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I am disgusted with Indian actors, they don’t know what acting is: Prakash Jha

The filmmaker was speaking at the recently concluded Goafest 2022. 

Prakash Jha [File photo]

Our Correspondent

Filmmaker Prakash Jha made his acting debut in his 2016 movie Jai Gangaajal. But it is not common knowledge that prior to the film, he had participated in acting workshops in Vienna, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York. 

The helmer revealed this during a conversation with veteran journalist Mayank Shekhar at the recently concluded Goafest 2022. “I would quietly go and enrol myself as a student. And that’s how I understood an actor’s language. I have performed Shakespeare and other plays in classes, which gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.

After attending these workshops, he started feeling “disgusted” by Indian actors. “I was disgusted with actors working here in India,” said Jha. “They don’t know what acting is about. To date, no actor has asked me questions about shoot days, shoot timings, locations, action sequences and more. And that’s the difference between Hollywood actors and Bollywood [Hindi film industry] ones. The actors there attend workshops and keep on practising and improving their art.” 

Mayank Shekhar with Prakash Jha at the Goafest 2022

Jha has, over the years, worked with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Manoj Bajpayee, Deepti Naval and Deepika Padukone. 

After directing feature films for years, Jha tried his hand at a web-series with MX Player’s Aashram, which stars Bobby Deol. Speaking about his latest venture, the filmmaker shared his views about the show being opposed by certain ‘religious’ groups that claimed it hurt their religious sentiments. 

Speaking about this aspect, Jha added, “When I make such movies or shows, it feels like the moment you touch society’s nerves by giving honest opinions, people will raise objections. So, there will be instances where stones will be thrown, and you have to be prepared for it. Look at what happened in the case of Aashram. But also, Aashram has 1.6 billion views, which makes it probably the most viewed web-series in the world. Aashram is double the size of the IPL [Indian Premier League]. The fact of the matter is if you believe in yourself, you are prepared to face every challenge.”