Atul Srivastava was born on August 12, 1961, in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. He is an actor, known for Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) and Carry On, Munna Bhai (2006).
Making an epic comeback on online streaming platforms such as TVF and MX Player, he has played such roles which left a deep mark on our hearts. On TVF, his show ‘Fathers’ was a big hit! It talked about the friendship between three grown-ups struggling to be ‘cool’ in this generation.
In his latest interview with Hitflix, he won our hearts with his hidden talents and quarantine habits. Let’s see what he had to say!
What is it that you do to pass your time in Quarantine?
I’m not at all passing my time I’m really busy. I would urge everyone to utilize this ample free time efficiently and learn a new skill.
What series are you watching these days? Would you prefer any to the fans?
I have been watching’Panchayat’, which is very good. I would prefer my own series ‘Mannphodganj ki Binny”, which is now streaming free on MX Player. And there’s one more series which I recommend you to watch. It’s CM CM Hota hai’ which is on YouTube.It has only 8 episodes that too only a few minutes short. You will love it! Then there is ‘Born Free’ on Ultrashort, casting Sumeet Vyas who is extremely talented.
You’re from Lucknow, right? So tell us your favorite memory from that place. Also, I heard the food is quite good there. Is that so?
Yes, I was born in Lucknow itself. I studied drama there. When it comes to memories, I have many. But it’s not specified or anything like that. For example, I have different memories with friends from drama classes, different memories with my parents, etc. Also, we shot Mannphodganj ki Binny in Lucknow so that has different memories.
Yes! The food is amazing. You will find great eating spots near Chowk, outside the stadium and Ganeshganj.
You did a lot of series and movies in your glorifying career, How do you differentiate and which one is better, and what do you prefer?
See, it’s all about different paces. A serial has a different pace than a movie. Yes, I did a lot of serials at the beginning and then alongside I did a lot of good movies but it all depends on the content and the subject.
What do your future projects look like? Would you talk about them?
Yes! Why not? We were working on a few films before this lockdown. There was this one film ‘Tenent’ which I enjoyed working in. There is another interesting film,’ Sonam Gupta Bewafa hai’, where Jassi gill plays my son’s role. We had to stop the shoot midway because of the lockdown but hopefully, we’ll continue soon after all this and let you know about it. Then there is one more named ‘Love-all’, it’s a badminton term. Again, it’s an amazing film.
What roles do you love the most?
From serials to films, I love them all. There was a film I did, ‘Yaha sab hi gyaani hai’ which was a challenging role and I loved it. Then there is ‘Batti Gul Meter chaalu’ where I play Shahid Kapoor’s dad. That was also really challenging.
Is there anyone you follow in your life?
Instead of a person, I follow ‘quotes’ that inspire me. It doesn’t matter who said it. If it’s a kid, and I’m learning from it, that’s the thing I will follow. There is this quote I love, ‘Apne bare me galat fehmi nahi honi chaiye’, which is very important to learn in one’s life.
My motive is ‘Mai nai rou,lekin saamne wala rode’ (I shouldn’t cry, but the person who’s watching me act should cry). Believe in whatever you do and connect with it emotionally.
Whose work do you admire in your field?
I like the set of newcomers who portray exceptional acting skills. One such guy is Vijay Verma. We shot ‘Cheers’ together and it was a great experience to work with him. Then there’s Sanjay Mishra who is a class actor too.
How do you differentiate between series and films?
I believe that from an actor’s point of view, his actions should be good at all times. But the only difference is that in the case of web series, there is a big team of editors who continuously edit the film and the frame which might spoil the actor’s effect on the scene, just like too many cooks spoil the broth. If the technical team and the teamwork are good and balanced, then it does wonders for the series.
What do you find more challenging? Movies or theatres?
I believe there is magic in everything. Each platform has its charm. Earlier when I started with my acting career, I only had theatres to do, so I loved doing that. Then from that, I moved on to serials and then films. And now I just love working on film sets because there are a lot of challenges associated with it. The harder we work, the more believable our acting looks on the screen. So, that’s what I aim at.
Are there any funny moments associated with any of the big films you did?
Yes! Every film has its inside jokes and funny moments. One such thing happened on the sets of Munna Bhai MBBS, which happens to be my debut film. There was this scene where Munna had to set up a fake hospital before his dad arrived. So we all lied on the fake hospital beds and I had to stuff my mouth my eggs. Three or four, I had to keep on filling my mouth and as we took breaks in between, I had to eject the eggs out again, then eat again as the shot resumed. Everyone laughed and told me to stuff more. It was a funny incident. And I did that scene pretty well too.
You make us laugh with your humor and fun roles. Are you that funny in real life as well?
Yes! I am funny in reality too. I believe a person should never let the child inside die. Ever! I make a lot of origami art and imitate them. (shows us one and imitates)
I keep having fun with my family and friends and I believe everyone should keep having fun.
Lastly, Are you a fan of reading books or poetry of anything? If yes, kindly tell us what’s your favorite?
Yes! I often read books but I hardly remember the exact lines even from my films. There is this poetry by Javed Akhtar Saab, which spellbound me the first time I heard it.
‘Khushi har shaks se Sirf Ek Kadam hai…Har Ghar me Ek hi karma Kam hai’
This means that our needs never get fulfilled.No matter how much we achieve, there is always something less. Needs are unlimited.
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