Vishal Bhardwaj is a great support: Lalit Parimoo

- May 12, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The actor, who has played key roles in films like Haider and Agent Vinod, credits director Vishal Bhardwaj for helping him get work in Bollywood

EARLY STRUGGLE: Actor Lalit Parimoo faced severe financial problems during his days in Delhi

Film and TV actor Lalit Parimoo acknowledged filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj for his consistent support in providing him work opportunities in Bollywood.  

“Vishal and I have been friends since our days in Delhi and connected through our mutual love for theatre and cricket. Whenever there is a promising project, he ensures I am there in it. He is a great support,” Parimoo revealed.   

Parimoo described him as a composed and calm director.  

“He wears many caps being in the film industry and he understands his subject very well,” he said.

Parimoo has worked with Bhardwaj in films like Haider, and Khufiya as well as web-series Charlie Chopra & The Mystery of Solang Valley.

He calls film Haider a good opportunity.

“It was not a game-changer in my life but indeed a good opportunity. It garnered critical acclaim and people loved my role in the film,” says Parimoo, who played the role of police officer Pervez Lone and actress Shraddha Kapoor’s father.

Parimoo’s acting journey began in 1982 when he moved to Delhi from Kashmir. 

“Delhi was my first stop before moving to Mumbai. I learnt about the ‘Delhi Theatre’ group and wanted to do theatre. Till 1988, I worked in some 25 plays. I also worked in several Doordarshan serials, and radio shows later,” said Parimoo who completed his BA (Honours) in Political Science from Ramjas College, New Delhi in 1985.

The 59-year-old actor has lived in different areas during his days of struggle in Delhi. 

“I lived in Kamla Nagar, Mandi House, Laxmi Nagar and Lodhi Colony. We also used to go to the Bengali Market and Refugee Market and have parathas at ITO. We used to look for the cheapest food to eat those days,” he said.

“During my days of struggle, we would even forget to eat. Money was very limited. My family and other well-wishers would send some of it. The money was so less that if we would have fallen ill, we would have not been able to bear the cost of the treatment,” said Parimoo who runs a theatre academy in Mumbai, training young artists.

The actor is excited to see the theatre culture in Delhi. 

“Theatre is still being done in the national capital. Most of the young artists who shift to Mumbai have trained themselves in theatres in Delhi. The audience and culture of theatre are still alive there. It has also become a trend nowadays that theatre should be done before entering film industry,” he said.

He emphasised that not everyone is lucky to enter the film industry. 

“People are very talented and versatile but they don’t get a chance to showcase their talent. Survival is tough in this field as there is a lot of insecurity about work. Those who have done extraordinary in their careers in the industry either have been lucky or got good environment or graced by Almighty,” said Parimoo who has worked in films like Agent Vinod, Mubarakan, Kaanchli, Sita, Hum Tum Pe Marte Hain among others.

He has also featured in Shaktimaan.

Discussing the superhero series Shaktimaan, Parimoo expressed his surprise over its immense popularity, particularly among children.     

“Actor Mukesh Khanna and I were collaborating on a project when he informed me about the series and offered me a role. Interestingly, the serial gained huge popularity and remained on air for seven years,” said Parimoo who played the role of the villain, Dr Jaikaal.

Regarding the evolution of cinema, he said, “Theatre is all about live performance and sharpening your skills; TV is a quick exercise with multiple shots and deadlines; films have an archival value and can be seen anytime while OTT is somewhere between TV and films.”

He admitted that OTT platforms have affected the business of cinema halls.

He advises aspiring actors to prioritise theatre before considering a move to Mumbai. 

“Those who wish to become hardcore actors should go for theatre first. Mumbai is a risky place to live because of huge expenses. They should come to Mumbai only after many years of rigorous training in theatre so that they could be hired for roles. [They cannot bank on theatre] since initially, one will not earn from it,” Parimoo concludes.