Scam 1992 Star Pratik Gandhi Shares How 2020 CHANGED His Life; Opens Up On Him And His Family Surviving COVID-19 - EXCLUSIVE

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How has 2020 treated you?

2020 has been a life-changing year for me in many ways. The biggest reason is Scam 1992. Suddenly I was a nationally-recognized actor. I was put on a national platform, and maybe on an international platform too. Suddenly I’m being offered really interesting projects. I am being taken seriously as an actor at a time when the world is going through the worst crisis of the century.

How did you deal with the pandemic?

I had seen other crises in my hometown Surat: the plague and multiple floods. In one of the floods, my family lost almost everything in the flood of 2006. The entire cycle of natural disasters makes you feel so small and helpless. However, the other crises seemed small when compared with Corona.

Why do you say that?

As a family, we never felt more helpless. It was horrible! My brother was hospitalized with Covid-19. I, my wife mother and daughter were Covid Positive. I couldn’t even go meet my brother in the hospital. By God’s grace, we survived. We are fine now. But this experience taught me one very big lesson.

Which is?

I had seen medical emergencies before during my wife’s brain-tumour operation and my father’s cancer treatment when we lost him. During these medical crises, I was trying to meet doctors, procure the best medicines, etc. But this time I couldn’t do anything because. I couldn’t go out. I felt helpless. I realized we are not in control of anything. It’s the Almighty who decides everything for us.

Did the experience make you more appreciative of what you have?

As I watched my brother gasp for every breath, I was grateful for being able to breathe easily. All of life’s problems suddenly seemed insignificant. From Covid, I learnt to be grateful for what we have. July-August went into coping with the illness. In September the situation stabilized. By the year-end, we were limping back to normalcy.

How has Scam 1992 impacted your career?

Now I get narrations from filmmakers. This was something I could never dream of before Scam 1992. I am also being considered for the protagonist’s role. After I played Harshad Mehta, they are seeing me in complex characters. I will do more web series, more theatre and at least one regional film in 2021.

How has OTT changed the entertainment business?

I guess OTT is the best thing to happen to all actors. It gave courage to makers also. There’s no performance anxiety, no terror of box-office bullying. They are happily experimenting with new themes, actors and technicians. The audiences’ expectations, too, have changed during the year. They are open to new viewing experiences. I think this OTT is the best thing to have happened to the visual entertainment medium. As far as the cinema versus OTT is concerned, cinema can’t be replaced. I don’t think OTT is a threat to cinema’s survival. As an actor, I am looking forward to exploring both formats.

Which shows did you enjoy the most in 2020?

With all the Covid crises in my family, I watched very little. But I loved Panchayat. Then I liked Pataal Lok and Asur. Bandish Bandit was also good. Ram Singh Charlie and Serious Men are the two films I enjoyed for their performances.

Did you feel for the loss of stalwarts this year?

This year took away brilliant performers like Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput. They leave a space that will be impossible to fill. Their going was a huge, huge blow to the entertainment industry.

Your plans for 2021?

After Scam 1992 I was warned by many that the next series will decide the future course of my career. I took the pressure for some time and then decided I won’t change my selection process. There are no thumb rules for the right choice. I have always gone by my gut feel. I won’t change my process of selection. Whether it is a theatre or cinema, I’ve gone by instincts and will continue to do so. I’ve already committed myself to a few web series and feature. I am hopeful that some of my work in 2021 would create the same magic as Scam 1992.

Image source: instagram/pratikgandhiofficial

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