Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishan has been managing politics and acting at the same time. The actor, currently seen in Matsya Kaand, feels that it is an effort required since acting is his identity and his fans wish to be entertained. Thus, Ravi feels like he needs to cater to the demands of his fans. The actor, who is out to explore OTT, talks about the various aspects of the medium and his upcoming projects. Excerpts:
How are you managing between politics and acting?
It's very tough. Politics takes a lot of time, especially with our government. The Prime Minister works very hard. I requested my party in Gorakhpur. The director also said that he'll manage my time but they need me in the show. Many of my fans asked me when I would be in films. Since I was in the parliament, people were not offering me roles. Then I got Matsya Kaand. It's eccentric, a little kinky. It's something I'm very comfortable doing. He's a cop who thinks like a criminal. He is a grey personal and as sharp as Natwarlal, who sold Taj Mahal. My character gets obsessed with catching the biggest conman, dead or alive. That's where the show starts.
Like you mentioned, this is a character that your fans have seen and loved. I'm sure it will also have powerful dialogues. Was that the reason you were so adamant on taking up the character?
Yeah. At the end of the day, people were very low during the COVID-19 phase. So, you have to entertain them. I know what the country has gone through. As an actor and parliamentary, it is my responsibility to serve the countrymen. Acting is my identity. I became a politician because of that. Thus, whenever I get an opportunity, I must come and entertain my country and fans.
You worked in Hasmukh, Rangbaaz, Runaway Lugaai and recently, in Urf Ghanta. So it appears like you are more than ready to embrace OTT.
I have worked in various languages. I hosted Bigg Boss as well. I'm a very curious man. I want to know you. I talk to strangers. I just need to meet interesting people. That's how I want to know OTT. It is the best thing for long stories. Every story doesn't end in two hours. Here, when they have episodes, they can pause in the middle and continue later that day or the next day. India loves cinema and cricket. If you are in the cinema and entertain, it will never flop. Reality shows work, Akshay Kumar's movie (Sooryavanshi) worked, OTT will also work. Every person in India loves cinema. Whether we're happy or sad, we watch films. Many people have been brought up by the cinema. Filmmakers would call me when they wanted one run. I was tired of that image. You want me to fill in the gaps or boost the lead characters. I did it with Salman Khan in Tere Naam. Then I switched to the Bhojpuri industry and became a superstar there by working hard. I built my own studio. I've seen 30 years of struggle. People walk but I have crawled and reached here. I'm self-made. God is kind. OTT has come and that gives opportunities to actors like me who have so much to give.
That way, now you have these platforms where you don't have to struggle...
Yeah, back in the 90s, we didn't have any channels. There was just Doordarshan. Now we have so many platforms.
Two weeks before, your still from Race Gurram became a meme material. What was your reaction to that? How do you usually react to memes?
My daughter told me about it. I never knew only about the meme. There's an RJ who plays Kavi Kishan. I don't know why the meme became popular but it was fun. Memes are fun and stressbusters. I like reels also. I work so much that I need a breather. I lead a very stressful life.
You mentioned that you are an observer. Ravi Dubey said the same thing. Since you both are of the same nature, did you bond like fire on sets?
Yes, definitely. He's like my younger brother. He's a very beautiful soul and nice.
Whether it comes to gory scenes or use of abusive language, OTT has tried to be as real as possible. However, there were discussions about censorship on OTT. What is your stand on that?
You need to understand and take care not to touch people's sentiments or religion. You shouldn't touch things that hurt anyone. Freedom of speech and creativity needs to have a respectful boundary line. We're a democracy but we're in India. It's an emotional county and people do get touched. So we have to take precautions to not cross the line. You can entertain without hurting anyone.
Your upcoming projects?
I have Bihar Diaries on Netflix, AK-47, four-five other web shows. Apart from that, I have two-three Hindi films. I have worked in a film on freedom fighting. I have a reality show. All of the big projects are coming up.
These are all fictional, right?
One is a biopic. The rest are fictional.