Ankur Bhatia who began his career as an actuary in financial companies, wrote a few serious scripts and acted in films, is now making his Bollywood debut with the remake of the 1973 action film, Zanjeer.
Role in Zanjeer
In the film, I play the right-hand man of villain played by Prakash Raj. I believe Zanjeer is a perfect start to my career in India. I am very much satisfied playing a character like Bosco in my first Bollywood film. I have done a few films before but action was new to me.
In Zanjeer, I got a chance to work with industry veterans like Sanjay Dutt and the overall experience was amazing.
On playing a baddie
I believe in my acting skills and am not scared of trying different roles. I want audience to appreciate my work. I am not worried about being typecast into an action hero or villain. I am open to all kind of roles. I have already got an offer for a Telugu film.
I always wanted to act
I belong to Bhopal in MP. Like most of the students I also thought that computer engineering will secure my future. So, I studied computer engineering in Indore then moved to the US to pursue Master’s in Mathematics and Finance from the University of Connecticut. I worked as an Actuary (Finance, Risk and Probability) for Mellon Bank, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Deloitte and Mercer for seven years. But, my heart was always with acting. So, I did a Diploma in Acting from New York Film Academy.
Acting in New York
I played a role in ‘Grant St. Shaving Co.’ which was directed by Payal Sethi and produced by Mira Nair. The film was selected in over 10 film festivals worldwide, including Cannes Film Festival Short film ‘Corner in France’ and ‘River to River’ - the Florence Indian Film Festival in Italy. It won the best film awards in ‘River to River’, Small Film Festival and London and Mexico International Film Festival, California. In 2012, I won the Best Actor Award at the NYU Film Festival in New York for the movie Coconut Grove, for my role of waiter in the film.
On script writing
I came up with the story ‘Coming home’ from my personal experiences while living in New York. I had written the film for myself but got caught up with other acting assignments and could not star in it. Eventually, I sold it. Now, Anil Kapoor is going to make a film on my script. I don’t know if he has started working on the project but I am sure he will do justice to it.
I will be seen in another Telugu film Dilunoodu, which stars Puri Jagannadh’s brother Sairam Shankar. The film is directed by Jaya Ravindra and is produced by Soudamini Creations. I am playing the role of lead villain. I have also completed shooting Shiva Bajpai’s Hollywood film. I play lead in this film which is inspired by Galleon Group Scandal involving South Asian bankers and consultants in New York. It also stars Poorna Jagannathan of Delhi Belly fame. I have just begun but I am enjoying and want to work in the films irrespective of the language.
Zanjeer is slated to release on September 6.