Sumeet Raghavan: Acting is something that you either have it in you or you don't
In Indore recently with his wife Chinmayee to stage a play, Sumeet Raghavan had a lot to say about MP. "This feels like my first tour to Indore, because I was here last time almost 20 years back. So, apart from the fact that my then girlfriend (Chinmayee) has now become my wife, a lot has changed here, actually (laughs). Indore looks like a rising cosmopolitan city and that itself is a great achievement," Sumeet said.
The actor said he thinks highly of the audience in Madhya Pradesh. "Creatively speaking, I have always loved performing in Bhopal and Indore because of a lot of factors. People in MP are absolute art lovers. So, when you present something to them, they know the nuances of the art form. They will always give you an honest response. And that's why I love performing in MP! When the audience is so responsive and interactive, as an artiste, you also feel like pushing your boundaries and putting the best foot forward. Viewers here make it a point to meet the artistes after the show and share their thoughts about the performance, which I think is commendable. How many of us have the patience to appreciate art so honestly?" Sumeet asked.
ACTING KABHI SIKHAYI NAHI JAA SAKTI A known face in theatre, Sumeet said that acting comes naturally and it's not necessary that only theatre people are the finest actors. He said, "I took an entry in television and eventually in films via stage plays, but I don't think that only those with a theatre background are good actors - it's is a fact. From Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, none of these actors have had a background in theatre and yet they are stalwarts in the film industry. Acting is something that you either have it in you or you don't. Acting kabhi sikhayi nahi jaa sakti. Your skills can only be polished as an actor."
Sumeet added, "Having said that, theatre is also a good creative exercise that helps you groom your acting skills and shed your inhibitions. But nowhere can it ever 'teach' you how to act. For me, choosing between films, television and theatre is like choosing the best one among my three children. Over the years, these mediums have given me a lot of love and respect and I wish to continue doing good work."
I HAVE PURPOSELY STAYED AWAY FROM STAND-UP COMEDY SHOWS FromSarbhai Vs Sarabhai to his current comedy show Badi Door Se Aaye Hain, Sumeet has always been appreciated for his comic timing. But the actor said he doesn't want to be a part of stand-up comedy shows. "I love doing different kinds of roles, but I have a greater inclination towards comic roles and scripts. That's because I believe that comedy is a unique gift, which when shared with viewers, doubles the pleasure of acting," Sumeet said, adding, "However, I absolutely shun the present situation of comedy on Indian television. It is a crass caricature of our lives. Therefore, I have purposely stayed away from stand-up comedy shows that run on gross content. I would love to be a part of a dancing, singing or even a cooking-based reality show, but comedy shows are a big no for me. You have to present laughter-inducing content every week, and after a point, you start running out of stock. And then the cheesy and below-the-belt jokes come into play. For me, comedy is an art. Agar gande jokes hi sunana hai toh woh toh koi bhi kar dega. For that you don't need any special training or artistic flair."
MEMES AND TROLLS OF SARABHAI VS SARABHAI ARE STILL POPULAR Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai had a brief run on TV, but is still remembered for its witty humour and content. Sumeet added, "The show went off air almost a decade back. And till date, wherever I go, people never fail to ask me if the show will have a second season. Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai was one of the greatest Indian comic soap operas of our times. The serial started off as a weekly filler and then went on to become not just a daily affair but one of the most-watched TV shows. And even now you have these trolls, jokes and memes on it. It gives us so much happiness as actors. By now, ideally people should have forgotten about the show, but that's the charm of real witty comedy. Given a chance, I would love to be a part of it if at all its new series begins."