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Interview: Ex-Bigg Boss contestant Pritam Singh says 'Beggars can't be choosers'
Multi-talented Pritam Singh started his career as an actor with the film 'Escape From Taliban' with Manisha Koirala. But, his luck didn't favor him much and he moved to Radio. Soon, his mastery with words earned him a house-hold name and he became a renowned radio jockey with his shows, topping the radio popularity charts. And since then, there was no looking back for Pritam Singh - an entertainer, actor, anchor, radio jockey and a casting director.

In a very short span of time, listeners showered immense love on him. However, the turning point of his career was when he participated in one of the most popular reality shows in the country, Bigg Boss. Today, Pritam Singh is an aspiring Bollywood actor, a popular TV host and a famed radio jockey.

In an interview Pritam Singh, who apparently knows how to win millions of hearts with his one-of-kind humour, told us more about himself.

Pritam Singh

Q. How will you describe your experience in Bigg Boss? Do you consider it as a turning point in your career?

Pritam Singh: It was a super experience! One can not describe it in words until one had gone and lived there. It made me a humble person. One learns all aspects of life from Bigg Boss. If a commoner gets a chance, he/she should definitely go there. It is like a sea where one learns every bit of self and human relation.

Yes, it was a biggest turning point of my career. Otherwise, prior to the Bigg Boss, I was only connected to people through my voice. But, Bigg Boss earned me a household name. Now, people know me, they want to meet me. It earned me respect, appreciation, and love. People have loved me and want to see more of me. It has given me my dues, my pending dues.

Q. How are we going to see Pritam Singh as an actor in near future?

Pritam: Aaah.. as an actor, you have to see my film, then only you will be able to come to the conclusion whether I am a good actor or bad. On a serious note, yes, there are lot of expectations from people who have seen me, who have seen my work as a host, as a participant in Bigg Boss, or as an radio personality also. However, you will definitely see a different side of me in films, where I will dance, act, and do some fight sequences. So, basically, ek aspiring actor ki jo soch hoti hai..kuch karne ke liye aur audience use kis tarah se accept karti hai, ye to only time will tell. (So, basically, what is the thinking of an aspiring actor and how the audience accepts that person, only time will tell.)

Q. Tell me something about the projects you are currently working on?

Pritam: Currently, there is a show - Box Cricket League, that I am hosting on Colors TV. Then, there's GIMA awards coming up where I am host. Plus, I have completed a film called 'He-Man', wherein I am playing the role of Kasim Zia, an interesting character. I am not only acting in the film but also dancing, singing and having all sorts of fun. So, it is like a second lead role. The film is being directed by Punit Issar, who was my co-contestant in Bigg Boss.

Q. What kinds of subjects fascinate you as an actor?

Pritam: There's a proverb in English that says, "beggars are not choosers." Currently, I am in a phase of my career where I can not be demanding. When a director or producer approaches me with any subject, as a new comer my only concern remains is about the kind work I will be doing in the film and whether the film will get release without any hassle or not.

Q. What types of films you want to work in?

Pritam: I want to do entertaining films so that it can make people laugh, and entertain them. So, basically, it is entertainment! It is not that I will do an Art film and sit down. I have done an art film and received many awards, but, barely anyone watches it, so there is no use (of such films). A film should reach to a large number of people, that's my only thinking.

Q. What do you think about the current filmmaking trend in Bollywood?

Pritam: It is the phase of experiment and content in cinema sees a change in every decade. Initially, formula films used to do well, but, now there's a realistic approach towards cinema. Plus, new talents are also getting opportunities. The current generation wants to see new things. So, various experiments are going on and newcomer like me is also getting opportunity to be a part of the industry.

Q. Do you think, Bollywood is perfect in making biopics?

Pritam: Of course, of course! Such films are being made since years. Yes, the current trend is of biopics. Take the example of Milkha Singh, which became a blockbuster. Azhar, although, it was not a proper biopic, it highlighted the incidents that took place in Mohammad Azharuddin's life. Then, there was a historical film 'Bajirao Mastani' that did pretty well (at the box office). Mary Kom too did a good business.

Q. Precisely, do you think Bollywood is able to do justice with real life stories?

Pritam: When it comes to do justice with real life stories.. see, it depends on director to director and the way they treat the content. Every director ensures his/her own point of view. We have seen Lagaan, and we have also seen Mangal Pandey, and then there was Maanjhi, in the same era. So, every director has his/her own thinking and it depends on them how they want to treat their story.

Q. Among the film directors, who impresses you the most and why?

Pritam: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar, these are the producer/directors with whom everyone wants to work with. I am also looking forward to be a part of their ventures. So, only time will tell, whether I will be a part of their ventures or not. Abbas Mastan, is again a good director.

Q. Actors and actresses you want to work with? And why?

Pritam: With every one (laughs)! Who am I to say that I want to work with this particular actor/actress. Yes, my hearty desire is to share screen space with Amitabh Bachchan, Salman, Shah Rukh everybody, why not! I wish to work with everyone. I just hope, there comes a time when I get to work with my choice of heroes, to whom I have grown up seeing.

