Working with Ayushmann and Anubhav is like flying onto seventh cloud - Sushil Pandey
Sushil Pandey shares his journey from a middle class guy to a busy B-town actor
Actor Sushil Pandey best known for his work in "Phas Gaye Re Obama", "Article 15", "Super 30", "Jolly LLB 1 & 2", "Jab We Met" , "Once Upon a Time in Mumbai" and many more now will be seen in Sony LIV's series "Maharani" playing a commander of a private Army which got released recently starring Huma Qureshi, Amit Sial and Sohum Shah. The film was a political thriller set in the 90's created by Subhash Kapoor and directed by Karan Sharma.
He will also be seen in "Inside Edge season 3" for Amazon Prime, Anubhav Sinha and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer film "Anek" and Vipul A Shah and Mozez Singh's directorial "Human" for Disney Hotstar. He shared some important moments from his journey with The Hans India. Let's have a look into them.
Tell us about your journey so far
I was born in a middle class family in Siswan, a village in Siwan district of Bihar, to Rama Shankar Pandey and Rajkumari Devi, and brought up in Gaya where my family is settled. My father was a Bihar government servant in department of Agriculture. I was active in Ramleela Mandalee and College theatre group during my student life. I enjoyed a lot to engage my in acts like bandar sena in my childhood and Ram for several years in my home town's festive season, which was appreciated by the people and ultimately prompted me to make a career out of acting for which I was aspiring since childhood. I wanted to join the National School of Drama but it wasn't possible to pursue due to my father's early demise, and responsibilities of a middle class family. I am science graduate and done hotel management. After working in hospitality industry for 3 long years in Goa, I resigned my full time job and joined theatre to fulfill my passion for acting. To survive in Mumbai and pay the fee to learn my craft, I used to work as consultant in small hotels, and chain of restaurants in Mumbai.
I came to Mumbai in 2006 and started doing theatre and several workshops. Eventually I started getting small roles in television and eventually good roles. My first work in film was "Jab We Met", it was a tiny part which gone un-noticed. In 2010 subhash ji casted me in "Phas gaye re Obama", then "Jolly LLB" and things started working for me in gradual success specially after Anubhav and Ayushman Khurrana starer "Article 15".
How was your working experience in 'Maharani'?
It was an incredible experience working with my director Karan Sharma and show creator Subhash. I have already worked before with Subhash for "Phas Gaye re Obama" and "Jolly LLB 1 & 2", this is my 4th association with him so we have a good bonding. It was a bit hectic due to pandemic time but fun shooting with all safety measures.
What prompted you to take up the role?
Honestly saying I was surprised, because I wasn't expecting to get approved for this role. Even I asked my writer Nandan Singh that, "Is it true that he is going to cast me for this role, he wouldn't change in the last moment right." He laughed a loud and said, "Yes you are in for sure". I was beaming with excitement and euphoria. So I pulled my socks up to get prepared for the best execution.
There is a huge response outside for 'Maharani'. How are you feeling about it?
This type of appreciation was very surprising and cheerful. And I'm really grateful to the audience for their kind support.
Tell us something about "Humans" and "Anek". How was it reuniting with Ayushmann?
"Human" is a Medial thriller set in B or C center of India. It is a beautiful story which needs to be pictured. "Anek" is an action drama set in North east and working with Ayushman and Anubhav is like flying onto seventh cloud.
With the advent of OTT, do you feel there are lots of work opportunities to explore for an artist?
Of course, OTT has a wide range of audience. It comes up with brilliance in story, content and execution with every project. So it is a golden boon for all the actors to bag in good opportunities and explore themselves which is unlikely in film and television because it has its own dynamics.