A doctor by profession an actor by choice, Manav Vij, a well-known name in the television industry took the leap of faith and started working in films. After dabbling in the Punjabi film industry, Vij made a smooth shift towards Hindi cinema. In conversation with Rohini Nag Madnani, the talented actor talks about the choices he makes as an actor
I am a homeopathy doctor and taking up acting as a profession happened by chance for me. I have done many television shows like Balaji’s Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and others. My wife Meher (Vij), who is also an actor, wanted me to do films. She believed that, as an actor, I had a lot to offer and should try out films as each film brings its own challenges and fulfillment. After doing a couple of films, I got Anurag Singh’s Punjabi film Punjab 1984. The film won a National Award and despite my role not being too big, it got me a lot of appreciation. It was due to this film that I landed Udta Punjab, a film which again got me noticed, not only by the audience but filmmakers as well.
On Choosing Films
I have been lucky because I have never chosen any films; they chose me. I am spiritually inclined and believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason. Luckily, each character I have played has been diverse and the opposite of the other. I have faith in good cinema and am blessed to be a part of good films.
On His Favourite Character
I have done a film titled Brij Mohan Amar Rahe produced by Drishyam Films and directed by Nikhil Bhatt. It is yet to hit the screens as the makers want to send the film to international film festivals before its theatrical release.
On Best Audience Response
I got a great response for Udta Punjab, and whenever people used to meet me, they would quote my lines from the film. After the release of Phillauri, I have been receiving a lot of messages and appreciation. Everyone has been telling me how much they like my character. I believe in quality over quantity and hence no matter how big or small a role I play, it is important for me to always be true to each character.
On Future Projects
I have a small but crucial role in this week’s release, Neeraj Pandey’s Naam Shabana. Apart from that, I have Nikkil Advani’s Lucknow Central, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar, and a film titled Brij Mohan Amar Rahe in Hindi; and Pahalwan Singh in Punjabi. With the kind of films that our industry is churning out now, actors like me have a huge opportunity to prove our mettle. I am grateful to God for my journey and I believe that working honestly and earnestly always pays off.