Saying 'no' to big money, visibility not easy: Divyendu Sharma

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Mumbai, Sep 20 (IANS) Bollywood actor Divyendu Sharma, who became popular with his debut film "Pyaar Ka Punchnama", is often asked why he isn't as visible as his contemporaries in showbiz. He says it is because he does not want to limit himself to comedy that he has to choose the tough path of saying "no" to some lucrative offers.

"After 'Pyaar Ka Punchnama', I got a lot of scripts with comedy characters and some of them were from big production houses. Honestly, saying 'no' to big money and films is not easy. That way, I said 'no' to visibility also. But it was my conscious decision not to slot myself in one genre," Divyendu told IANS in an interview.

"I am thankful to my audience that they loved my performance in my debut film but I really have more to offer. There is no fun in limiting an actor in one kind of role. It is not just comedy... I would have done the same thing if it was for romantic hero or action films. The freedom of an actor comes from experimentation," said the actor.

The strategy worked for him, says Divyendu, who is now happy that a variety of scripts are coming his way.

After "Pyaar Ka Punchnama", he featured in "Chashme Baddoor", "Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami" and "Dilliwali Zaalim Girlfriend", apart from "Toilet - Ek Prem Katha", in which his role as Narayan Sharma was noticed.

Divyendu will next feature in the Shahid Kapoor-starrer "Batti Gul Meter Chalu" -- releasing on Friday -- as a middle-class young entrepreneur dealing with some serious issues in life.

"The audience will get to see me in a complete dark character in one of my upcoming films. I am also working on 'Mirzapur', a web series for Amazon Prime Video," he added.

A Delhi boy, Divyendu studied at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, before entering Bollywood in 2011.

How does he feel secure with few films and limited visibility?

"My training as an actor I guess. It is okay for me not to own a house in Mumbai city or not riding the most expensive car, because it is important for the performer within me to be remembered as one of the good, versatile actors of my generation in the history of Indian cinema, even when I am not alive in future," said the 35-year-old actor.

In the course of his career, he says he has received the best compliment from filmmaker David Dhawan.

"During the shooting for 'Chashme Baddoor', David sir told me that 'You really have the understanding of dialogue and pause between the line that builds a character'. Coming from him, it was a big deal for me. And yes, he also told me that I should be doing more commercial films."