Actor Hemwant Tiwari who hails from Daltonganj village in Jharkhand has recently completed shooting for an international TV series, Medinah. The actor is all set to join the ranks of Priyanka Chopra. He is a paragon of perseverance and patience, the two qualities that have brought him on a winning
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
# Describe your life a little before you started off your career as an actor!
I have spent most of my growing up years in Gurgaon. I have done my schooling from Army Public School and completed my graduation via correspondence from DU. Rolling back into my past I remember that I used to have many fights with my father for watching films. We all follow our parent’s decisions and I was no different and wanted to join the army because my father wanted me to. However, I had a proclivity for acting and not many know that I intentionally didn’t answer the question paper properly even though my preparation was complete and everyone was rest assured that I would pass but I failed it. I can’t bring to my mind any memories of DU because I was busy working in call centers. My idea was to save money and come to Mumbai. After school, I tried to get through the National School of Drama, but I needed to be a graduate or have had acted in at least 9 plays. I didn’t have that experience. I have worked in almost all call centers in Gurgaon. Having said this, as of today I have also experienced the corporate life of Gurgaon.
# What has attracted you to commence your career as an actor? Why do you feel it is an exemplary profession for you?
Harking back to my childhood, the world of acting enthralled me from the very start. When we were staying in Kolkata, the big guys of our colony used to arrange for a VCR with films which were voted to be the best by the members once a month. The actors on screen attracted me like a magnet. As a youngster, I adored Charlie Chaplin and wanted to be like him. I have always cherished my love for reading comics and my fascination for comic characters to an extent where I used to make sketches of every character. I had never dreamt that my fascination for comics will lead me to Comic-Con itself. I’m grateful to the universe!
I am very good at telling stories with my histrionics. I’m very observant of my surroundings and the people around me. I believe I have everything what the industry demands, be it courage, patience, talent and this is exactly what will help me in achieving what I want.
# What are your role preferences? Tell me about your acting styles!
I want to spend every moment of my life in bettering myself when it comes to acting. I am a fan of biographies, war films, romantics, action films, comedies. Actually, I like all kinds of films and I would want to play and experience all sorts of characters and roles.
Whether it is Meisner technique, Lee Strasberg or Stanislavski, I feel all can be used at different stages in different ways.
I often go an extra mile to bring perfection to the scenes and make them look realistic. Sometimes to do a scene I would enact it in a real-life incident to see how exactly others would react so that I can portray the same emotions the next day for on the sets.
# Talk me through your current show Medinah!
Somehow, one of my videos went to the creator of the show, Ahmed Al Baker, who was casting for this international series ‘Medinah’ and when I got to know about the script and the character, I said yes… and the next thing I know was that I was shooting for it.
Medinah is a 20-episode series that will be aired across several countries including India. The series was shot in Qatar. It is the first sci-fi Arab series and first 3D movie from the Middle East. When a rocket launch goes awry, a group of strangers stuck in a cave in the desert trying to survive, while the corporation that launched the rocket attempts to figure out what went wrong. These are the few lines that sum up Medinah on IMDB page and they call it synopsis. However, it being more than a show is an emotion for me. We as a team have given a lot to this project and it is very close to my heart!
I play a bus driver and my character’s name is Ravendra who is there to earn some extra money and come back to India and fulfill his dreams with his family, however, one day while driving the bus MEDINAH happens with him. My character is very calm, composed and sensible and takes decision whenever it is necessary.
# Tell me about your previous works!
It is a mad mad world and especially if you don’t have anyone it really becomes tough. I have given 10 auditions in a day even during the rains thinking that not many actors would come out for auditions and my chances will be more. As soon as I landed in Mumbai, I did my acting course with Barry John. I have done theatres and plays like ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘The Kennedy Bridge’. To learn the art of this industry I assisted on advertisements and films. In 2013 I did a short film called ‘Zindagi Bahut Khoobsurat hai’ which was screened at Cannes 66th film festival. It was an awesome feeling after which I made my own short film and simultaneously started shooting for a feature film in Benares as the lead. The film will be releasing soon as I have just finished the dubbing. After wrapping up the shoot for the feature film I did another short film called Pannah which was well received by the multitude.
# To be an established actor you need to be able to measure your success and further build on this. How do you evaluate your success within this role?
I take up only those projects which give me immense satisfaction because only then I can give my 100 percent to the work. Medinah is definitely a prestigious project for me in every aspect. The release of this series will definitely open my avenues worldwide. There are phases where we don’t have work at all and sometimes we have it in abundance and that’s the moment when we have to decide which project suits us the best. I am anticipating that the Indian media would help me to reach out to the crowds. I have given my best to this series and now I can just pin my hopes to its success.
# How do you find your co-actors? Were you apprehensive about being able to perform in Hollywood?
I am in awe of my team members. They were just perfect. Ahmed Al Baker was very calm and composed. Also Wayne Rose and Jason Bourque, the directors of the series allowed me to give inputs and that really helped the scene to evolve.
My co-actors are ingenious and we often celebrated together!
Yes, I was paranoid at first. Questions were flooding in my head. But the production took good care of me and if you are good at your work these things don’t matter. The crew was very friendly and I mean it. When your producers praise you for your efforts and your attitude on the set, it boosts your confidence and yes, of course, your energy.
# If you were to describe your personality in 3 words, what would those be?
Well, I can describe my journey in three words; Patience, Perseverance, Success. I have always depended on my own efforts and I believe hardships come in everyone’s life but only those succeed who stay strong and don’t lose the sight of their horizon.