I need to come into my own: Prateik on comparison with mom

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Feb 8 (IANS) He feels his mother Smita Patil was an "awesome" actress and Prateik Babbar is comfortable though not overjoyed with the constant comparisons with his mom.

Comparisons to the never-forgotten Smita Patil have intensified after his performance in "Dhobi Ghat".

"I think it's amazing to be compared with her. It just shows that even after all these years people don't want to forget her. They want to remember her through me. Fair enough. But somewhere down the line I need to come into my own. To be recognized for my own abilities and personality," said the actor.

"Of course, I've seen my mom's films. She's awesome. But I really don't see that much of resemblance between us," he added.

After playing a socio-economically challenged member of a backward community in "Dhobi Ghat", Prateik will now be seen as a denizen of the privileged class in Prakash Jha's "Aarakshan".

Talking about his role, he said: "It's something close to my heart and something I haven't done before. Both are pre-requisites for me to accept a role. It has to appeal to me and challenge me. That's why I did 'Dhobi Ghat'. I never thought I could carry off the lingo and body language of a dhobi."

Prateik loves to surprise himself both on and off the screen.

"In my next release 'Dum Maro Dum', I go into a completely different zone. Then there's Raghav Dar's 'My Friend Pinto'. That's again something new to do for me," said the 24-year-old who, despite a small role in "Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na", earned rave reviews for his performance.

Each of the roles requires a different discipline, accent and body language. This year he has decided to completely cut down on his extra-curricular activities. No more wild nights and beach parties?

"No more of all that. It's just my work. I've four films to complete and release this year. It's a decisive year for me. I'm completely done with socializing. It's just the studios and the gym for me. There's no room for anything else. I'm so relieved people have accepted me in 'Dhobi Ghat'. If I can pull off a dhobi's role, I've the confidence to try any kind of role."

In "My Friend Pinto" we'll get to see Pratik's dancing skills for the first time. He had a ball attempting both the conventional filmy style and a more orthodox genre of dancing. According to inside information from the crew of 'My Friend Pinto', Prateik's dancing is comparable with Hrithik Roshan and Shahid Kapoor.

The roles are personally picked by Prateik. "Though I take my aunt (Manya Patil) and my business manager into confidence, I finally take the call on what roles to accept."

Meanwhile, the young actor is getting used to the public glare.

"I enjoy dancing. But not in public places. I'm very shy of attention. This year I hope to overcome all my inhibitions and actually enjoy blowing kisses to the mobs," he said.

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