“I love making people laugh,” Rakesh Bedi, now on the way to Australia

By Manju Mittal

Rakesh Bedi is a respected Indian actor. Rakesh, who hails from Delhi, has been entertaining audiences through films, television and theatre for the past 35 years. He is also known for his powerful comic performance in films such as the famous ”˜Chashme Baddoor’, ”˜Ek duje ke liye’, ”˜Shrimaan Shrimati’, ”˜Yeh jo hai zindgi’ and ”˜Yes Boss’. Rakesh has appeared in over 150 films and is active in theatre and television.

The multitalented actor Rakesh Bedi will be in Australia for the Hindi play ”˜Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’ in December. He is not only the writer of the play he is also sharing the stage with actors Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta.

In a candid and confident telephonic conversation while he was quite busy travelling for his theatre drama interstate, Rakesh shared his passion for theatre, his views about his personal journey as we touched many other aspects of his busy life. Following is the interview he gave to The Indian Down Under.

Could you please tell us about your play ”˜Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’, and what inspired you to write this play and also your character in the play?

This is the play about the two ex-lovers who decide to meet after 35 years to discover the truth behind their separation. Though high school sweethearts, circumstances lead them to marry other people. In their endeavour to find out why they drifted apart all those years ago, they meet and learn many things about each other’s life, thus sharing moments of happiness, laughter, sadness and grief. This isn’t just another love story of people who are in the autumn of their lives. The relationship between the protagonists has many layers to it. Sometimes they are lovers, sometimes friends, and sometimes confidantes. My character in the play provides comic relief.

What inspired me to write this play my personal experience and I guess everyone falls in love at least once in their life.

Could you share your experience working with Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta?

I have been privileged and extremely lucky to work with iconic actors like Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta. Working with them has been a great process of exploration all the time. They are very friendly and dear to me.   They have given fantastic performance in the play. Overall it was a great experience working with them.

We miss your acting on big screen.

( Laughs ) If I get good offer I will take it for sure but I am enjoying doing theatre these days and people are appreciating my plays especially my solo comedy play ”˜Massage’ a lot. I do what I like; I feel my work should satisfy me as well as my fans.

Why do you think theatre is so important?

Theatre educates people it never gives solution it makes one think. It is about positive and meaningful interaction between performers and audience. From my young age I have been intensely involved in theatre. I joined Film and Television Institute of India ( FTII ) in Pune before I started my career in acting. I love acting on stage more than in front of camera. I love to make people laugh.

What do you offer to your fans with ”˜Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’?

A good love story whether about love or not would always leave the reader, viewer or listener with questions that are unanswered .The audience can imagine any number of endings to the story. I don’t have to convince the audience to love my work as long as they feel a strong response.

Who inspires you in Bollywood?

I am a huge admirer of Bachchan saab’s work, his dedication and sincerity for his craft, his punctuality and discipline are commendable. And also Dilip Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar and Charlie Chaplin inspired me a lot.

What advice would you give to aspiring actors?

My suggestion to new talent is they should know how talented they are. Love your work and explore, do it with full passion and work really hard towards it. Find something that you are passionate about and do a full justice to it.

Could you say a few words to your fans living in Australia?

I would like to thank to all my fans who have watched my films, theatre dramas and television shows that I have been in. I am looking forward to performing for my play ”˜Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha’ with Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta in Australia. I would encourage everyone to come and watch our play.

It was pleasure interviewing Rakesh Bedi. The play will be staged on December 8 at the Science theatre in Sydney. It will be worth a watch and on a topic which will touch the strings of anyone’s heart whoever has been in love.

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