Happy Birthday, Jr.NTR

Veteran theatre and film actor Raghubir Yadav has made an important place in the hearts and minds of the audience with his body of work for over three decades. Recently the actor marked his presence in the digital space with Panchayat, which garnered praises from audience and critics. And now he is seen playing a pivotal role in Ghoomketu, which also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times India,  actor Raghubir Yadav spoke at length about his three-decade-long journey, how things have changed over the years in the industry and his digital debut on OTT and more.

raghubir yadav

Excerpts from the interview.

On sucess of Panchayat 

I am glad that the audience has showered love on panchayat. With the success of this series, the lockdown has turned fruitful for me. This proves that content is the king and at the end, people will always appreciate your work if it honestly put up.

Will OTT take over theatre completely?

With OTT is coming in, people from all strata of society are able to view content. In theatres, you get to watch a film only when you reach there.  While OTT viewing is rather comfortable and convenient for many. In our films, village stories are mostly neglected. The producer and director feel that only the stories of the city attract audiences. However, on web things reach to the audience quickly and easily. The directors and producers are also investing time and money on creating real content on the web. So there is an audience for both the mediums.

Changes in the industry over the years

I have been in this industry for over three decades and have worked across all mediums, be it theatres, music or films. Everything was different during that time. I remember back in the day films like Naagin and Mother India ran across theatres in Jabalpur for more than two years. Those were not stories those were classics everything was beautiful and rustic. However, commercialisation killed everything after that it was only a profit-making industry. Actors and films were made like goods are made in factories, things took an ugly turn and content started diminishing. I believe that every era should not just focus on commercialisation but also take into consideration our Indian culture. One must never forget their roots and must make an earnest effort to imbibe them in the stories so that every generation gets to see it.

On big-budget films with lacklustre scripts

There are so many big budgets films that don't work is mainly because they fail to impress the audience with content, everything is frivolous. Applying tons of makeup doesn't guarantee success. The truth lies in being grounded, showing the realities, badshakal hona bura nai hai asli hona hai. My idea of beauty may differ from many, I believe you are five times more beautiful when you are real, adding makeup just polishes you externally.

On his experience working in Ghoomketu

It has been a wonderful experience shooting Ghoomketu, having stayed at various parts of rural India has made me accustomed to the culture, nature and habitats of the village. To pen down a story of the rural heartland the writer must have stayed there only then can he write nuances and scripts based on rural India. A person who has never been to a village can't portray the essence and won't be able to do justice to the script. I am glad that the director of this film was well versed with the culture and background.

Working with Nawazuddin and Jitendra

For me, all the actors are the same. I'm a theatre actor. therefore, it doesn't take me much time to get into the skin of the character. Both Nawaz and Jeetu are fine actors.  So we did have reading  before we started shooting.

On penning an autobiography

I haven't finished it yet, and I have been constantly working but hoping to complete it as soon as possible. my autobiography will be very raw and real,  I have learnt a lot from life. My experiences have taught me a lot. I have had my share of troubles, lack of bare necessities and essentials taught me to respect everything that I have at this moment. 

On how he is unwinding during the lockdown

I am enjoying this time. I listen to music, play different instruments. I cook food, clean the house. mostly whatever one else is doing.