Satish Kaushik says he’s ‘redefined, reinvented’ himself, filmmakers don’t just see him as a comedic actor

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Actor Satish Kaushik, who made his acting debut in 1983, is currently rediscovering and reinventing himself with the different types of projects offered to him. Currently seen on the Guilty Minds series, the popular on-screen comedian has come a long way in his work and seen generations change in the film industry.

Ahead of his show’s release, News18.com caught up with him for a candid chat, where the Mr India actor explained how people are now taking notice of him beyond his signature comedic role as ‘Calendar’ or ‘Pappu Pager. “. He also shared that the industry is now becoming more inclusive of older actors. Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about the character you play in Guilty Minds.

It is a very interesting legal drama based on real life events. I play Tejinder Bhalla, who is a northern liquor baron. He has a business and is also a powerful man who gets entangled in something and how he uses his power to get out of it. It’s a very interesting and suave part and has a bit of flair and swag.

You’ve been doing a lot of different roles lately, but do you think filmmakers still see you as a comedic actor?

No, I think I was able to erase that from the minds of filmmakers who want to cast me because I have redefined and reinvented myself since Udta Punjab. After that came Soorma, then came Scam and Bloody Brothers and finally Sharmaji Namkeen and Guilty Minds. Thar arrives too. So people know that a different Satish Kaushik has come out in the open and on screen, which is different from his “Calendar”, “Pappu Pager” or “Mutthu Swami” days.

It’s not that I could only do comedy. I’m a professional actor and if something is given to me, I have to portray it, whether as a comedic, social or evil character. But why did I do so many comedy roles, because at the time we were split into roles. This slot was there like “he’s a funny guy,” and it started with Mr. India.

You also talked about directors now casting actors in age-appropriate roles. How far has Bollywood really gone in this aspect?

It’s much more character-based now and a lot of movies are planned that way. The protagonist of the film does not have to be 27 or 35 years old. They can be of any age. Like how Amit Ji (Amitabh Bachchan) and Rishi Kapoor Ji did 102 Not Out and Badhaai Ho had Neena Gupta and Gajraj Ji in mind. Where you see The Kashmir Files. There are protagonists of different ages. There is Anupam Kher, there is Darshan Kumar and Pallavi Joshi. They are strong characters. I did Kaagaz and chose Pankaj Tripathi. Actors can now play roles that reflect their age.

You have also worked with two different generations of filmmakers and actors. What changed?

It has become much more professional and much more department-oriented. Before everything was done by the director, but today everyone’s work is divided, i.e. you have casting directors, set designers, then you have make-up artists and choreographers . Even the directors now have several DAs (assistant directors) and everyone knows everything about the film. It’s become much more professional, and especially the power of the woman that has gone into making a film. Women are so focused on work.

Then, of course, the content. With content becoming king and variety of content, genres of content, you know, becoming very distinct today, filmmakers aren’t afraid to do anything about anything. It used to be that we had four or five stories to tell with different combinations of permutations, but now there’s a plethora of topics, and it’s now global, thanks to OTT.

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