OTT’s favorite actor, who has had as many as six releases on the OTT in less than a year, is not a real follower of the technology-vocabulary and certainly doesn’t love the jargon associated with the platform. “Products, content, etc., I don’t believe these new terminologies fit into my thinking pattern. I am just blessed to be associated with cinema and be able to tell stories to the audience, make them happy, make them sit with the family and smile. For me, that is the challenge,” says Amit.
Finding his mark in cinema
Wanting to make his mark in cinema after his stints in television, he went on to join a film school in the US. “I was 30 years old, not really a youngster, when I went to the film school in the US. I had already done TV. But I was very lost. I knew the work that I was doing was not good. The way I talked, reacted, etc., wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be a good actor. As an actor you have to continue learning. I was just an empty vessel. But I met great acting coaches in the film school,” says Amit.
His rather pure perspective and honesty to being an actor is so endearing that when he tells you he doesn’t want to make money to even buy a house, it makes you wonder why he is in films even.
“I am worried that I’d be burdened by material things and then end up doing bad films,” he explains. “I have strong views and have backed out of projects telling people that I have wasted their time. People have brought movies saying there is this big heroine in the film opposite me or that there is such a big producer who will back the film. If a movie does not work, it is okay. I am just glad I have the conviction to stick to what I believe in and that the stories I am doing are uplifting for the youth, bringing them some motivation,” he says.
Diversities of uniformity
Amit has become the poster boy for characters in uniform. Most of his roles — Kabir Sawant of Breathe into the Shadows, Major Deep Singh Sengar of Jeet Ki Zid, Gurbaksh Dhillon of Raag Desh, Major Vidhieep Singh alias Mike Tango of Avrodh, SP Abhinav Mathur of Operation Parindey — are that of a police officer.
“I don’t know,” he says with a distant look in his eyes, clearly thinking of the coincidence. “I guess I am just lucky that these filmmakers, studio heads, etc., have given me such roles. I’ll be very self-struck if I were to say that I am a great actor because I am not. The only credit I can take is that I work very hard (on the roles I do) and give it my all. For instance, after Kai Po Che, I felt that I was such a great actor and yet wondered why no one was offering me work. Everything comes to you gradually,” he says.
The actor tells us how reading stories about real people also helped him build his characters for the films. “For the character of Gurbux Dhillon in Raag Desh, Tigmanshu Dhulia (Tishu) had given me Dhillon’s autobiography to read, and the story moved me. Even when I did Gold in 2018, it was moving because I was playing a hockey player,” says Amit, whose dad, Ram Chandra Dogra, was a very good national hockey player.
Making money his way
Of late, with half a dozen of his releases in public domain, Amit also seems to have found a larger fan base. “I have been lucky that the releases all came together. I cannot take credit for it. I am just very grateful. These stories and web series — they came out and did the work,” he adds.