With an illustrious career spanned over several decades, Govind Namdev is a 'naam' that needs no introduction. From Shola Aur Shabnam to the upcoming Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, the veteran actor has left no stone unturned superseding audiences' expectations. Incredibly talented and highly modest, Govind Namdev spoke about his career, OTT, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and more in an exclusive chat with International Business Times India. Take a look.
Tell us your experience of working in Bhool Bhulaiya 2 sets. Was it an absolute mad riot?
It was really great working with Kartik Aryan, Kiara Advani and Tabu. I'm playing a pivotal role in the film. It feels really great to work with such talented actors of this generation. Anees Bazmee is an exceptionally talented director. Altogether it's been amazing. Specially working with new generation actors as there's always a notion how you will interact with them and build up rapport on set. But they really gave me a lot of respect and we really worked towards improvisation of scenes. They took my suggestions. So it was a great working experience with them. We used to discuss and evolve our scenes. I'm very impressed with both of them Kartik and Kiara. I have worked with Tabu earlier as well. She is one of the finest actors and we have worked really well together.
For decades you have been a renowned face on small and big screen. How does it feel?
It's been a journey of more than 125 films and still counting. I'm quite satisfied with my journey and how things fell into place at the right time. I got to work with some amazing producers, directors and actors. I got to play many remarkable characters in some of the amazing films which have left a mark on my audiences. I could now say to my upcoming generations that yes! I have made a remarkable contribution in the field of acting. So in short I'm quite satisfied.
And it's not that journey has stopped or ended; it is still going on and it will continue. There are a lot of things to come up and my audiences will get to see. There are more characters coming up where I can showcase my versatility and exercise my ability hundred percent as an actor. I'm hoping to keep on creating impact through my roles in future too.
Has there ever been a phase or fear of not getting enough work? So many veteran actors ask for work or reveal that they don't have work. Has that ever happened to you?
Luckily it was not that difficult for me because theatre had taught me a lot and gave me that confidence. So I was sure that once I get even one work people will recognize me and I would get more projects. So I got my first break within three months after coming to Mumbai. After Shola Shubhnam people started appreciating my work and I started getting more roles. Then I got Bandit Queen and Prem Granth.
There was a time after Shola and Shubhnam when I was only being offered police officer roles but I didn't wanted to get typecast and do stereotypical role. I decided I won't play police roles unless and until it is something big. So I started saying no to all the police officer roles. After which my image started reflecting as I'm arrogant and egoistic and I say no to projects due to which people stopped calling and even responding. So two years there was no work for me and I wasn't getting any other roles too play. Finally I got a call from director Bharat Rangachary for a show in Sony TV for a lead role of a business man. I was firstly skeptical to do television but then I discussed with my wife about the same and finally decided to do it. It was my first TV show named Parivartan and it really did very well. People realized that I can do other characters too. I was finally successful in breaking the stereotype.
What's your take on films releasing on OTT and the other content on them.
I feel it has changed cinema. OTT has grown a lot in one year and the result of which is I getting to play dynamic characters which I wouldn't have been possible in films. In Inspector Avinash I am playing Randeep Hooda's father which is a very dynamic character and quite different. So I'm getting to play a variety of roles in OTT which was not possible in cinema. As an artist is feel is has brought a boon for me.
How would you say has the audience changed from earlier days to now?
There's a vast difference as there were limited mediums and only Doordarshan channel. Also during that time film making was a just formula thing – it had a hero, heroine and a villain. Apart from this, it had some emotional, fighting scenes and songs. But now the content creation has changed and become dynamic. Now the time is totally different. Also now people have a lot of opportunities and mediums too such as short films, independent films, multi starrer, web series, television etc. There's plethora of work for talented people in this industry.
Earlier it used to be a lot of struggle for getting films as several people used to audition for same role and with lot of efforts and struggle one used to get work. Now time has changed as everyone is focusing on making realistic contents which connects people and real life. Now skills are very important and audience should be able to connect to it. I think it is a positive change. I think audiences have also changed from earlier times. They prefer realistic and sensible content.