Actor Vivaan Shah admits to be one of the lucky kids to have a film institution in his house itself. Son of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah, Vivaan says his parents are his biggest critics who are brutally honest about his work. The actor, who is picking some diverse roles, will now be seen in Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana opposite Akshara Haasan. Edited excerpts from the interview:
Coming from a filmy background, is there a constant pressure on you?
I take that pressure as motivation. It pushes me to work better and to make my parents proud. It’s the healthy motivation.
Do you take career advice from your parents?
I do take their advice before signing films. One doesn’t however, have the luxury to be able to choose one’s work. You have to do whatever work is offered to you. I am just happy to be working. One can’t be too picky and choosy, you see. Both of them have an encyclopaedic knowledge of theatre. They have studied theatre and I always find myself consulting them and asking for their advice. I am lucky to have two institutions at home.
Who is your biggest critic?
My father is very critical about my work. Luckily he liked my performance in the three movies that I have done so far. In fact, my dad is brutally honest. When I had started off in plays, they would directly criticise me.
Do you get enough time to pursue theatre?
Whenever I am not doing films, I am doing theatre. It is like my backbone and something I do most of the time. Films and theatre both give me equal joy but theatre is something that keeps me going when I am not doing films.
How do you deal with criticism?
Criticism is a healthy phenomena and it’s an intricate part of the creative process. Everybody gives feedback — sometime it’s positive, sometimes it’s negative — and one must take it with a pinch of salt.
Tell us about your role in the film Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laddoo Deewana...
My character in the film is from a small town and he works as a waiter. I like to play characters that are not affluent. I find them to be more interesting. Also, working class characters are challenging to portray.