Lokesh Mittal On Working With Ajay Devgn In Bholaa, ‘He Is So Natural And Flawless’ | Exclusive

While Lokesh Mittal played a very small role in Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh starrer Do Dooni Chaar, the actor has since come a long way by providing his versatility as an actor in Sui Dhaaga, The Pickup Artist, The White Tiger, Runway 34 and his most recent portrayal of Lakdawala in Raj & DK’s Farzi. Lokesh Mittal who previously worked with Ajay Devgn in Runway 34 reunited with the actor and director for Bholaa.

During an exclusive and freewheeling conversation with News18 Showsha, Lokesh went on to share his adulation for Ajay Devgn, working with Tabu, behind-the-scenes moments from the sets of Bholaa, his role in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani and much more.

Lokesh Mittal Reveals What Makes Ajay Devgn A Brilliant Director

He is an actor first so what’s unique about him is the fact that he understands an actor. When I had worked with him in the first collaboration, I was working in front of Amitabh Bachchan. So it could be a possibility that I had done a certain scene with confidence in front of a legendary actor like Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn must have felt that I might be good in my craft since I am acting without any hesitation in front of Big B. So when I got a call for Bholaa, I was shocked as to how was this possible. But they told me that Ajay Devgn had recommended me for that role. As a director, he gives full space and freedom to the actors so that they can deliver their scenes with utmost honesty and perfection. And he never imposes himself on anyone. As long as he is okay with an actor’s point of view, he gives them the leeway to approach things as they feel right to approach. Untill and unless he is very specific about something that he wants from the actors. His discusses scenes with his actors, what kind of scene is that’s what should be the expressions etc. So that’s his USP. And that what makes him so big.

Lokesh Mittal Shares How His Characters In Farzi, Runway 34 And Bholaa Showed Him His Potential As An Actor

When I did Farzi, I was working with Raj & DK. He told me that the kind of character I was playing, it should tower Shahid Kapoor’s character. It shouldn’t look like Shahid Kapoor is overpowering you. So the way I was approaching my character, it didn’t quite work but when I approached it in a different way, that was what had gone into the final cut and even I felt like that was good. And the result was definitely in my favour because people liked it, they recognised it and appreciated my work. That was a negative character. In Runway 34, I played a small officer in a company and he makes a mistake and because of that he gets sacked. That was with Amitabh Bachchan. Now my character of a police officer in Bholaa is greedy. He is working for money. The kind of greedy character he is, he can do anything for money. But he doesn’t want to kill anyone. But the pressure bullds up on him and he turns a killer. So when you do different kinds of characters, you definitely get an opportunity to explore. And it makes you curious about what other characters you can play that have different shades to them. It definitely helps you gauge about your strength and be sure about what you can do.

Lokesh Mittal Recalls Some Memorable Moments From The Sets Of Bholaa

Ajay Devgn would ask me that this scene is like this, what would you do in this? And I would say, should I do like this? So he would be the one laughing first.

And he would laugh because he would say film ke according thoda over jaa raha. Let’s do something else. Whatever comic element we could bring to my character, we brought it and that is evident on the silver screen. We tried to naturally create him.

At one point of the film, I had to shove a knife near Ajay Devgn’s throat. Believe me but I had to do that take four or five times because I was not able to do it. I was scared about unintentionally hurting Ajay Devgn in the process. Even if it’s a fake knife, it still can injure people. So I was very conscious about that scene. Then there was another scene which was a full-blown comedy. It happened all of a sudden. It’s a scene where some people are dragging me so another actor who was trying to get me up slipped and fell. And that initiated a laughter riot on the sets. And then Ajay Devgn would also crack jokes every once in a while. I believe Ajay Devgn prefers to keep things light on the set so as to prevent any sort of tension or pressure or haste to do things. He believes that setting aside the film, it’s imperative to maintain a healthy atmosphere on the sets.

Lokesh Mittal’s Experience Working With Ajay Devgn And Tabu

We’ve been seeing Ajay Devgn for so many years so definitely the way he plays a character and the way he grasps the nerve of a character is absolutely brilliant. He is like a self-institution. You can learn a lot of things from him. When you seeing him in person, when you are seeing me on screen. So there are nuances that you would observe and you’ll feel like it something that you should inculcate in yourself and that this is something that I lack. He is so natural and flawless that you won’t even feel like that he is acting. So these are the things that inspires you and teaches you so many things. As for Tabu, she is wonderful. When she is on sets, she transforms into a different person and when she is not working, she likes to project her humorous side. She is a great actress’ and she doesn’t need to prove that to anyone. Because everyone knows she is fine. And it’s a big honour for sharing screen space with actors like these.

