Theater artists shift base to Mumbai for cinema, not plays: Piyush Mishra

Piyush Mishra
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New Delhi– He graduated from India’s foremost theatre training institution, the National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi, and proved his mettle in the field for two decades straight. Actor, writer, lyricist and composer Piyush Mishra, who shifted base from the national capital to Mumbai 13 years ago, says when he left theatre for movies, it was for good.

He has no plans to return to the medium, and says when people shift to Mumbai to pursue a career in showbiz, their focus is cinema, not plays.

The theatre industry in Mumbai has a lot of known names who are seen on TV shows and films too. But Piyush feels that barring a few actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal, the theatre world is now full of those people who are active in the medium due to lack of work in movies.

“Going to Mumbai means you want to do cinema and be a part of that… People who don’t get work in cinema, go for plays, barring a few such as Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal. Plays are an integral part of their lives,” Piyush told IANS on the sidelines of the launch of Nelofar Currimbhoy’s second book “Eyes of the Healer”.

Piyush Mishra

Would ever get back to theatre now as the younger generation has not had the privilege of watching the critically-acclaimed actor perform live?

“I won’t be doing any plays now. It has been 10 years since I last did a play. I used to work a lot on plays earlier, but now I don’t. I have done enough of them, but not now. Since the time I shifted to Mumbai, I have stopped working in plays,” he said.

Not just as an actor, Piyush has also used his creativity to pen dialogues and scripts for films like “The Legend of Bhagat Singh”, “Ghajini” and “Chittagong”. On what basis does he select the projects he wants to write for?

He says the subject has to touch a chord and have reliability factor with him.

“If I have to write a script, I need to be able to relate to the subject somewhere. It should be attached to my life at some point in some way. It should match with the ups and downs of my life. Then only can you write,” Piyush said.

“If someone asks me to write on an elite atmosphere, I would not be able to do that as I have never experienced it myself and never seen it. So, I won’t be able to pen anything on the same. If someone asks me to write on a woman’s tragedy, I can only write on that subject. (It’s usually) the atmosphere I have been through and can relate with… And that could be anything,” he added.

He has explored different mediums of art — be it in acting with projects like “Maqbool”, “Gulaal”, as a lyricist for “Gangs of Wasseypur”, “Black Friday”, as a singer behind songs like “Aarambh hai prachand”, “Husna”, “Ik bagal” or a composer for “Gangs of Wasseypur”.

Piyush will be next seen in a Canadian film which is based on time travel.

“I am acting in a Canadian film on time travel and then there’s ‘Happy Bhaag Jaayegi Part 2’. I have a lot of things in the pipeline. I am penning a novel, a play on Bhagat Singh which is on the verge of publishing. I am also giving music and lyrics for two films, writing the scripts of two films, acting in some of them. The whole year is going to be like that,” he said. (IANS)


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