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Is theatre really a stepping stone to silver screen?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
It has become a trend where actors from Bollywood are trying to get into Hollywood. Toeing this line, actors from Tellywood too are busy trying to get into Bollywood and there is also a huge amount of inflow of actors from theatre and modeling into Tellywood. From all these, it seems like theatre and modeling have emerged as a base for entering into acting and Hollywood is the ultimate goal for every actor!

The biggest live example of this trend is Nasseruddin Shah, who started with theatre and then moved towards Bollywood. Today, he has successfully ventured into Hollywood! Another example of this trend is Irfan Khan who too has gone through theatre, television, Bollywood and is now trying his luck in Hollywood.

Even the Badshah, Shah Rukh Khan started his acting career in theatres under Barry Jones acting school in Delhi and then moved towards television giving hit shows like 'Circus' and 'Fauji'. Then, he entered Bollywood in a big way with his debut hit movie Deewana. And you may never know that he can turn his eye on Hollywood any moment now!

Following the footsteps of 'Badshah' Khan, there are few other actors who have entered Bollywood after trying there hands in television. Some of the few famous actors in this category are Gracy Singh and Vidya Balan who have secured their places in Bollywood.

But it does not stop here. There are many other television actors trying to do the same. Take the instance of Rohit Roy who has been trying for long and has now set his step in Bollywood with 'Shootout...' Another television actor Shabbir Alhuwalia as well as the latest television heartthrob Rajeev Khandelwal, who has a modeling background, too are moving towards the glamorous world of Bollywood. "In a sport like cricket, a player never wants to play only Ranji Trophy matches, but dreams of playing for his country and even in the world cup. It is the same in the acting and television actors too want to act in films," says Rajeev.

Even a fine actor like Pawan Shankar, who was been nominated from India and also entered into the final round of EMMYS, is striving for Bollywood. "I don't want to do more of television now and that is why I am talking lesser roles and eventually I am reducing my work. I loved my role in 'Siddhanth' and 'Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan', but now it seems that my talent is getting stopped. So, now I want to go for films and discussions are also on in this regard," says Pawan.

But why are actors so curious for turning to films? "I feel that films have more archive value, as they can be stored in a DVD or CD and can be viewed many years down the line. But television, unless one takes the pain to store and that too so many episodes, cannot be stored and even appearance in films is much remembered than in serials," adds Ashish Kapoor aka Kanwar Sa of 'Saath Phere'. Ashish is also playing the role of king in a crossover film Zero Hour - A Royal Massacre, a docu drama based on King Gynander of Nepal by U.K. Productions.

Talking about his goal, Sachin Sharma, who made his debut in Bollywood with Mummji starring Kiron Kher and Jackie Shroff, says, "I like both television and films, but I respect television in a way that it has given me fame and a great platform. But I had always dreamt of being a Bollywood actor, so it is more close to me as it is my ambition and the ultimate goal in my life.

The list of television actors turning to Bollywood can go on and on like as numerous popular actors like Shweta Tiwari, Simone Singh, Saddia Siddique, Jaya Bhattacharya and many more have already made their mark in Bollywood and are now aiming higher. But are still many others who are struggling to get into the glamorous world of Bollywood. Like Amit Sareen, who is a Fame Gurukul winner, says, "I really want to get into films as almost every actor who has come down to Mumbai has this dream to be a Bollywood star. I too came form Banaras with this dream only, as I wanted to become an actor and nothing else in life."

Films are definitely the ultimate goal for an actor, but theatre and television too have not lost their shine yet, as many actors still go back to their roots. Take the instances of Amrita Singh, Aroona Irani and Rati Agnihotri who ventured into television after successful careers in films. And adding to the list are the two biggies of Bollywood - Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. They have tried their luck in television through films in 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' after winning the hearts of millions through their blockbusters. They were followed or preceded by lesser stars like Govinda, Manoj Bajpai and now Suniel Shetty!

Talking about theatre, even well-known and respectable actors like Nasseruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal have gone back to the stage after super-duper careers in films. They say that theatre is their first love and they cannot give it up for anything. And this is why they come back to the stage time and again whenever they find time from their busy film schedules.

Television no doubt is till young and not as explored as Bollywood, but is surely capable of luring actors. On the other hand, theater is something which is treated as sacred so no one misses a chance to enjoy it. But, above all, still actors crave to step one step ahead from theater to television and then television to Bollywood and finally move toward the ultimate goal Hollywood.

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