Friday, July 07, 2006
He believes in characters and not in roles. From Bhopal Express, Haazaron Khwahishey Aisi to Sarkar, the talented actor Kay Kay Menon has played an array of characters in Bollywood. A method actor, Kay Kay Menon plays a rich business tycoon in Madhur Bhandarkar's next film Corporate and has no qualms about playing the male lead of a woman-oriented film. He defends his role saying, "Most of the Hindi movies have male protagonists so there is no harm in doing one woman oriented film like Corporate. I don't think men should complain about it."
What is Corporate all about?
It deals with the trials and tribulations of Corporate life. It deals with war and ambitions within companies and also the human emotions attached to it.
What is your role in the movie?
I play a character who comes from a business family and owns a couple of companies. Because of my heritage, I am already at the top executive level of the company. I can't say anything more about the role. It deals with the conflict between human emotions and ambitions. My character is neither positive nor negative. In fact, the time has gone when films used to have positive or negative characters. Characters today have all kinds of shades in them. There are no more black or white characters. This character is a likable one.
What interests you to take on a character?
Primarily, the script has to be interesting. This film deals with the entire Corporate life. The role had a lot of dimensions in terms of performance. It had good storyline, director and of course even the money was good! (laughs)
Do you relate to this character in real life?
This character is believable. There is nothing fictional about him. My whole attempt in terms of performance is that whatever character I play, be it in the genre of fantasy, fiction or science fiction; it has to be made believable! So we tried to make it as believable as possible. This role and the film are very believable.
Have you done any preparations to portray it?
There was no attempt from my side to look different. I believe that every role is different from the other. A person has to be inherently different from the other person. So it's not an attempt to be different but to be truthful to that character. Whether it's Haazaron Khwahishey Aisi, Sarkar or any other movie that I have done, there wasn't any attempt to be different. Only the roles were different. They can't be the same. So you just need to identify it and stick to it. I don't believe in any kind of academic research on any character unless it's a historical character. Otherwise fictional characters should be born and should die there. You should not try for unnecessary research. I work the other way around. I believe in working on the text. The script and director should be the source of your performance. You should use your own imagination on how to mould the character.
Tell us something about the entire look of your character.
The look emerges out of a character. You cannot take an external look to portray a character. As you go through the character, in terms of script and scenes, various elements of the character will emerge. You need to keep on working. Automatically, a form emerges and you get to identify with the look. Normally I never differentiate between roles and characters. As I said, the look should be derived directly from the character not from the role. Siddharth in Haazaron Khwahishey Aisi, is a character but the revolutionary person is the role. So you have to differentiate between them and the look comes automatically.
How was it working with Madhur Bhandarkar?
This is my first film with him. He is very earthy person in terms direction. His emotions come from the kind of background that he comes from. He taps emotions which are very earthy in nature. It was very interesting for me to explore those areas while performing. Madhur's inputs helped me a lot to portray my character.
How was it working with Bipasha Basu?
Well, Bipasha comes from a different stream of cinema. I was completely surprised and impressed by the way she carried out those emotions on her face, through her eyes. She could hold a frame without speaking a line, which shows the expertise of an actress. People might say she relates to glamour part of cinema but when it comes to performing especially in Corporate she can hold a frame without speaking a line. That is what good actors can do.
You have always tried variations in your characters. Which role is closest to your heart?
The character that challenged me completely is the character of the movie, Paanch. Then, my roles in Haazaron Khwahishey Aisi and Sarkar challenged me as an actor. It required a whole new dimension for me to explore, in terms of my whole spectrum and my personality.
Madhur has always dealt with woman oriented subjects. Do you think your character has received an equal screenplay justice?
It has. It deals with the relationship of a man with a woman in the Corporate world. If the relationship has to be complete, then you need both. And it is not only a woman centric film. Though Madhur usually has female protagonist in his movies, it's perfectly fine by me. Most of the Hindi movies have male protagonists so there is no harm in doing one woman oriented film like Corporate. I don't think men should complain about it. It was great fun to work in that set up where you know that there is going to be a complete equation.
What does Corporate mean to you?
As a film, it means a lot because we worked hard in terms of performance. It could be one of the best that I could see! What kind of fate it goes through is something I don't have control over.
And the Corporate world does not really mean much to me. I have gone through it and know exactly what it is. But yes, the film Corporate means a lot to me.
What is USP of Corporate?
I think the cast is quite interesting and I have not done bad work earlier. So people would look forward to something good from me! Of course, Bipasha is in a new kind of role. So this would be the USP of the film. It deals with the different walks of Corporate life.
You started from theatre. How is it different from films?
Theatre and films are totally two different mediums. A good theatre actor need not be a good film actor and a film actor need not be a good in theatre. Or at the same time, he could be good in both. But there is no hard and fast rule that if you are from theatre then you must be good actor. The only advantage of theatre is that you become used to acting. The primary difference in theatre is that the actor has to reach out to the audience while in cinema the audience reaches out to the actor. So if the actor is intelligent enough to understand both the mediums and adapt well, then he will be a good actor in both the mediums.
What are the forthcoming projects you are working on?
I am done with Corporate. I have almost finished a film called Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd. directed by Reema Katgi. It has an interesting cast and is about seven couples. It's a fun movie in which I am playing a Bengali husband. Raima plays my wife. I play a nerdy husband but at a comic level.
There is one more film called Shunya with Arindum Mitra which is based on a cricketer's life. It's quite interesting. It has Naseer, Irfaan and Tulip Joshi.
A chit chat with madhur bhandarkar
Aslam Khan in Nayee Padosan