember from where you are coming from and where you are going. And that is very important. You have to know how you got your film and if you are confident and you are happy about it then nothing else matters.
She has got into the controversy for doing her college, she is being accused. These things happen, She will have to pay the price if she is getting up there. People will tell you a lot of things and she has to take into her stride. I know saying is easy but dealing is tough.
I am 57 she is 21. At 21, I was not as strong as her. As naive as her. The younger lot is much more exposed these days.
Trust me negativity was always there, even during our time, believe me, magazines used to print about celebrities and their rivalries. Nothing has changed. Only the platform to express it has changed now.
A role that you want to do?
I have done comedy, villainous roles, I haven't done emotional roles. If someone will cast me, in an emotional role then I am ready for my lifetime award. However, I believe I suck at it, I might end up making the audience laugh. But honestly, for me, it will be challenging to play an emotional role and to make people cry, I find it very tough.
Plans of sharing screen space with daughter
I am waiting, it will be great to work with her.
Message for fans!
Enjoy everyone on screen. Enjoy all the entertainment. These four months have been dark for the whole world. Let's all stay calm and positive.