Lokesh Mittal On His Role In Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani

My experience has been really good on the sets of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani. I play a cameo and when we were in lockdown, that was when the film was offered to me. So with Karan Johar, he tells the actor what he wants from them, he is very specific about the kind of emotions and expressions that he wants to evoke from you as actors. He doesn’t tell you how you’ll deliver the dialogues because that rests solely to the discretion of the actor but he is very specific about what he wants. On the other hand, Ajay Devgn asks his actor what and how he is going to approach a scene. Because he has been an actor himself. So an actor himself brainstorms with himself my character is like this, my approach will be like this, like that. Karan Johar is experienced. I enjoyed a lot and I can guarantee you it’s going to be one of the funniest scenes of Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani. Everyone is going to enjoy it.

Lokesh Mittal On The Negative Perception Of Karan Johar And His Experience Working With Him

There are so many people in this world and there are so many speculations that people pass. It’ll be very difficult for me to say but that didn’t happen to me. But I can definitely tell you when I was on the sets with all the other people, I never felt for once that Karan Johar was doing favourism or treating someone differently and looking down upon us. We wrapped up that scene in one day so he took out time for it. I felt really good. After so many years he is helming a film and he is perfect in his craft. He knows what he wants in terms of angles, scenes, shots and he gets it out of them. When you are on Sets, you can easily understand his vision and what he actually wants. He is good. It’s a rom com as evident from the name itself. It will be a family entertainer in the sense that it follows the trajectory of all the previous Karan Johar’s films. It’ll be brimming with emotions that will make you cry and laugh.

Lokesh Mittal On Playing Lakdawala In Farzi And Sharing Screen Space With Shahid Kapoor

When Raj & DK told me about what they wanted from me, I had told them that although I can’t describe how I am going to approach this character but I can definitely show you. Shahid Kapoor was not there so I did a script rehearsal with one of the ADs and then I told them my perspective as to how it should go on screen. That happened and it worked wonders. Even Shahid Kapoor is very cooperative since he has been working in the industry for so long so he knows what should be the feel of the character. He thoroughly gave me inputs and feedback and compliments for what I was doing. When you get a support, you feel good. I don’t know what happened, I have worked with Amitabh Bachchan and then I recently got another opportunity to work with Big B for an ad. Sharing screen with him is a big deal. It’¥ a dream come true. I come from a place where there is no connection to acting. My starting point was from zero.

Lokesh Mittal Recalls Getting A Selfie With Abhishek Bachchan

If you are there with Abhishek Bachchan on the sets, you won’t feel like he is a star.

He doesn’t make you feel like that. He is very focused on his work from what I could observe about him, from the way he would sit and interact. Although, i didn’t talk to him much during Dasvi because some of my scenes were also chopped off. He did oblige me with a selfie. He is a sweet man.

Lokesh Mittal Reveals The Kind Of Roles He Wants To Do In Future

Whenever someone comes in this field, he comes with a mindset that they want to become a good and known actor. And that’s exactly what I am trying for. And I am going in that zone. So whatever work I am taking and what’s being offered to me, I am very careful to work with good characters because I certainly want to be sidelined.Prior to this, beggars can’t be choosers. So I want to show more of myself and showcase my mettle and talent that I stand somewhere and that If I get an opportunity, I can show it. So whatever fame came to me from YouTube or films or series, I started getting the results of it gradually. There is a famous saying, ‘the more your are visible, the more you’ll get bought’. So that has been my mantra. In the starting, I’ve worked for 2000 but I didn’t stop there. I wanted to create my space. And in future I see myself getting good characters, me proving it and people appreciating him.

Lokesh Mittal On OTT V/s Bollywood

I think the current landscape is good. I feel like people should go in the theatres to watch the film instead of waiting for it to come on OTT. People tend to avoid going to theatres because of it which I feel is bad. As for OTT, it has given opportunities to so many actors, directors, writers, cinematographers. It has certainly made and increased opportunities for people. So many people came who haven’t worked in film but OTT changed their perception. So the work load has increased, opportunities have increased. And it should continue.

Lokesh Mittal’s Upcoming Projects

I’ll be featuring in YRF’s Railway Man. There is a biopic on Tarla Dalal that will be headlined by Huma Qureshi. There are couple of films like Control, Project Love and PMT. I had previously done Sui Dhaga with YRF and that film was a turning point for me since I was able to play my character with ease. People started noticing me after that and started offering me roles.

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