Actor Suvrat Joshi who went on to impress the masses with his acting prowess in films such as ‘IB71’, ‘Goshta Eka Paithanichi’, ‘Ananya’, ‘Shikari’ and among other, is making headlines for his role in the recently released series ‘Taali’.
Sushmita Sen starrer ‘Taali’ received mixed reviews, and Suvrat Joshi’s brief appearance in the film is winning praise from the audience.
While speaking exclusively with ETimes, Suvrat Joshi shared how it was working on ‘Taali’ and how the film changed his perception towards the transgender community.
Suvrat Joshi said, “So when I’m playing a character like this, my idea was not to do justice to the part. So as a misunderstood and misrepresented gender should not be, I mean, it shouldn’t be aggravated by my performance, but I do justice to the stories and the voices of the people who are from this lot of the marginalized section. But having said that, it was extremely enriching for many reasons. I think Kshitij Patwardhan‘s writing was so beautiful in the first place that it was just wonderful to be part of that scene.”
Sharing his experience working with director Ravi Jadhav, he said, “Ravi sir’s direction, I’ve been a huge fan of Ravi sir’s work for last 10 years. And I was actually like a very novice actor when I started, when I saw Ravi sir’s ‘Natrang’ and I was blown by both ‘Natrang’ and ‘Balgandharva’. And I had worked as a producer on a film which Ravi sir had produced. But to be able to, and he comes from, he’s an art school student. So he understands the economy of the image so well. So it was amazing to work with him.”
Sharing the screen with Sushmita Sen was a dream come true moment for the actor. He shared, “I’m a 90s kid and she was someone who actually redefined the image of Indian woman on a global level. And much before what you see today, Bollywood actors have global phenomena. I think she was the first one to have that sort of global power. And she redefined the image of Indian woman. And now she’s redefining the image of an actor or like an actress by battling someone who’s from the third gender.”
“And she’s so generous. I mean, she’s amazingly talented. I don’t have to say that the whole country knows now, her role is being revered like anything. But, what was amazing is to be, is to learn from her, how generous she is, not only how she’s meticulously constructing her part, which I could see because I am from a film school, from an acting school. So we have been taught a few things, but I could see someone actually doing that. Meticulously building the role bit by bit, moment by moment. So that was amazing. And the second thing, how do you conduct yourself gracefully on the set? Because she’s, she was definitely one of the most experienced people on the set as well. She’s also senior to Ravi sir and our producers. So just to make everyone feel comfortable, because we were also doing something which was out of our comfort, but, make everyone comfortable, but also bring a certain discipline, a certain, a sort of decorum, in the whole cast. I think she did it without even saying it just by conducting herself the way she conducts herself on the set.”
Asked about his preparations for the character and the actor shared, “it’s very interesting. Actually, I was actually approached by the casting agency who had seen one of my performances in Prithvi. The team had called me for a different part, which wasn’t a big, as big as my character (Munna), which was a smaller part, which was also for a trans woman. And then they happened to see my audition and they felt that maybe they should audition me for the bigger part because they really liked the audition. And then they actually auditioned me for the bigger part, for which I actually lent some clothes from my wife and some jewellery from my mother-in-law, like bindi and, and because my wife is, she doesn’t have as beautiful bangles as someone from the older generation would have. So I borrowed clothes from my wife. Then I went to my mother-in-law, borrowed like big bindi and because she wears a big bindi, I like bangles from her. And like, I did all the getup and like putting on nail polish and all of it. I carried all of it because I was damn serious about this. I did not want to miss out on anything. And then I gave the audition. So actually, I would like to say, I’m very grateful to Parag Mehta and his whole casting team to see the possibility.”
Talking about how the role has changed his views, he revealed, “Definitely one thing I realized, like I always know that the third gender people in India were misunderstood and like, they were not treated well, or they were exploited in many ways. But it was just like words, you know, there wasn’t any experience of it. But once I went into this sort of costume, I, because people, very few people know, knew me on the sets, because this is just my second Indian debut. Before this, I have done only one film and I was in a completely different get-up. There were many real locations on which we shot, whether it be a hospital or whether it be the school or whether it be many places. People who did not know this is some shoot is going on, or like, they don’t know I’m an actor. The way they look at transgender people. And there were a couple of incidences where I was almost shocked. It’s not, see, they won’t say actually, or do physically something to you, but they look at it, but it just, just the way, like one glance will show you what do they think about you. And I felt really bad. Like someone who has to live like this all their life is not good at all. So, so I will never, I have never mistreated intentionally or unintentionally, or if I have, I apologize.”

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