Prateik Babbar: I needed to grow

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Mumbai, June 29 -- Prateik Babbar was missing from the limelight until April, when he came clean about his struggle with substance abuse and depression in an interview.

Ask him if it was a conscious decision to speak up about this dark phase of his life, and the actor says, "It was planned. I was getting unconditional love from my fans. I needed to reach out and let them know that I was wrong."

By his own admission, Prateik, during his growing years, had a turbulent relationship with his father, Raj Babbar, who tied the knot with the late Smita Patil (Prateik's mother), while he was still married to Nadira Babbar.

Prateik says the "blame game was required". "That period of confusion was required for me to understand my parents' whole story. I needed to grow," he says. Prateik adds that he shares a "happy equation" with his father today.

The actor has been noticed for sharing screen space with cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni in TV commercials that are currently on air. Prateik adds that he is now approaching ad makers and film-makers for work.

When asked if he hesitates in doing so, Prateik says, "Not at all. Since I have been abusing substances, people might be wary of my skills and capabilities. I'm not ashamed of calling people and asking them for work."

The actor admits that drugs are a problem in today's world. "Drugs are everywhere - in the entertainment industry, in sports, etc. We hear stories of the biggest actors being addicted to drugs and passing away owing to an overdose. One needs to know what is right and what is wrong," he says.