Destiny's child of B-town Pratik Babbar


After playing a street smart dhobi, Pratik braces himself for a February shoot with Amitabh Bachchan

What are your feelings at this moment, now that Dhobi Ghat, your first film as a lead actor, is releasing?

I am very nervous. I would call this Friday a judgment day for me, because I am very unsure of what the verdict of the people will be.

What was your first reaction when Kiran Rao offered you the film?

My immediate reaction was picturing myself in a dhoti and kurta and washing clothes. But Kiran quickly put me at ease saying that Munna the dhobi was a Mumbai street-kid, a tapori and would be dressed in shirts and trousers. That, and the fact that it was an intriguing script, helped me decide.

How would you describe Kiran as a filmmaker?

In one word, she's a genius. Kiran is extremely imaginative, supportive and patient. She's not your regular aspiring filmmaker.

Do you have any scenes with Aamir Khan in the film?

I have four scenes with him. I am his dhobi and he's my saab, so the scenes are very basic, like me handing over the washed clothes. There's not much conversation between us.

You made your debut in a cameo in Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na, and your second film is the off-beat Dhobi Ghat. Do you intend to create a slot for yourself as a niche actor like your mom, the late Smita Patil?

The reason I did both the films was because the scripts were very exciting. I don't mind doing any genre if a script is strong, it could be a hardcore commercial entertainer, or an unconventional flick.

Are you in touch with any of the directors with whom she worked?

I am in touch with Ketan Mehta who made Bhavni Bhavai and Mirch Masala with her and also with Shyam Benegal. I have not worked with them, but we could in the future. Interestingly, mom worked in Ramesh Sippy's Shakti with Amitabh Bachchan and now I am doing Dum Maro Dum which is directed by Sippy's son, Rohan, with Abhishek Bachchan.

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