Be it his Greek God looks or his superb acting skills, heartthrob Upen Patel has slowly been casting his spell in Bollywood. From his charming avatar in his debut film 36 China Town to the jilted lover in his latest outing Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, Upen has become the talk of the town with all the critical appreciation coming his way.
The charming actor explains why he likes being the underdog, what makes him sign a film and how he feels about being called a heart-throb.
There’s been great critical response to your performance in the film “Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha”. What was it about your character that worked?
I am so grateful for the appreciation and really humbled by it. I truly gave my all for this role and really had to dig deep emotionally to portray the character’s graph. I’ve always believed if you’re honest to your work, people will see it and I am very happy people connected emotionally to my performance and that my hard work has paid off.
You were a successful Supermodel and then made your foray into Bollywood in a big way and worked with some of the industry’s bigwigs, being an outsider how receptive has the industry been to you?
Honestly, I’m the underdog and it works for me. I just focus on working on myself and improving myself as an artist and slowly making my mark with the right films. I’m blessed that I’ve worked with some great makers and in a position where I can choose the work I believe in, I know the harder I work the luckier I’ll get.
You’re known to be choosy when it comes to films and hence there are gaps of a year or two before you are seen on the big screen. What do you look for when signing a film?
All actors I believe are choosy when it comes to signing a film. Its important you believe in the subject, I want to read a script and not be able to put it down then I know this is the one and as an actor you also have a certain responsibility towards your audience, it’s not all about money, for me its more about the art and growing as a performer. I don’t take long gaps intentionally and I have no shame in asking for work but I know being an outsider things take a little longer to fall in place.
How does your films fate at the box office affect you, today Bollywood is all about box office numbers.
I’m an actor, I just focus on my performance and my director’s vision. Of course I want every film I do to be successful at the box office but that’s not in my control. What’s in my control is delivering a performance. Failure for me is part of growth and teaches me where I need to correct myself not just in movies but in life too, every time I’ve failed I’ve got up stronger. Success and failure go hand in hand and its important to be humble in victory and defeat.
You’ve received widespread acclaim for your performances winning the Best Debut Male for 36 China Town and Nominated for Shankar’s mega budget movie “I”, now being hailed for your performance in Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, while it must be edifying to know your acting talent has been recognized, how do you feel about also being hailed a heartthrob?
It’s very flattering and I’m grateful but beauty is god gifted so its nice to be appreciated physically to a certain extent but when someone comes up to me and appreciates my work that means everything, because that’s what I’ve created and worked hard for, beauty fades but talent lasts a lifetime.