Tall, gora and strikingly handsome — this man is making thousands of movie-goers swoon over him post the release of his first Hindi film. Meet Mish Boyko, who played the endearing Oleksander aka Sikander in the recent blockbuster Queen. In a tête-a-tête with us, the British actor gets candid about his tryst with Bollywood, acting journey and more.
“I was born and raised in Nottingham, England. I’m named after my father’s father who was Ukrainian,” says Mish of his background and unique name. So, when did the acting bug bite him? “I kind of fell into it. I needed an extra subject in college and it was between acting and biology. Acting won — I got so much out of it that when I finished my studies, I went to drama school,” says the actor, who studied at the Birmingham School of Acting. Mish left drama school in 2010 and since then, he’s done several feature films and also had a role in a popular British TV series called Waterloo Road.
Sharing with us the story of his rendezvous with Bollywood, Mish says, “My agent put me up for the part (of Oleksander) — I was called back after the initial auditions and met with Vikas (Bahl). He offered me the part the same day.”
Did he expect Queen to receive such a phenomenal response? “I think when we were filming we knew we had something special but personally, no, I don’t think I was expecting the reaction it has received! It’s an incredible feeling though — knowing so many people have enjoyed your work.”
Post Queen, Mish’s popularity has shot up rapidly and he’s garnering a huge fan following among Indian movie buffs. Ask him how he’s dealing with all the attention, especially from the girls and he says, “Yeah it’s all a little crazy on there! I’ve had a few marriage proposals too! I’m so thankful for all of their kind words and praise. Their support has been overwhelming.”
For Mish, working with Kangana Ranaut and Vikas Bahl was a great experience. “Vikas is a director who will listen to every idea you have. So as an actor, he was a great man to work with because of the creative freedom he allows you. Kangana was excellent — very easy to work with which made a big difference as most of our scenes were improvised.”
He admits that he knew very little about Bollywood before Queen happened. He adds, “Since Queen, I’ve kept in touch with a few of the people from the film so I know about some of the newer films coming out. I’m still in touch with the boys, Jeff, Guitobh and Marco and I speak with Kangana when we both get time. It’s definitely an industry on the rise, globally.” And yes, he did learn a bit of Hindi when working on the film. “Thora sa! I did try,” he says.
The actor’s overnight success and fame has obviously made his family ecstatic. “They’re all really happy the film is doing so well. They’re the most supportive people I know. My dad spends a lot of time in Mumbai for work and went to see the film whilst there — he really enjoyed it.”
Mish too spent some time in Mumbai during the shoot. “Everybody was so friendly and went out of the way to make sure I had everything I needed. It took a while to adjust to the weather though. But I’d love to come back to India. Goa and Kerala are both on my must-visit list.”
As an artiste, he’s quite busy with his work, but when he does find some time to unwind, he really enjoys reading and cooking. “I’m a pretty good cook. I’ll cook anything really — I make a decent chilli! I’m also a massive football fan — big Arsenal supporter.”
As for his acting projects, Mish has a film titled Writer’s Room in his kitty. “It will be out soon. It’s by a very talented director called Gabriel Henrique Gonzalez. It’s a comedy based around the making of a movie and the lives of the characters. I play an actor who’s just shot to stardom but is crumbling under the constant media attention,” he reveals. And there’s a bit of good news for all you fan girls out there. Ask Mish if will act in more Bollywood films if he were offered any roles and he goes, “I never say never.”...