The million dollar mark

The Odisha-born actor on his journey in Hollywood and Bollywood and his new movie set in a remote UP village

Published: 28th January 2017 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2017 01:56 PM   |  A+A-


Odisha-born actor Pitobash believes education can change rural India. In his new film T for Taj Mahal, directed by Kireet Khurana, he ‘educates’ villagers of Uttar Pradesh in a unique way.

The film carries a social message while being entertaining. “It’s about a village where everybody is uneducated, and how three of them from three age groups spread awareness about education and educate people with a unique idea,” says the Shor in the City actor.

The script for T for Taj Mahal was written in NFDC Screenwriter’s Lab for the Toronto International Film Festival and has been mentored by filmmakers such as Oscar-winning producer Cedomir Kolar. It also stars Bidita Bag, Manoj Pahwa and Subrat Dutta.

Pitobash says while shooting for the movie, demonetisation made him borrow money from his driver and spot boys. “In the middle of our shoot, demonetisation was announced. We were shooting in interior Uttar Pradesh in a village called Karari in Kaushambi district. We did not have the time to stand outside ATMs for hours because we were shooting the entire day. For our daily expenses, we had to borrow money from our drivers and spot boys. They needed the money most at that time, but they were generous enough to lend,” says Pitobash, who was last seen in the Hollywood movie Million Dollar Arm.

He has just concluded shooting for the American sitcom series Metropark, set in New Jersey. The story is about an Indian-American family in the US. “It is a situational comedy about life of the family and cultural clash,” he says. The series also has Ranvir Shorey, Omy Vaidya, Purbi Joshi and Vega Tamotia.

Hollywood has been treating him well. “I have just begun my journey in Hollywood and Million Dollar Arm gave me my first international recognition,” says the actor, who will next be seen in the movie An Indian Tale, a French, Belgium and US co-production. “I am playing a parallel lead role along with Benoit Poelvoorde,” says Pitobash.

After starting his acting career in Krishna D K and Raj Nidimoru’s 99 in 2009, Pitobash is happy with his acting journey. “A good role and script are the most important factors. Last year I did not have any work. I didn’t sign any films because the scripts were not interesting. In 2017, I have one international movie, five Indian films and the sitcom series. Each project is different from each other,” says the actor, who is shooting in Afghanistan for a movie titled Habeieb, an Indo-Afghan co-production directed by Jennifer Alphonse.

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