Hansal Mehta's Scam 1992 released on Sony Liv, last week. Based on one of the greatest financial scams in India, the web series has been receiveing rave reviews.
#Scam1992 what a splendid show by @mehtahansal @JaiHMehta— manoj bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) October 13, 2020
Well written crafted and so greatly paced and executed.performances are v inspiring @pratikg80 @shreya_dhan13 @satishkaushik2 sir #nikhildwivedi @ananthmahadevan #kkraina and all the actors take a bow.@ApplauseSocial
From meticulous research and direction to great actors, the show has managed to hook people throughout its 10 episodes. And Pratik Gandhi, the lead actor who played Harshad Mehta in the series, has become the talk of the town.
Born to a humble couple, both teachers, Pratik grew up in Surat, Gujarat. From the beginning, he was average at studies but had an interest in theatre arts.
In an interview with Chaaipani, he talked about how and where it all started.
We had storytelling competitions in school. So I’d pick from the stories that my grandparents would tell me, team up with my friends and perform it. We never won, but kida toh udhar se hi laga tha acting ka. Gradually, performing became a part of me.
Unable to secure good marks, Pratik chose to pursue a diploma in Industrial Engineering after class 12th and later grabbed a seat in Industrial Engineering in a college in Maharashtra.
His first job was that of a salesman during his diploma years. He worked during the day and continued his theatre practice at night.
Soon after his graduation, he moved to Bombay, to pursue his dream of making it big in theatre. Theatre was never a means of making money for him and thus he took up a regular job with the National Productivity Council in Pune.
In his free time, he used to audition for different play directors in Mumbai. Pratik found his initial stardom through the Gujarati play Aa Paar Ke Pele Paar. The show was a big success and opened the doors of Gujarati theatre for him.
Belonging to a middle-class family, Pratik still needed a job to survive in Mumbai. Despite all the struggles, his love for acting kept him going. In the same interview with Chaaipani, he once said:
I would leave for work at 7 AM, reach office at around 9 and give in my 110% all day, leave at around 6 PM. I would then head straight to the gym, and then rehearse for plays till late night.
He made his debut in the film industry through an English film, Yours Emotionally in 2006. He had played the role of a gay character. The movie had screenings at various film festival including the LGBTQ film festival, NewFest 2006.
He continued to work in plays like Ame Badha Sathe To Duniya Laiye Mathe, Hu Chandrakant Bakshi, Mohan No Masalo, and was applauded for his performances. In 2014, he bagged a lead role in a Gujarati film Bey Yaar. It was a big hit in the Gujarati entertainment industry and a turning point in his career. He never looked back after that and resigned from his job to focus solely on acting.
Faced with the obvious question of how he would manage his family's expenses, Pratik was determined to do great things in life. When asked what kept him going, he replied:
Meri life mein bahot saare logon ne bahot saare dialogues deliver kiye hai that have kept me going. Like someone told me of this quote – Koi cheez na karne ke hazaar reasons hote hai, but there is always one reason to do it and that’s what keeps me going.
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His next film, Wrong Side Raju, received the National Award for the Best Gujarati Film in 2016. Pratik has acted in around 10 films, including the Hindi movie LoveYatri.
Now established as a popular name in Gujarati theatre, Pratik calls Scam 1992, one of the biggest milestones in his career. In conversation with the Indian Express, he talked about playing Harshad Mehta.
I want the audience to not feel it’s Pratik, rather they should see me as a character, a new person. I think that helped me to get into the skin of Harshad Mehta. Without inhibition, I could convert myself, physically and mentally. I think that attribute and my theatre stint helped me a lot to stay true to the role.
If you've watched the web series, you'd agree that he absolutely nailed the character and we wouldn't have imagined Harshad Mehta - The Big Bull - any other way.
With all the amazing reviews coming in for his performance in Scam 1992, we hope he gets more attention in the mainstream entertainment industry.