Want filmmakers to give me different roles: Anup Soni

- April 9, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

The actor of ‘Crime Patrol’ and ‘Balika Vadhu’ fame says that the Bollywood film industry has not tapped into his talent enough

ACT: Anup Soni along with other artists during rehearsals at Kamani Auditorium

Film and TV actor Anup Soni says that he is open to playing challenging roles as he feels his talent has not been explored well enough by the Bollywood industry.

“I believe filmmakers have not explored me very well. I want them to give me different roles and take chances with me and to not cast me only in routine roles. I know I can deliver and hope they would like to see me in interesting roles,” he told Patriot.

Soni was in Delhi recently to perform his play My Wife’s 8th Vachan — Inspired by your marriage. The play also features actors Vinay Jain and Monisha Singh Katial. It has been written and directed by Atul Satya Koushik and produced by Anik Sharma.

Soni says that they started performing this play in 2022. 

“It is a comedy play with a sweet message, and fits in the contemporary times. It is the story of a couple who have been married for 15 years but keep fighting unnecessarily. We wanted the audience to enjoy this play and take home a message too,” he says before adding, “It is our 28th show so far and fifth in Delhi.” 

Soni says that he has a strong connection with Delhi, all because of his alma mater, the National School of Drama (NSD). “I have spent my three wonderful years at the institute. I have strong memories of the place and I feel connected to it,” he says.

He says whenever he visits Delhi, he ensures visiting NSD. 

“I visited it this time also. I love to meet people, have a cup of tea and explore the campus. Whenever I go to the campus, I get nostalgic about the time spent there,” says Soni, who passed out of the institute in 1993. 

About the changes that he has spotted at NSD in all these years, the actor says, “Construction-wise there is no major change, but the reception of the institute has been changed.”

Soni, who often visits Delhi, says, “I visit here eight or nine times a year for one reason or the other. I love Delhi food. Whether you go to a restaurant, or roadside food junctions in Delhi, you can find amazing Kulche Chole and Gulgule. I love them, especially at Nathu’s Food in Bengali Market.” 

Soni, who is known for hosting the popular crime reality show — ‘Crime Patrol’, admires Delhi’s greenery and good roads. 

“We miss all this in Mumbai. I hope to get all the basic facilities in Mumbai especially better roads,” he adds further. 

Soni calls TV serial Balika Vadhu and Crime Patrol game-changers in his life. 

“They were not game-changers for only me but for television too. Balika Vadhu came in 2008, and till then the format and shooting style was very different. Stories of soaps were also different. This TV serial changed the direction of the daily soaps and broke the old shooting pattern. In the meantime, Crime Patrol was also telecast on a hardcore entertainment channel which was loved and appreciated by all,” he says.

The 49-year-old actor says that Crime Patrol gave him an identity. 

“People started remembering my actual name with this show. Otherwise, you are known only by the characters you play. After Balika Vadhu, people were remembering me as Bhairon Dharamveer Singh thanks to my role,” he says. 

Soni feels there are still takers for theatre across the country. 

“In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, people come and purchase tickets to watch shows. Whenever I go to rural areas to interact with the theatre groups, I tell them to charge something for the theatre as it should not be kept free of cost. If you are giving them a good play for Rs 25, tomorrow they will come again to see a play while spending double of it. This is the power of theatre,” says Soni who has acted in films like Gangaajal, Footpath, Class of 83 and others.  

The actor believes that there needs to be a variety of theatres available. 

“We are lacking in 300-seater theatres. If one goes with the option of 800-seater, it is very costly and ticket prices would also be very high. There should be theatres like Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai with a capacity of 200 seats,” he says.  

He says that the credibility of theatre actors is still high in the industry. 

“A theatre actor might not become a star, but the filmmakers are sure that since he is from theatre, a tough and good role can be given to him,” says Soni who has two films and two web series in the pipeline. 

Soni advises young artists in the field to keep doing theatre. 

“Work in films, web series and serials, but if you get time, go for theatre also. It is better for you and would nourish your skills,” he says.