Balraj Syal is in a tough spot. He wants to explore himself more as an artist but is unable to shed the misconceptions surrounding him. The actor-comedian has been seen in reality shows such as Mujhse Shaadi Karoge and Smart Jodi, and wants to delve into the fiction space. However, he is finding it hard to crack the code. “I don’t know why, but people in the industry think I am not interested in acting. Or maybe someone has told them I am not interested in working in the fiction space.”Syal tells us.
He elaborates, “Whenever I meet people in the industry and praise a project, asking why they didn’t approach me for it, the answer I always get is. ‘Aap karoge kya, hume pata hi nahin tha.’ That is the misconception being made.”
Recalling one such incident, he shares. “Recently, someone from the Punjab film industry called to ask me why I quoted a high fee for some project. The reality is. I never got a call for that project. So, I don’t know who is saying that I charge high fees and why.”
Going into introspection mode, Syal reveals that he might have turned down some offers in the fiction space initially as the “project didn’t suit him”.and wonders if that has contributed to this image of his. One wonders, then, if the right thing to do is to go all out to find work, instead of waiting for the right project to come knocking at the door. Syal says this ends up in a Catch-22 situation for an actor.
“These stereotypes exist, and we can’t even communicate clearly. I can’t just go and ask for work if I am interested in a project, because then, I am not in a position to negotiate the money. The makers will be like, “Ek toh kaam maang raha hai aur paise bhi… It is a dicey situation for us,” he concludes.