Aditya Joshi who was recently seen in the show Taali on Jio Cinema has been applauded for his performance by fans and critics equally. Aditya who has done shows like Silicon Valley, Shameless, Kyun Utthe Dil Chhod Aaye and a play Go With The Flow, also turned a producer for his short film The Session. Aditya Joshi shares his journey as an actor for his show Taali, the challenges, struggles, wokring with Miss Universe & talented actress Sushmita Sen and more.
1. Weren’t you sceptical to take a role like this?
A: Initially when I was auditioning for the part, I was a little skeptical about it. But I’ve been a fan of Ravi Jadhav Sir (Director of Taali) since his film Nataranga. So I was sure that the part would be good and the characterization would be respectful and tasteful and not a caricature of what a straight man “thinks” what a transgender woman is. And throughout the show you see it and ever since the initial look test, the instructions were always to remain true and subtle and not make the character a caricature. Keep it real and honest.
2. How did you prepare for it ?
A: Preparing for this role was a challenge. I’ve never done anything like this before let alone at the very beginning of my career. I watched Natarang while prepping for this. It is a story of an artist going to a great extent for the sake of his art. Though that was cross-dressing, I felt there were things I could learn from Atul Kulkarni’s performance. He’s done a phenomenal job transforming himself. Feather on the cap was that it was Ravi Sir’s Film.
I had to change everything. My voice, the way I walk, the way I talk. The walk and talk bit were slightly harder for me. Voice work was relatively easier.
3. What was your first thought and experience when you were giving you first shot?
A: It hadn’t hit me until the first shot that I was a part of such a big show. As soon as I walked onto set, it hit me and I was really nervous. But the entire experience was made really easy by the director, Ravi Jadhav when he told me “Relax, be free and have fun”. That really helped me relax and I was able to have fun on set during my first shot.
4. How was your experience working with Sushmita Sen?
A: She’s an angel! Throughout my days of shoot, Sushmita ma’am was absolutely pleasant to work with. As an actor I think this was a great opportunity to be able to share screen space with her. She’s so kind, and generous as an actor.
A funny story I remember is that she didn’t know I was a male actor playing a transgender woman. She found that out I think on my second day of shoot when someone from the hair and make up team told her. She was pleasantly surprised by the transformation. She came close to me and said, “So now you know. Don’t ever complain to any woman in your life that she takes too long to get ready!” And we both burst out laughing. She’s extremely witty and charming.
5. What was the response of your friends and family?
I hadn’t really told anyone I’m doing this show for a really long time except my parents. I didn’t want to jinx it. But when I told my family about it, they got excited and started asking me about it. All I did was I just showed some of my family the look I had in the show. Just one picture and I said “This is what I will look like”. I had told a few friends the same thing too.
But once the series released and they all saw my work, it was a concoction of emotions ranging from love, to shock to joy and surprise. Almost everyone- even people I haven’t spoken with for years- called or messaged me to congratulate on my part as “Bhola” in Taali. I was elated.
6. What was the response of your fans?
A: Honestly, I don’t yet know if I have any fans. But I hope whoever is watching this series- and a lot of people have- they like the show, they like my work and hopefully remember me.