Pavan Malhotra lost ‘Brick Lane’ part for want of meat

March 27th, 2008 - 8:45 am ICT by admin  

By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) Actor Pavan Malhotra lost the coveted role of a boorish Bangladeshi immigrant - protagonist Nazneen’s husband in Sarah Gavron’s much-acclaimed movie “Brick Lane” - at the eleventh hour because he was not fat enough. The movie is based on a novel by Britain-based Asian author Monica Ali.

“They auditioned 400 actors and zeroed in on me. They even took me to London. They needed a fat guy. The director and the casting director selected me and decided to make me fat with makeup. They were supposed to spend three hours every morning doing my fat man’s makeup,” Malhotra said.

But the deal fell through at the last moment. “My dates for ‘Brick Lane’ clashed with my dates for Farah Akhtar’s ‘Don’. I even tried to make adjustments, but by then, it was too late,” the actor said.

The part went to Satish Kaushik. “And to think Satish wasn’t even auditioned initially. That’s destiny, I guess. But physically he suits the role perfectly whereas I’d have had to do three hours of makeup every morning. But the director felt I was perfect for the part. She even agreed to postpone her film. But I’m happy that Satish and the film are being critically acclaimed. As an actor I feel bad, though,” Malhotra said.

The actor, who shot to fame with the teleserial ‘Nukkad’, bounced back to the big screen with his stellar performances in “Black Friday”, “Jab We Met” and “My Name is Anthony Gonsalves” this year.

This would’ve been Pavan’s second British film after “Brothers In Trouble” in 1995 where he played an illegal Pakistani immigrant in England. Right now, he is busy shooting for “Bhoomi”, directed by cinematographer Aveek Mukhopadhyay.

Pavan, who is a powerful character artiste, is not happy with the way actors like him are cold-shouldered at awards ceremonies.

“Pankaj Kapoor was nominated for a negative role in ‘The Blue Umbrella’. Aamir told me they want stars nominated even for supporting roles. But if you sideline a performance like Pankaj Kapoor’s in ‘The Blue Umbrella’ or mine in ‘Black Friday’, there is something seriously wrong with the awards.

“The juries need to understand the categories. When I did Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s ‘Bagh Bahadur’ and Saeed Mirza’s ‘Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro’, made in the same year, there was actually a dispute in the national awards’ jury as to which performance should be awarded.

“Today, I feel ‘Salim Langde…’ would be nominated for the best villain. I played the ‘goonda’ with a lot of vulnerabilitity. Likewise, I don’t think my character of Tiger Memon is an out and out negative role in ‘Black Friday’,” he said.

Pavan, who divorced his first wife, theatre and television person and author Aparjita Krishan, is now married to scriptwriter Aparna, who has written dialogues for Samar Khan’s “Shaurya”.

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