Prashantt Guptha is a unique character on the Bollywood stage. Born of Indian-American parents, he grew up in New York City, but decided to return to his motherland to make his acting dreams a reality as a young adult, against the odds, with zero contacts in Mumbai. Many Indian kids grow up wanting to be a Bollywood actor one day; Prashantt actually went for it.
I had a chance to meet him in 2012 at Sun ‘N Sand in Juhu Beach for a highly entertaining and free-wheeling chat about his experiences and about Bollywood in general. One of the themes of that interview was the challenges that Prashantt had to overcome as a young actor paying his dues. Since that time, his career has been on a successful upward trajectory worthy of an update for all of you film buffs out there.
As a New Yorker, I was pretty excited to meet Prashaant Kumar, an up-and-coming Bollywood actor who was entirely raised in the New York metro area. Prashaant was born in Booth Memorial Hospital of Flushing, Queens and lived in locales such as Forest Hills and Manhasset on Long Island while growing up. Prashaant decided to leave the United States behind for good four and a half years ago to try and make it in Mumbai’s legendary film industry. His previous role was in India’s first-ever creature-based horror film called Kaalo released in 2010, about an evil old desert-witch. The 29 year old Kumar’s next film called Issaq will be out in July.
This man’s personal story arc intrigued me for several reasons. How and why would an Indian-American actor- who was getting some acting experience Stateside, who had family and friends there- head to India to find his destiny? How does an American adjust to the pollution, traffic, chaos and craziness that is Mumbai, or the dramatic ins and outs of Bollywood life and its infamously dark side, with no contacts in the industry? My goal for this face-to-face interview was to find out these things. Read the rest of this entry