Eshaan Shanker Interview: “Lockdown Has Given Me A Chance To Reinvent Myself”

Mohnish Singh |Apr 30, 2020

Eshaan Shanker, who made his silver screen debut with Abbas-Mustan's Machine (2017), is making the most of the ongoing lockdown period.

Actor Eshaan Shanker of Machine (2017) fame is making the most of the ongoing lockdown period. Apart from consuming loads of content on various OTT platforms, he is also focusing a lot on himself. “I am basically getting to know myself a lot more than ever,” the actor tells STARBIZ.

In this interview with STARBIZ, Eshaan Shanker opens up about innumerable things, ranging from his career to his most favourite webseries to his next film Pav Bhaaji and much more. The actor also shares how he will be celebrating his birthday on 12th May if the lockdown continues. Excerpts…

Eshaan Shanker
Eshaan Shanker debuted in Bollywood with Machine

What have you been doing amid the lockdown?

I have been taking the lockdown in a very positive way. I have been doing a lot more than usual. This lockdown has given me a chance to reinvent myself. I am focusing a lot on myself, my likes, dislikes, etc. I am basically getting to know myself a lot more than ever.

What shows or movies are you watching these days?

Well, I did watch SHE (2020) on Netflix. It is a very interesting show. I am watching a lot of documentaries and Korean cinema. I did watch an Indonesian movie called The Red. It is a must watch. I loved the action in the film.

What are your five most favourite web-shows?

Homeland is my all-time favourite show, followed by Breaking Bad, SHE, Criminal Justice and The Family Man.

Have you watched any international web-show lately which you feel should be remade in India? If yes, which character would you like to essay in it?

I think they should make Breaking Bad in Hindi. The concept is quite interesting and I think it will do very well with Indian audience. I would love to play the character of Jesse Pinkman.

Are you open to OTT platforms?

Yes, I am very much open to OTT platforms but, at the moment, I am doing 3 films, so my hands are full. But, yes, I am looking forward to do something interesting on OTT platforms.

What are you missing the most amid the lockdown?

The most I am missing is the interaction with people. I love talking to people, because I think that is the best study. I mean just knowing about someone’s life is equal to reading a book, so yeah, meeting new people from different walks of life and travelling.

What is the first thing you would like to do after the lockdown is lifted?

I am associated with an orphanage in Bandra, so the first thing I would do is go and meet those kids. I have not seen them since forever. Before lockdown, I used to go and meet them every week.

Are you keeping in touch with your friends during this period?

My friends used to always complain that I don’t meet them often or I don’t take an effort to make that phone call but due to lockdown, I have gotten closer to my friends. Friends, with whom I had not spoken for years and were not in touch, have gotten in touch and it feels really good.

Eshaan Shanker
Eshaan Shanker next stars in Pav Bhaji

How, according to you, the Coronavirus pandemic is going to change us forever?

As human beings, we had started taking everything for granted and this pandemic has taught us that we got to value things that we have, we have to be thankful for everything we got and we got to relish it and not keep complaining for things we don’t have. Universe has shown us that we are just a spec on this planet. I think every human being will be more responsible towards the planet earth.

You are turning a year older on 12th May. How are you planning to celebrate your birthday?

If the lockdown is lifted then I would like to celebrate it with my kids. I have about 80 kids, not literally but the orphanage kids. I would love to spend my time with them.

What will be your birthday wish this year?

First and the foremost wish would be that everyone around me should be safe and healthy. Every day in news I have been reading about people being affected by COVID-19 and people dying, this has created fear in my mind about the health of my loved ones.

What is the update on your next film Pav Bhaji? Will it face any delay in its release due to the pandemic?

Well, Pav Bhaji has been selected in about 5 film festivals so far. We were looking forward to going to each festival and watch the preview of our film. We have been hoping to win an award as well, but due to the lockdown I think all the film festivals have been re-scheduled. So, I think we got to wait and see what happens.

Do you feel it is extremely challenging for outsiders to gain footing in show business?

Oh, yes, for sure! It is difficult because as outsiders we have no idea how this industry works, not only this industry but any industry for that matter. So, it easily takes few years to understand do’s and dont’s of the industry and more importantly to meet right people who can take you right up there. It is a time-consuming process. It is difficult but not impossible. If you are consistent and determined, it is achievable. The hardest thing is to filter people and figure out who is good to work with and who is just faffing around. As outsiders, we got to figure out everything by ourselves.

A piece of advice for those struggling actors who do not have any connection in the industry, but want to make it big?

The first and the foremost thing is training in acting because if you are a good and convincing actor, you have already won half the battle. So training is must. Keep training and keep learning new things because you never know what will be needed when. Youngsters nowadays want everything right away; they don’t have patience and this industry is all about patience. In school, we all learnt slow and steady wins the race but in real life we forget about it. So only one piece of advice for everyone, consistency and persistence are the only things which will help you achieve whatever you want. It might take time but if you are at it, it will come to you. I did my first film in 2017 and it took me two years to get my second film.

One thing that you would like to change about how Bollywood functions?

I think Bollywood has changed over the period of time due to casting directors, because of them it is very easy to access big production houses, be it for films or web shows. If you are good in your work, you will be noticed and you will be accepted. So, I would not like to change anything per se, but thank casting directors for working so hard and helping newcomers.

Do you regret missing out on any project?

Honestly, after my film Machine I went and auditioned for everything, whether it was an advertisement audition or a web series audition. I am thankful today that I was not selected for either because I was not channelizing my energies in the right direction and I was being quite desperate for work. Fortunately, I did not get something which would have jeopardized my career. We always got to think of running a marathon and not a 100-meter race. So, no regrets but thankful for those rejections.

Have you ever been replaced after signing a project?

No, I have not been and I hope I don’t ever get replaced in future as well. I am a very understanding and hard-working actor and I understand the work directors and producers put in to helm the project. In short, I am a director and producer’s actor with no hang ups no demands, very easy going.


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