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Against The Tide

Prabhjyot Singh, better known as Balli of Udta Punjab, had to face parental disapproval before he was finally allowed to make his acting debut

Background

I am from Mumbai and always wanted to become an actor but I hail from a middle-class family where acting is not a career option. So whenever I spoke about it to my parents, I was turned down. I was asked to concentrate on my studies so that I would have a ‘good’ career. I therefore never received any support from my family or friends, with regard to acting.

Luck by chance

Someone had mounted a play in my housing society and there was a role I wanted to do. I managed to convince my parents that I wanted to do it. It so happened that a few of Honey sir’s (Trehan) assistants had come to watch that play and they called everyone for the Udta Punjab audition. Again, my parents said ‘no’. I went for the auditions anyway and after a few rounds, I was selected along with a few others.

Testing time

My father got a call, saying I had been selected but he rejected the offer because the shoot was starting on January 5 and my 10th standard board exams were starting on January 10. Honey sir was so sweet that he convinced my father to meet the director and listen to the script. It worked and I finally fulfilled my dream of acting in a film.

The prep

From January to March, I did extensive workshops, where I watched many videos of drug addicts, I read about the issue, I was always practicing the role, there were script reading sessions with co-stars including Diljit Dosanjh sir, with whom I have most of my scenes. It was like preparing for a board exam!

First day of shoot

I had prepared well but as I was facing the camera for the first time, I was very nervous and it turned out that my first shot was with Kareena madam (Kapoor Khan). I was very nervous and didn’t know how to deliver my lines. It was the scene where I am puking and she is the doctor. But the team made me feel comfortable and we delivered the shot. It was a wonderful experience working with such a huge star cast, from Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor to Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh.

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