Mirzapur actor Ashok Beniwal has opened up about his struggles in showbiz.
The actor took a break from showbiz for a few years after going through something traumatic in his personal life. However, looking for work after his break was equally hard.
“After 2012, there were casting directors, before that we would take up work using our personal contacts. So, I was left behind when I joined back as people who were with these agents were getting work. No one was auditioning and I was facing a big problem,” he said.
The actor shared that he was going through a major financial turmoil in his life.
“There was a lot of expenditure and no earnings. I started training and got some help. G Ravi Kumar ji (filmmaker) started his film ‘Rose Garden’ and I thought things would work fine after that,” he said.
To be able to earn his livelihood, Ashok started training budding actors as part of a programme. “This training which I had started was my only hope to earn. I knew acting and that was what helped. It was very tough financially for five years. I had a plot and when that got sold, it became a little easier. But now things are coming in control slowly,” he said.
Of course, there were some people who really helped him along the way.
“Roop Datta (filmmaker) supported me as much as he could. G Ravi Kumar and I were friends and he took me as the main villain in his film. Besides this, Ajit Verma ji, who was a new director at that time and I shared a good bond. He gave me a role in one of his films. When he saw that I was a senior actor, he gave me a lot of respect on his set. That is so rare in the industry. The character wasn’t very powerful but it required work. In his next project also, he gave me a prominent role. I also got work from Bhaven Trivedi in his film ‘Roll no 56’. But the film got shelved,” he said.
Ashok feels that he was not taken in projects purposely by some people in the industry. “I was avoided, this is how I felt. Some casting directors told me that people want a new face. But everyone else was getting work. How was it possible that in five years I was not able to get even one role? I tried everything. I used to meet casting directors again and again. I would keep mailing my pictures. I tried like a newbie. I used to stand in line to give my introduction,” he said.
“I got a role in ‘Mirzapur’. Although it was not big, it was prominent and I am so grateful,” said the actor, who has featured in movies such as “Hate Story 2” and “Shaapit”.