Arfi Lamba made his acting debut in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. Over a short time, he has turned heads with his acting skills. He is a new kind of mastermind, or by description a modern renaissance man: a degree in engineering, a producer, entertainer, philosopher, and humanist. We ask, what’s next?
Wassup Mr. Slumdog Millionaire?
The Millionaire is on his way to becoming a Billionaire.
About your approach to acting you say that “I entered an unknown domain, a totally new territory-which was not just new to me but sounded crazy and scary to everyone back home. Bollywood was the domain and acting was that dream.” Do you see acting as something that is instinctual or something more constructed?
The domain was unknown. I was a shy; overtly introvert boy for who even a thought to face the camera would be his biggest dare. Education is held in high esteem in my family and, though I won scholarships and was really good in studies, I quit it all to become an actor.
Acting cannot happen without instinct. The line is blurred when one has to explain the process. It’s is a mix of both, the more you use a method and work hard, the more instinctual you get. I have done many workshops and trained under many Indian and international teachers.
I keep bringing all that I learn and all that rhymes with me, to my process and keep evolving it. Having said that, there is no running away from hard work. Between reading your script, memorising your lines, making them yours and finally delivering them, there is a totally new world that you have to discover. Those 100 odd pages introduce you to new worlds that you have to work hard to adapt and finally make yours by adding your own breath to those words.
Tell us about your career. When did it start? How did you discover your talent?
What shall I say about my own career…Abhi to party shuru hui hai...
Bollywood is my lifeline. I have grown up on movies and I never realised how much films affected me as a person. I did everything right and everything by the book that could keep me away from stardust. I was a topper; I did Engineering from one of the most prestigious institutes in India and got a job much before I was supposed to receive my degree…
Life was set, but then destiny has its way of slowly creeping into your well-laid plans and upsetting them and here I am...
How is your career unfolding?
Like a dream … Could not ask for more…
You consider The Idiot close to your heart. Why is it so?
The Idiot talks about everything that’s wrong with our society. It’s all about TRP and Power. We are no more humans and propaganda is ruling our minds. Rather than doing what is right and calling out the farce, we are choosing the convenient path and in doing so, we are dehumanising ourselves. Islamophobia is real. We need to sensitise ourselves before it’s too late and before we lose more innocent lives to hatred.
Would you consider yourself an eccentric?
An eccentric person will never know if he is ‘Eccentric’. We are all super normal and perfect in our own eyes…
What do you enjoy most about your profession?
That I get to live so many lives. That I get to entertain. That I bring to life not only dream worlds but also the reality of the world around us. That I can be a lover, the husband, the other man, a villain or a murderer and I can do it all without any guilt, and fear of the law. That I touch lives. That I can be a voice of change. That I can inspire. That is what I love about my profession.
Is there a certain type or genre or character that you consider to be your favorite? If so, which one and why?
My favourite is what I have not done. LOVERBOY. And once I have played that part well, I will be on to next. Comedy, which is most difficult of all genres, is somehow a forte, thanks to my director Kabir Sadanand and also to the chance that Ashvini Yardi got me to act with Akshay Sir. He is an institution when it comes to acting and especially comedy.
Is there anyone, in particular, you would like to work with?
Kareena Kapoor, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan Saab, Pankaj Kapoor Saab, Naseer Saab, Ratna Pathak Shah, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor … I have just started and the list is endless.
How do you deal with fear?
I am scared of nothing. You should ask fear, how does 'IT' deal with someone like me.
Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?
Everything worth mentioning will find its way into your print very soon.
What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
I just want to live and breathe. I just want to ‘be’.