Starring success

Nikhil Ballal

Meet Chinmay Udgirkar, one of the renowned faces in the Marathi film industry today. Chinmay’s journey has been an experimental one where he managed to defy the boundaries set on a Marathi film hero. He is one of the first actors in Marathi who managed to get six pack abs. Chinmay, who started his journey with a reality show, has daily soaps, reality show, movies as well as theatre in his kitty. Moreover, he is a qualified lawyer too. In an exclusive interview with KYT, he talks about the highlights of his career and what spirituality means to him. Excerpts…

How did you land up in this industry?

I was always interested in dramatics and have done quite a number of experimental plays with the Genius Group in Nashik before entering ‘Maharashtracha Superstar’. Even in school days, I was always up for elocution, dramatics and anchoring. This helped me groom well. With ‘Maharashtracha Superstar’ I got a stage to showcase my talent. Almost immediately after the show was over, I auditioned for the role of Shreyas Patkar in Swapnanchya Palikadle and bagged it.

Why did you opt for movies that are somehow different from the mainstream movies?

I like to experiment with my roles. I did my debut film ‘Shyamche Vadil’ which was directed by Viraj Raje. It spoke about the bond that the father and the son shared. Though this bond is equally beautiful, we seldom find a film made on it. The next movie I did was ‘Vajlach Pahije’. I realized that I can customize my character. So I grew my hair and developed a strong physique with six pack abs. I was praised for it by many. My upcoming movies are also based on some off-track subjects.

Tell us about these projects.

I’m doing three films which would be released in next few months. I’m doing a film called ‘Gulabjam’that is directed Sachin Kundalkar which talks about first love of every person – food. I’m doing another film called Dhaav which is inspired by a real-life story of a boy from Khed who goes on to become a successful builder in Dubai. It is Abhijit Zadgaonkar’s directorial debut. I’m also doing an out and out commercial film called Anjana. It is directed by D Bhaskar Ram so it has the entire South Indian masala in it.

Very few actors have been able to give two hit serials. What is your secret?

I think the formula to success is keep doing and keep going with the flow! I’m happy that people loved Shreyas Patkar and Indreneel Jahagirdar equally. With my third daily soap, I’m hoping to get the same love for this character as well.

What is the premise of Ghadge and Soon?

It is a drama that revolves around a joint family and how a daughter-in-law defies all the obsolete rules so that the new rules that make more sense are enforced in the family.

How do you prepare for the roles?

I try and give some background or some history to the character given to me. This helps me to understand the psyche of the character and get in the skin of it easily.

You did theatre with ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye’. Tell us about it.

Theatre is like an ‘akhada’ where actors are nurtured. It is a place where you need to be alert, quick-minded and in control of the situation. It is theatre where the optimum potential of an actor is used. Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye was made up of five stories based on love. This was like doing five one-act plays together. It was a pleasing experience.

A fitness freak as you are, what do you say?

Definitely!While working for Vajlach Pahije, I thought of developing six pack abs and realized that it is possible with a certain type of diet and daily gym. I adopted that lifestyle and it clicked to me! I liked it and decided to live by it.

How do you benefit from being a cinephile?

I love watching cinema because that tells me how to act and how not to! It helps me to know the art of it better. For me, it is a learning process.

You are very spiritual. How has spirituality changed you?

I feel I’m a better person now. To me, spirituality is the art of being able to listen to your inner voice. Once you master this art, you have lesser regrets, more productive time and a sorted out life.

You work actively for purification of River Godavari. What made you do it?

Conservation of nature, and nurturing it further is the need of an hour. When we bent all the rules of nature, it punished us with its wrath in form of floods and famines. I’m a Nashik-kar and River Godavari is as revered as mother for any Nashikite. However, its purification was necessary. During this time, we got in touch with Rajendra Singh aka bhaiji who informed us about the entire process and its need. Kumbhamela was also round the corner at that time and it was essential for the youth to join in. My on-screen presence helped me to encourage the youth to join in. When they saw me taking garbage out from the river, they realized that it is not a belittling work. They joined hands with us.

How do you manage two different media at a time?

You have to prioritize your time. I prefer not wasting my time on social media. I would rather give that time to the people by meeting them personally. That is how, I save time which I channelize in productive things.

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