Q. What do you think about regional cinema, especially Punjabi films?

Pritam: These days, you can not overlook regional cinema. Regional cinema is a big game now. There was a time when people did not want to touch the regional films, but today, pick any regional cinema, be it Bengali or Marathi or Punjabi, every area of regional cinema is growing, even Bhojpuri. You know Punjabi film of Daljit, it took around Rs.2 crore to make that film and it did a business of 25 crores. Such example are everywhere. It is a big market, and spreading over Canada, the US, London from Punjab. Daljit, used to make Punjabi films, now, he is working in 'Udta Punjab'. These days, language is not a bound. Films gets released with subtitle.

Q. Any plans to work in Punjabi film industry?

Pritam: Yes, why not. I am looking forward to working in Punjabi films. But, there's one issue with the regional films. You need to be a good singer to get into the industry and make it big. A singer gets easily connected with the audience. You have to be a good singer to make it big in Punjabi and Bhojpuri film industry as well. And if you are not a singer, you have to face difficulty. So, if you want to enter in regional cinema industry, better focus on singing.

Q. You started your career as a villain. So, are we going to see more of your villain side or you are open for positive roles as well?

Pritam: No, no.. there are no hard and fast rules..I have started from a negative role, so it doesn't mean that I will continue to play negative roles only. It depends on the type of role that I will be getting. I have only one wish that whatever role I will play, the audience should like it. And I will give my hundred per cent. Some people think I am a good comedian, while others think I can play sensible characters better. The perception keeps changing from person to person.

Q. What types of roles you want to play on-screen?

Pritam: There's no specific demand or wish, but yes, I have a liking towards negative character. But, it also depends on the audience that whether they see me from that point of view or not as an actor.

Q. Who is your favorite character on-screen and off-screen?

Pritam: See, my favorite character on-screen, whom I have always loved and consider one of the biggest actors was Mehmood Saab. You know, Mehmood Saab, if you follow his film closely, you will know how excellent he was. However, he went unnoticed and the industry never paid him his dues. He never received the praise and respect he deserved. He was an ace actor, still, he was underrated. I am inspired by him and if I have to do comedy, he will be my Idol. But, if I will do negative characters, Praan Saab, will be my Idol. I follow Praan Saab, Balraaj Sahni, these are the actors who were fab.

Personally, I am influenced by Abdul Kalam, if we talk about a non-filmy character. His biography 'Wings of Fire' changed my perception towards life. He was a great personality and his contributions are immense in the field of science.

Q. Your wife is also an actress. Do you have any plans to work together?

Pritam: Yes, we are planning since a long. Last year, we were approached by Nach Baliye, but due to a contract with Colors, I could not make it, otherwise it would have been our debut on Nach Baliye. However, she is occupied with family life since kids are small. But, now, she wants to work as an actress. She is meeting people, may be you will see her on-screen soon in coming days. I am also excited for her.

Q. You started your career with acting and then moved to Radio shows, TV host and again came back to acting. Which one you consider as favorite part of your life so far?

Pritam: I can not consider one thing as the best part. When I was a failed actor, it made me prepare for the Radio. And, the experience I have gained from Radio, that prepared me to host TV shows I am doing. I used to be a shy person, but I have done so much on the radio that my shyness, the fear of talking in front of people have vanished. Each level of experience has taught me a lot. Radio's experience taught me so well that it benefited me in Bigg Boss. And, whatever I have learned from Bigg Boss, is being used in my further career. Every thing teaches you something with each passing day. So, I can't say or term one part as special.

Q. Since you are more involved in hosting TV programmes, reality shows and films, so now will you focus there only or will also continue as an RJ as well?

Pritam: Yes, I will continue as an RJ. I am coming up with my own Radio show. I can't leave radio entirely since this industry is very unpredictable. I have gone through a phase wherein, I was hopeless. But, I don't want to be hopeless again. I feel very edginess by remembering those moments.

I will keep myself connected with the radio so that people can hear me there and on TV, they can watch me. And if I get an opportunity in cinema, they can see me there too. Radio keeps me connected with the daily life of people, their emotions. Soon, I will be on a new channel called Retro, where I will do similar stuff but with old songs.

Q. What are the areas you think you need to improve in?

Pritam: A lot of areas. I have to improve my health. I want a good body, and to look good. See, when you work for radio, you remain casual, (as no one watches you) but now when new responsibilities are about to come up, expectations of people will also increase. On screen, you have to look good. It is the era of competition and you have to be best from all angles. I am bringing changes in my physical appearance. But, the biggest change is that I am enhancing myself, and bringing about coolness, the steadiness in anchoring and acting. I think, these changes will make me a good artist.

Q. What are your future plans?

Pritam: I have to work a lot. A lot of films. A lot of TV. I want to host my own TV show - a chat show in the industry. I am in talks with the people. Plus, I want to work in lot of films and play all sorts of characters - unusual, unexpected roles, supporting all kind of roles. But, I want to stick to cinema and keep working.

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