The passion to act began for Ishwak Singh at a very young stage in his life. He enjoyed the life, the prominence even the simplest of the stage had to offer him. Be it for a play at a family gathering or at the theatre. He did not see it as a career, or a prospect. He simply enjoyed it.
"I got serious about it in college when I joined a theatre group. While I was in the first few years started getting work in movies, then my focus shifted from theatre to films," Ishwak told International Business Times, India during an exclusive telephonic conversation.
Even in the middle of the lockdown, offers for roles in films have poured in as claimed by him. "It's just been a week and people have already started asking me about scripts, they want to discuss parts, but I want to take it easy and wait for things to open up so I can figure out what I can do next," he said.
How did Paatal Lok happen?
"I was auditioning for Pataal Lok. I always liked the writing, when I read it I really liked it, even before the script I knew it would be good because I knew the writers, plus we had Amazon Prime Video, Anushka Sharma. You know that this is a great set of people, so there was no question of thinking twice, I knew that it would be amazing. I was extremely convinced. I didn't know it would be such a success, but I knew it would be well-received. If you see the filmography of the makers, they have a good record."
He started learning architecture and gradually started moving away from theatres. He feared to be a part of the film industry.
"I did I did. (Architecture). Before I joined theatres I was practicing. Gradually things moved, I started working in acting, I got a role in Aligarh and I started becoming a full-time actor."
Was your family supportive or were they against your decision to pursue acting?
"I didn't announce it, but they didn't have a problem because I was a good student. When I was in the theatre I was balancing my life quite well. In the weekends, we would have plays. Gradually my plays got better then I got better parts, even theatre critics started noticing me for the characters I have played. Then I did a movie with Hansal Mehta and Imtiaz Ali. With Imtiaz Ali, an ad and I was Deepika's boyfriend in Tamasha. We shot the ad in Turkey. All these things adding up, I moved to Bombay, I moved to Bombay recently."
"When there's no self-doubt then no one can doubt you," said Ishwak.
"I had no idea how to do this. I would have started earlier, but I didn't know how to do it. I wanted to start after school but I couldn't do it because you know I was too shy, plus you know there's always a taboo about working in the film industry. They think that people wanted to get into the film industry for the glamour, but it is serious work. Then I got into architecture I forgot about acting, but after a while, I realised that I have to join some sort of performing arts. We started into the theatre's scene and started working again."
What is it that you learnt the most during this short phase?
"People have lost faith in theatre groups, but it is the base. When you do theatre you realise there is so much to that work. It's like a laboratory where you experiment on the same play over and over again. Of course, you are working on something, then your director pushes you. A newcomer (star kid) is often deprived of this opportunity."
"Acting is an art, a craft. It is so unique that I might take 10 years to learn it, but you might take two years. It is important to take that journey. It is not an easy one for sure."
But Paatal Lok has received a few negative comments too.
"If you are talking about the negative, it is going to be there everywhere. The thing is that creative, art is subjective. Some people can get offended, it is not uncommon, but then if you look at the love it is getting, it is far more than the negative comments," he concluded.