To use the word outspoken to describe Prakash Raj may be an understatement. The actor clearly does not mince his words, whether it’s on Twitter or offline. Hence, it was quite expected that an interview with him began with him talking about his new show and ended with a discussion on the mafia in entertainment. Also read: Prakash Raj is ‘honoured’ on being called ‘male version of Swara Bhasker’ on Twitter for supporting Shah Rukh Khan
Prakash will be next seen in Zee5’s spy thriller Mukhbir, as a savvy intelligence officer. Talking about what drew him to the role, he shares, “We are talking about an untold story from the 1960s when I wasn’t even born. Today, in 2022, if I am safe in this country, an unsung hero must have been somewhere responsible for it. Are we ever aware of it? There are so many things that run a nation. It is never one person, or one ideology, or one party, or one leader. Every person is a patriot and every person is relevant and their contributions are varied. That appealed to me.”
Ever since the show’s trailer dropped, many have compared Mukhbir to Raazi. Both are stories of Indian spies embedded in Pakistan and are supposedly based on real events. When asked if he is worried about any comparisons, the veteran actor says, “I don’t think so. When it comes to Mukhbir, it is not talking about two countries. The backdrop, the structure, the skeleton is that but is when that man questions his existence and identity. I don’t think it’s similar. It’s a new way of looking at things, with a differently-sensitised script. I don’t think there will be parallels.”
When he says sensitised, Prakash means the story does not ‘bash the neighbour’ in its approach to patriotism. He believes this approach is necessary because people are tired of the loud approach that he believes was being shoved down people’s throats. He explains, “In the recent past also, we have been seeing many series or stories that are very slice of life. People are tired of the cacophony. And with the pandemic, people are connecting to more content. And when you see the fakeness is dying and the mafia is not able to convert, while there is a fair play for talent and content, it feels good. The content is becoming the king. To come out of this cacophony, this sort of effort matters.”
Mafia is an interesting choice of word in a discussion about cinema and the craft. Prakash admits that he ‘keeps using it every now and then’. But he has a good reason to term certain people in the industry that. “Cinema is a language, the most recent human language. It was like a river and it flowed but people stopped it. They put conditions on it that you should show it only in theatres and began thinking writing was only about two-and-a-half hour stories. Everybody had been stopping things like you can’t release it on TV first etc. But once the pandemic stopped this mafia, people had to go and this content came out,” says the actor.
The proliferation of the web space has opened doors for the actor, he says, admitting that he now does not have to do ‘certain kinds of films’ that he took on for money. He shares, “That’s the beauty of this medium. Earlier, I had to do certain loud films. I had to do it because there is a certain set of audience for that. My stardom is because of that. But now I don’t have to worry about it because the number of audience is more now.”
Mukhbir also stars Zain Khan Durrani and Adil Hussain along with an ensemble cast. Directed by Shivam Nair and Jayprad Desai, the series will premiere on Zee5 from November 11. The actor has a number of films lined up, including Varisu, Kabzaa, and Shaakuntalam.