Mumbai, Jul 26 (PTI) In his almost two decade-long career in films, actor Ranvir Shorey says he has managed to stay afloat on his own, courtesy critically-acclaimed films like 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd' and 'Bheja Fry'.
The 47-year-old actor said he was 'sidelined' by mainstream cinema, which initially affected him, but he pushed himself to work in the independent space.
'I was lucky enough to stand out in independent films. I am surviving on my own, it is a great achievement for me. I had to crawl inch by inch to make my space. Wherever I am today is not thanks to so-called mainstream bigwigs as they have tried their best to sideline me,' Shorey told PTI in an interview.
The thought of quitting Bollywood crossed his mind multiple times, but the actor said his passion for the craft kept him going.
In the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput's death which sparked conversations ranging from mental health to nepotism, Shorey opened up on social media about facing 'professional and social isolation, bad mouthing press, and the psychological trauma' in the years 2003 to 2005.
He believes the 'insider vs outsider' debate won't change the film industry, but talking about it might make the environment 'less toxic'.
'I brought it up now is because I saw a lot of similarities to what is being reported in Sushant's case,' Shorey said, referring to his 'Sonchiriya' co-star who passed away in June.
'When certain people have power they abuse it. I was a victim of it at that time. I have been through a dark period and this business can break you. It had a deep impact (on me) not just emotionally, but also professionally.' Shorey made his debut opposite Manisha Koirala in 2002's 'Ek Chhotisi Love Story' and followed it up with next year's 'Jism'.
He said he was 'wiped out' as he only got to play 'small parts' in films like 'Waisa Bhi Hota Hai 2', 'Lakshya', and 'Shiva'.
'I had to start again from scratch from TV. I did 'The Great Indian Comedy Show', then I started building my career again. Then 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' happened in 2006,' he said, noting the Dibakar Banerjee-directed comedy.
'Nobody gave me meaty or lead roles in mainstream films, except one film 'Ugly Aur Pagli'. It didn't do well and after that nobody gave me a chance.
'If a star kid has a flop, it is not that they will not be given a lead role. If I give one unsuccessful film at the box office, the chances of getting a lead film in mainstream are over.' Shorey is currently awaiting the release of his next 'Lootcase', which will be out on Disney+Hotstar on July 31. 'Lootcase' revolves around a middle class man (Kunal Kemmu) finding an unclaimed suitcase filled with money.
He takes the suitcase and finds himself being chased by a notorious gangster (Vijay Raaz), an honest cop (Shorey) and a minister (Gajraj Rao), who want the suitcase at any cost.
Shorey said he looks for good storytelling, an interesting character, and a director with a vision while taking on a project.
'Comedy has a special place in my life. Whenever I have done anything in this space it has been liked. I look forward to good scripts that are comedies. However, what matters to me is the merit of the script,' he added.
The actor, also known for 'Mithya', 'A Death in the Gunj', and 'Kadvi Hawa', believes independent films have found a strong 'ally' in streaming platforms.
'In theatres, there are a limited number of shows which are controlled by a limited number of people. There are so many independent films that don't get a chance to reach the audience. On streaming platforms, whether it is a film with a big star or small film, everybody gets space. It's for the audience to choose what they click on,' he added.
'Lootcase' is directed by Rajesh Krishnan and produced by Fox Star Studios and Soda Films Productions. It also stars Rasika Dugal. PTI KKP RDS RB