The veteran actor recently appeared in the film Tiku Weds Sheru, streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
We all remember him for his remarkable performance in the much-celebrated 2007 directorial debut of Aamir Khan, Taare Zameen Par, where Vipin Sharma played the father, Nandkishore Awasthi, of the little boy, Ishaan Awasthi. Since then, there has been no looking back for Vipin, an alumnus of the National School Of Drama, Delhi. But it is rather interesting to know that the actor decided to quit acting even after working with legends like Shyam Benegal and Ketan Mehta, among others, and that for almost 15 years he was away from his acting career.
In a very special conversation with OTTplay, the actor shared how his journey in Mumbai was very different from the rest of his contemporaries.
Recalling his earlier days, Vipin told OTTplay, "Well, I finished my study in acting from the National School of Drama, Delhi, and then came to Mumbai because I wanted to act in films. Initially, I worked with Shyam Babu (Benegal) in Bharat Ek Khooj and did a few films and TV projects with Ketan (Mehta) sir as well. But then, I actually quit acting for 15 years. I know that now when I say this to people, they get surprised, but I had my reason behind it. But then, after almost 15 years, when I came back to acting, within three months I got the film Taare Zameen Par. So that way, I did not have to struggle to get my comeback film."
However, the struggle started after the success of that film. In between, even though he got a lot of offers, he was very selective with his projects and appeared in films like Saheb Biwi aur Gangster, Paan Singh Tomar, Gangs of Wasseypur, Special 26, Raman Raghav 2.0, and web series like The Final Call, Paatal Lok, and The Family Man (season 2).
Asked about what the real challenge was, Vipin said, "My struggle started after the success of TZP because everyone wanted to cast me as an angry father, and I wanted to break that stereotype. As an actor, I wanted to prove my versatility. That is where the struggle started. It was also tough because when you say no to any big filmmaker, even they get upset. Saying no to a project and finding a different role without making any film director or friend upset was a task; finding that balance was really difficult. I do not want to remain like a character actor; I am an artist; I studied performance, and I wanted to experiment."
"I am not saying it is wrong from a commercial perspective because whoever wants to cast me in their film saw me doing something as an actor, and they were convinced that I am really good at it. But as an artist, if I want to do comedy, for them it is almost unimaginable, and therefore it is a risk-taking decision. My struggle was to convince them," he added.
But even then, the question remains: why did he leave acting since he was so passionate about it and studied as well?
Vipin shared, "Well, I left acting because in between I got confused. I was doing theatre, and then I fell in love with cinema. I felt that I am not an actor and that the kind of theatre I am doing is not my true calling, and I wanted to act on screen. I also wanted to make a film. I tried my hands at filmmaking, but it did not work out that well, so I was lost as a creative person. To find myself, I left everything and started travelling. I travelled extensively and realised that I wanted to perform in the cinema. I was not confident and never felt like an actor. But slowly I found my direction."
The actor recently appeared in two films: the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai and the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Tiku Weds Sheru.