'I slept empty stomach' - Shubh Joshi
A dip into the world of reality show participant turned Bollywood actor Shubh Joshi...
Shubh Joshi, debuted with Vikram Bhatt's film Shaapit. Aditya Narayan plays the lead while he is the second lead in the film. This boy from Nainital has had 6 years theater experience and was picked up from a reality show by Vikram Bhatt.
He talks about his typical Bollywood struggle, the failed promises and finally the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Q: How your journey started towards Bollywood?
Shubh Joshi: I had always been a part of a local theater in Nainital. I have done theatre for almost 4 years. Then DD channel came to Nainital for some reality show and that was the time when I thought for the first time to come to Mumbai and make a career in acting. I came to Mumbai and joined Kadar Khan Theater one year. That was my grooming ground.
Q: Have you taken any formal training for acting?
Shubh Joshi: I am from a middle class family. Naturally they did not want me to come to Mumbai and try my luck in Bollywood. In fact they were totally against it. Still I wanted to follow my dream, so I came to Mumbai. To survive I started modelling and at the same time struggled for a chance in films. When I had come here I thought that it will be so easy to get a chance. But it was not like that. Before Shaapit I gave 500 to 600 auditions and it was always 'we will let you know.' There were some days when I did not have money for food also and I slept empty stomach. Where was there scope and money for a formal training for me? My 6 years of theatre has been my teaching ground.
Q: How did you get Shaapit?
Shubh Joshi: I was a participant of a Reality Show called Bollywood Club on Zoom and at that time Vikram Bhatt was there as a judge to promote his film '1920'. After seeing my performance Vikram ji came on stage and told me that he really liked my performance. He even promised me a good role in his next film. And true to his word he called me for narration of Shaapit. And here I am, getting the chance of my life.
Q: What was your reaction when Vikram told you that he will take you in his next film?
Shubh Joshi: I have seen many reality shows and although many times the judges give promise no one keeps it. So I wasn't sure if Vikram will come back to me. Before him even Anees Bazmee ji had also told me the same thing but he never reverted or approached like Vikram did. I have seen Vikram Bhatt's movie 'Footpath' and I was big fan of his. I had always dreamt of working with big directors like him but had never thought that he will be the one who will give me my debut film. So when he called I was definitely shocked but at the same time extremely happy.
Q: What is your role in the film, and tell us something about the film?
Shubh Joshi: I am playing a parallel lead of a friend of Aaditya Narayan. I am playing a guy who is very a positive thinker and thinks good for all. As a friend he has to face a lot of problems for his friends. Basically Shaapit is Horror film but Vikram has divided has given it many other moods too. So it has Romantic angle, horror approach and full of adventure also.
Q: Was there any difficulty you have face during shooting?
Shubh Joshi: There is one scene in film where I'm under water in bath tab. AC was on and so it had chilled the water. I had to keep open my eyes and stay in for long duration. I was not able to breathe and was feeling so cold but I could not shiver. It was so very difficult. It took us three days to get the perfect shots.
Q: How was your shooting experience with Vikram Bhatt?
Shubh Joshi: He is like a God father to me because he gave me my first work. He showed confidence in me when I was struggling with the world and hit rock bottom. As a director he is very clear about what he wants from his actor and he always manages to get it too. He is not one of those directors who force people to work extra hours unnecessarily. His pre-production work is very clear and precise. He knows what he wants and explains it to his artists. So there is no wastage of time on the sets.
As a person also he is very nice and supportive. After we started shooting for Shaapit, on the 15th day of shoot I lost my mother. I had not met her since past 2-3 years. Naturally I was very upset and was not able to focus on my work. I was giving re-take after re-take. Vikram came to me without losing his cool kept his hand on my shoulder and said, "This is your golden opportunity and you have got it only because of your mother's blessing. Your mother is gone, you cannot undo it. But in the life of a new comer this kind of opportunities come once. This is your one and last chance to prove yourself."
Q: How was working with Aaditya Narayan and Shwetha?
Shubh Joshi: Aaditya is very nice and multitalented person. While shooting we built a good rapport and had great tuning. We both are hard workers and very focused so that common thing helped us bond more. Shwetha is a very pretty girl and a good actress too.
Q: Do you believe in superstitions like a Shaapit place or bhoot or any other thing also?
Shubh Joshi: Yes, I do believe in this kind of thing. I believe that another world does exists. I come from a small town like Nainital and do think that it exists. Such things are believed by everybody. Some admit it, some don't.
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose