When it comes to their resumes, only a few actors can boast that they’ve gone from performing theatre and making it big into cinema – Darshan Kumar is indeed one of them. Nothing seems to faze the young actor, who’s humble about his versatility.
“Expressions are the most important ingredient for an actor in any medium; let it be television, films or theatre,” Kumar tells The Express Tribune. “Eyes of an actor speak volumes. An actor has to be true to his character as much as possible.”
Waiting for 10 years in theatre, Darshan who signed NH10 before Mary Kom, gained huge success opposite Priyanka Chopra which turned out to be a National Award winning Film. After performing such diversified characters in both films; Onler being the pivotal role in Mary Kom while Satbir the grey character from NH 10, Kumar believes in playing diverse roles to grow. “I am choosy about signing films. I always go for the character I am comfortable with and can do justice to at the same time,” says Kumar.
Gaining inspiration from Amitabh Bachchan since childhood, Kumar knew he was meant to act, saying, “Ever since childhood, I always wanted to be an actor.”
Kumar heartily narrates his childhood incident which elucidates his passion for movies and acting: “I still remember my utmost passion for films and acting. There used to be a VCR system in our village and I used to watch the films without letting my parents know but once my younger brother and I were caught red handed by my mother, and as you know the typical house scene…” he adds, “I used to howl before she even hit us but this time I took it all quietly. Then, when out of concern, my mother asked me if I was okay, I replied with the dialogue, Mard ko kabhi dard nahin hota.”
Kumar calls Mary Kom a dream come true, since it managed to garner both critical and commercial acclaim. “I was called for audition by the casting director who was impressed with my theatre performances already; I went through the audition process, did a photo shoot with Priyanka, just so Mr. Bhansali can judge if we’ll look good as a couple or not… and that’s it,”. For him, Priyanka was no less then a mentor during the shoots of Mary Kom because playing a real life character was undoubtedly very challenging.
The illustration of drama in theatre and film are very different, asserts the actor, saying, “In theatre, it’s only the one take. Once you’re on stage, you have to deliver in that very particular moment. When it comes to films or television, we always get a second chance.” He further explains, “In theatre, you can judge on spot if the performance is going on-track or not and after performing a good play, the appreciation is totally different.”
His refined tone and expressions are inspired by many different actors he calls gurus and Naseeruddin Shah is one of them. “Naseeruddin Shah is so passionate towards his work and is such an inspiration to all young actors. I think what I am today is all because of his guidance,” expresses Kumar.
Jiss nay Lahore nay vekha, usnay kuch ni vekhya – the title of the play Darshan performed in Lahore with Shah truly defines his feelings for Pakistan. According to him, Lahori food is just too appetizing to find its match. “Lahore is such a beautiful place. I really honour the hospitality, care and respect the people showered us with. I just love the Pakistani language and people. Its mitti ki khushboo makes us realise we’re still at home. I think I won’t be able to express my feelings for Pakistan in words.”
Articulating his interest in visiting Pakistan again, he says, “I actually got an offer for carrying out an acting and lighting workshop in Lahore but unfortunately couldn’t go for it due to the tight schedule. He concluded, “If I get an offer from television or film in Pakistan, it’ll be my pleasure as I want to visit the country again.”