"I was destined to be in show business" : Salil Ankola

The transition from cricket to acting has never been easy. Several willow-men have tried it, rather unsucessfully. Among these: Salim Durrani, Sunil Gavaskar, and Sandip Patil. But Salil Ankola seems to be doing very fine, thank you. He's got a clutch of television series under his belt and is also signing on films thick and fast. (see profile) And he looks set to break the hoodoo that has jinxed cricketers-turned actors by succeeding in new vocation. indiantelevision.com's Nupur Rekhy spoke to this cricketer-at- heart, and actor-by-profession, on his yesterday, today and tomorrow. Excerpts:

Q. How did television happen?

A: After my tumor operation I could no longer play. And one day I just got an offer to act. Let me tell you, I was not even thinking of becoming an actor. So I feel it was destined for me to be in show biz.

Q: What does it take to be a good actor?

A: I believe, that the only thing that matters is the 'eye' statement rather than emoting any other way. So I just let my eyes speak.

Q: How much do you involve yourself in your work?

A: See, I did not go to any institute so I have very little knowledge of camera angle or the technical side of acting. I do give my opinions and I do express my point of view, But only when asked! I laugh and enjoy my work. As for scripts I never say the same line in the same way twice. But, I have no clue about direction.

Q: What roles do you relate to most ?

A: I relate maximum to intense roles and any thing to do with a hurt past. I love to emote emotions but I want to get into comedy also which will strike instant rapport. Not some slapstick comedy which dominates the scene right now.

Q: Who are your favourite co-stars?

A: Pallavi Joshi as she is very helpful and lets you grow a lot. Renuka Shahane is nice, even Mahima Chowdhary.

Q: Who are your favorite directors?

A: In films its Gulzar and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. And B.P Singh, the director of Khaki. Its not that I don't like others. But Singh treats his plot so well. He is the camera man himself. So he is very involved.

Q: How much have you achieved?

A: I would say not even one percent. Because if I feel I have got what I wanted, then I would not be able to find fault, and improve myself.

Q: Do you have role models?

A: No role models as such but yeah! I do admire Amitabh Bachan, Paresh Rawal and Al Pacino.

Q: Which is your favorite channel and why?

A: I like Star Plus, Zee, Channel 9 and B4U as it has excellent quality. I wish India should also get good concepts like Hallmark. I would love to be in it, because I want to do new things all the time.

Q:Which are your future movie releases ?

A: Kurukshetra has been released recently. Then there is Deva and Shiva. The others still have to get a name.

Q: How important are religion and family values?

A: Religion should be practical and not imposed. I am a Hindu and read my shlokas everyday, as there's some force behind them. But I believe in all religions. As for family values, I am not a disc or a pub person. I like to go to my club or be with my family or be with my friends.

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