With his towering personality and great looks, well-known television actor, Dinesh K Mehta, leaves an impression which lasts forever. Many don’t know that the accomplished actor started his career as a model, but with his larger-than-life personality, he soon made a jump to the small screen, taking up roles in TV shows like Jhansi Ki Rani, Singhasan Battisi, Suryaputra Karn and now Peshwa Bajirao where he plays an aggressive prince Jagat Raj. In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Mohnish Singh, on the sets of Peshwa Bajirao, super-tall Dinesh talks enthusiastically about his show, his foray into TV and much more.
I am playing Prince Jagat Raj in Peshwa Bajirao. He is the son of Maharaja Chhatrasal and Mastani’s step brother. He does not see eye to eye with Mastani as she is half Muslim. I don’t consider her my sister. It’s a very aggressive and reckless character which I am playing here on the show.
I used to watch a lot of films in my childhood. I was mesmerized by actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand. We had a black & white TV with shutters back then. As a child I would wonder how all these actors entered that small piece of technology. I would always think of bringing them out and meet. But when I grew up, I came to know they all live in Mumbai. Now I wanted to come to Mumbai and meet all of them.
You must have heard about Rhonda Byrne’s best-selling book, ‘The Secret’, which says if you keep thinking about something repetitively, it happens to you sooner or later. So, I think I was inclined towards acting since my childhood. I grew up to be a tall and beefed up man. My friends and relatives suggested me to try my luck in modelling. Soon, I was in Mumbai. Here I did several modelling assignments, print shoots and commercials. In between all this, I kept appearing for auditions, and after some time I got my first break.
My first appearance on Television was in an MTV show called ‘Making The Cut’. If you are asking about my first fiction show, it was ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’, which aired on Zee TV. I played Khuda Baksh in the show. Since then there has been no looking back as I kept getting one show after the other.
I visited my hometown a few days back. There was a function where I got an award, too. People there know what all I have gone through to reach where I am today. They know my struggle. They feel really proud of me. My classmates and friends, all are very happy to see my success.
Initially, my mother was not in favour of me joining this field as she believed it requires a lot of money and resources to make a cut here. But my father always supported me despite ours being a middle class family where there were always some financial issues. When I told my parents about my plans to come to Mumbai and pursue a career in acting what all I asked for from them were their blessings.
My father is no more with us. My mother and two sisters are there in my family now.
Many youngsters in my hometown keep asking me how to enter the industry. My advice to all of them is that come full-prepared. There is a lot of struggle here. Thousands of strugglers throng Mumbai every day. You will have to work really hard to get success. I was not a trained actor when I came here. Had I not started my career as a model, I don’t think I would have ever made it big acting.
At times, I do. But my life has been full of struggles and hardships that it taught me a lot of things about acting. I learn and borrow a lot from what all I have gone through in my real life. I believe that learning is a lifelong process for everyone. As an artist I keep learning something or the other every day. Learning continues forever.
No, I am not.
No, she is not from the industry.
My family has been pressurizing me to settle down for long. If everything goes alright, I might get hitched soon.
Initially, I used to think of television as a small medium to reach to an audience. But now I believe that it is as big a medium as films. Thousands of people are working on television, and there are billions of loyal viewers in millions of households watching us, not just in India but all over the world.
Believe it or not, nepotism rules in films. Star kids and acquaintances walk away with meatier roles. After doing a couple of shows on television, I came to realize its true power. I am happy being a television actor. Today small screen is in a position where it’s no longer smaller than films. I will do a film only if my role is powerful.
Jhansi Ki Rani, Buddha, Dharmkshetra, Singhasan Battisi, Suryaputra Karn and now Peshwa Bajirao.
My height is perfect for playing larger-than-life characters. Because of my height people cast me for such kind of shows only. I think I don’t fit in regular saas-bahu dramas.
I want to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Imtiaz Ali. Their style of filmmaking has influenced me a lot as an actor. It would be like a dream come true if I ever get to play a part in their films.
I am in talks with some makers. But I don’t want to sign anything on the dotted lines till my track is on in Peshwa Bajirao.
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