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- According to Pratya Gandhi, Harshad Mehta was a dream businessman. He sold dreams to the whole of India
- “It’s not your job to invest in the stock market,” he said
Urvi Brahmbhatt. After almost three decades, ‘Big Bull’ Harshad Mehta is in the news again. The web series ‘Scam 1992’ based on the life of Harshad Mehta has been published recently and is getting a lot of praise. At the center of this praise is the Gujarati or symbol Gandhi, who gave life to Harshad Mehta on screen.
Yes, it is the same symbol Gandhi, which we have seen in plays like ‘Do Year’, ‘Row Side’, ‘Dhunki’, ‘My Chandrakant Bakshi’, ‘Mohan Ka Masala’, ‘Mere Piya Gaya Rangoon’. With the overnight success of the ‘scandalous 1992’, the whole country has started asking, are these signs Gandhi? Preetik Gandhi, who was the focal point of the success of ‘Scam 1992’, spoke to Daily Bhaskar. Here are some parts.
How did you get this series?
I auditioned for this series. Hansal Sir (Director Hansal Mehta) saw my Gujarati films ‘Do Year’ and ‘Rang Side’. He also saw my theater work and all these things stayed with me. When Hansal Sir found out that I had also auditioned for this series, he decided that now I would only work on this series. He didn’t even see my audition. He just saw how ready I was for this role. The scenes that were auditioned are not in the series. These scenes were cut while working on the script. I checked seven or eight looks. After the series final, I thought I had gained weight. Then about a month and a half later my look was tested. We did the shooting a year after the first meeting.
How was the series prepared?
During these seven face tests, I ate what I had eaten before. I gained 18 kg during this series. The stomach swelled. He used to eat more to bring a double chin. My weight before the series was 71kg and during the series it increased to 89kg. Although during the lockdown I lost 12-15 kg and I came back to the right shape.
I had a more interesting challenge to bring Harshad Mehta to the screen. Because, this was the character whose image is negative all over the world and he is recognized as a villain. There are many theories about this person in the human mind. Lots of writing and reading and hearing about this person I have tried to bring this character to the screen of any kind of bias.
I paid special attention to the body language of Harshad Mehta. I took special care not to be seen anywhere on the screen as Pritik Gandhi is trying to look like Harshad Mehta. I had to land the character of Harshad Mehta in the natural flow and that is why I did not try to see Preetik Gandhi anywhere.
How Harshad Mehta reacts, how he thinks and how he smiles. Harshad Mehta has one or two interviews online, where the interview with Pritish Nandi is quite good. I watched this interview three or four times. From this interview I learned how he reacted, how he smiled. For this, my theater experience also worked for me. I didn’t even try acting once, I just had to take the time to physically transform. The rest comes out from the inside which is displayed on the screen.
Who worked with Harshad Mehta’s family?
No, I did not meet Harshad Mehta’s family, but I did meet the people around him. I tried to find out from him what his personality was like, how he thought and how he spoke. Harshad Mehta’s book ‘Scandal 1992’ has never been read before. Although our series is based solely on this book, we had the opportunity to read the book during the shooting. Earlier our script was 650 pages and later it was 550 pages. Once you read the script, it’s like reading the whole book.
When did you hear about Harshad Mehta?
I was at school when the Harshad Mehta scandal came to light. One of my family cousins suffered a lot in the stock market. This is how I knew about Harshad Mehta. But it was a very short reference to me about Harshad Mehta.
What do you say about Harshad Mehta?
Harshad Mehta was a dream businessman. He sold dreams to the whole of India. Harshad Mehta did not have any bad habits i.e. alcohol, cigarettes, gambling. He had only one hobby and that was to make maximum income. While rolling, I found out that he was a whole family man. I also had to present the human side of Harshad Mehta and I liked the same thing. I had enough time for 9-10 hours every day and so I knew I could play this role very well.
Did Harshad Mehta play a Gujarati character?
Yes, it was a bit easy for me to roll it as Gujarati. It was already decided that the Gujarati people and their language could be introduced in a better way. It is commonly seen in movies or serials to say Gujarati incorrectly. I often feel bad about it. So I brought Gujarati words to the screen in a very simple way.
Was the series expected to be so successful?
When I worked on this series I never thought it would be so famous. Yes, I knew it would be a good project if I joined Hansal Sir and his team. I was confident that I could proudly say that I was a part of this series. Although, I never dreamed that people would love me so much and make me so successful.
What was your favorite dialogue in the series?
What is success? New chapter after failure ‘This is my favorite line. I will continue what I have come from and what I am doing, but my dream was to work in Hindi.
What was the best complement?
Hansal Sir told me you can’t imagine how well you did.
Abhishek Bachchan is also in this movie called ‘Big Bull’. What would you say compared to them?
It’s the love of the audience to me. Abhishek Bachchan is a big artist as far as the film is concerned. He will bring different flavors to his pictures. Nothing to say until this picture comes out.
How did you get rid of the corona problem?
My whole family was affected by Corona. Me, my brother, wife, my daughter and mother. At the same time, the brother was hospitalized for about ten days. The rest of us were isolated at home. To this day we do not understand how we got the corona, we did not go out or no one came home. My head hurts for two or three days, then fever and then diarrhea. After that, the corona was tested and the report came back positive. After that, after investigating the whole family, everyone’s report was positive.
Do you invest in the stock market?
I do not invest in the stock market. Bought five shares to see each other twice and to know the process of the stock market. The stock market is a different world and one should not invest without understanding it. I try to invest 15% of my income. I only invest in mutual funds and SIPs. My home loan is running in real estate.
What are the next projects?
My Hindi film ‘Bhavai’ is ready and its release date is almost ready. The rest of the series is being discussed, which will be announced shortly after the final.