National Award-winning actor Saurabh Shukla shared his insights and advice on acting in a masterclass at Sisir Mancha at the 29th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).
In the session moderated by director Arindam Sil, Shukla emphasised the importance of rising to the occasion and performing on the set, whether one has prepared for it or not. "At the end of the day, the actor needs to perform the scene. So, it doesn't matter how he/she prepares a scene," said Shukla.
“A good and sensible actor understands that he’ll shine only when everybody shines. If you try to destroy your co-actor’s performance, you’re sinking your own boat,” he added.
As Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya marks its 25th anniversary, the actor expressed his gratitude for the audience’s outpouring of affection for his performance as Kallu Mama in the film. "I'm immensely thankful that the audiences still remember me as Kallu Mama. This only shows that audiences appreciate good content," he said.
A seasoned screenwriter as well, Shukla discussed the symbiotic relationship between writing and acting. "Writing has always helped me in acting. The more we know and understand the medium, the more it refines the craft," he said, citing the examples of actors like Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone and Jack Nicholson, who excel not only as performers but also as writers and directors.
Addressing the evolution of acting in the era of OTT platforms, Shukla acknowledged the ongoing transformation. "Yes, we are evolving. In every era, we have changed styles, thoughts and everything. This is bound to happen because art is directly related to society.”
Shukla, whose mother is Bengali, shared his fondness for Bengali cuisine. "I chose my mother’s food and my father’s language. My mother would often make aloo-sheddho bhaat. It was comfort food. In my early days in Mumbai, I would often make it for friends like Manoj Bajpayee and Tigmanshu Dhulia.”
The veteran actor also shared his thoughts on the ongoing controversy around Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Animal. "This is a question of morality and it depends on the perspective of the viewer,” said Shukla.