At times, life takes a turn and you end up doing something which you have always been passionate about. So also is the case with ace PR, media and marketing manager Prem Jhangiani, who has been instrumental in the success of many film promotions. He’s carved a niche for himself not only in the Marathi film industry but also Bollywood.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Prem make an appearance (as an actor) in the TV serial, ‘Choti Sarrdaarni’ as a lawyer. Prem has featured in other films too, and this was his first venture for the small screen. We caught up with him to get a feel of this transition as an actor.
From being a PR Media manager to an actor, how did you get into acting?
I know it sounds clichéd but since childhood, I always wanted to be an actor. As a child artist, I have done many ads and films but somehow drifted into film promotion and marketing. Although Marathi films was my forte, my team (my daughter Pradnya and me) have done wonders with other avenues (short films, ads, web series and Bollywood) too.
How did this offer for television come across?
There was a sudden slump is business during the pandemic. Most of us related to the glamour world had nothing much to do since events and promotion were curtailed. Out of the blue, I got a call from a casting agency who had my pictures and they offered me a cameo role in the TV show ‘Choti Sarrdaarni’.
I grabbed the offer since the character was note-worthy and offers have started pouring in after the episode was telecast. While most people crib out the pandemic, this offer was like a blessing in disguise. My dream of being an actor seems to be coming true.
Without any official training in acting, how did you manage?
I believe that all of us have an actor hidden within us. It’s just that we never experiment with it. I may not have taken any training or gone to any acting school but I have been an ardent observer. Plus being into public relations, having been to ample of film shoots, I picked up the threads of improvisation. Fortunately, I passed off with flying colours.
What kind of roles are you looking forward to portray?
I found Amrish Puri and Sanjeev Kumar to be the most versatile actors. They always stood out with their performances and sheer acting talent. They have been a tremendous inspiration for me. I would love to experiment with hard-core villain roles too which were essayed by Pran Saab and Gulshan Grover.
As an actor, I feel the slot for Amrish Puri is still vacant. While agreeing to do a role, I would surely opt for something that challenges me and breaks the shackles of my limitations as an actor. In fact, I was recently offered a role in a semi-porn web series which I out-rightedly refused. Only quality characters which have dimensions to the actor like ‘Badhai Ho’ would surely give me a kick.