#NewsBytesExclusive: 'Trial By Fire's made with sensitivity, says Ashish Vidyarthi
Randeep Jha-Prashant Nair's Trial By Fire has taken Netflix by storm within days of release. Based on the Uphaar Cinema Tragedy that debilitated Delhi in 1997, the series stands tall on the foundation of pulsating performances, a humane approach, and a gripping narrative. NewsBytes spoke to National Award-winning actor Ashish Vidyarthi about his role in the series, OTT's importance in his career, and more.
Vidyarthi lauded the directors for their sensitive, humane approach
While speaking about his gray shade character Neeraj Suri, the veteran says, "It was a brilliantly written script with multilayered, multifaceted aspects, and each character has its own personal angst. All the layering was present in the written material." Accrediting the director duo, he says, "They have handled the show with the utmost sensitivity" and "we were just living those moments on the sets."
Discussion with directors, rapport amongst the team aided Vidyarthi's process
Sharing his experiences, he adds, "I'm getting the kind of roles where I can do things a little uniquely, and I immensely enjoyed the process." "We used to discuss our scenes and the rapport amongst the team helped us massively." Vidyarthi—who has already worked with showrunner Nair in Tryst With Destiny—says about Jha, "I loved working with Randeep. He is an extremely sensitive director."
Vidyarthi particularly showered praises on Rajshri Deshpande's phenomenal performance
Lauding each actor and crew member's efforts, Vidyarthi particularly emphasizes the performance of lead actor Rajshri Deshpande, who plays the fiercely resolute Neelam Krishnamoorthy. "Rajshri's extraordinary performance is one of the finest performances I have seen in years. It's been a complete honor being around such good actors." He also adds that "TBF has cast actors differently than the roles they are known for."
The 'Badal' actor believes OTT has opened pathway of opportunities
Expressing gratitude toward OTT, he says, "Thank you OTT for giving actors, directors, writers, technicians multiple opportunities." "Pre-OTT, perhaps they were just waiting for an actor like me to die," chortles Vidyarthi. "When you're good, your goodness can only be seen in the amazing roles that you're offered. However, if I am offered any conventional, orthodox roles on OTT, I turn them down, too."
How did he smash typecasting? Here's what he said
In a career spanning over three decades, Vidyarthi has worked in 11 languages—an exceptional achievement second to none. Majority of these were antagonist roles, with Vidyarthi becoming filmmakers' first choice to personify evil on screen. "To fight this typecasting, you start saying no to the same roles, even though people love to see us in the way they have last seen us," he clarifies.
Did you know how many times he died onscreen?
Vidyarthi—who has achieved the feat of working in over 240 films—starred as a villain in multiple flicks such as Bichhoo and Vaastav. Resultantly, he has a bizarre distinction attached to his name—he has died over 180 times on screen. Chuckling over this trivia, he says, "I am sure the trivia is true. I am the true born again. Mar mar ke jeeta hoon!
The 'Aligarh' actor found a new life online
Underlining the importance of social media, vlogging, and his motivational speeches, he observes, "I came alive, I was born again due to social media." "Capturing people and posting them on social media has allowed me to explore the multifaceted possibilities that I have. Actors can do more than the roles they are typically known for; they aren't a mold and can take many forms."
Vidyarthi has multiple interesting projects awaiting release!
The Droh Kaal actor also touches upon the diverse range of roles he has been taking up lately, such as his extended cameo in Goodbye, his recent series Aar Ya Paar and Half Pants Full Pants, and his special appearance in Kuttey. Touching upon his upcoming projects—Vishal Bhardwaj's Khufiya and Karan Anshuman-Suparn Verma's Rana Naidu—he teases that there's "lots of interesting work coming up."
The veteran actor praised the series' scriptwriting, production design
"At 57, I am hungry, and I am on fire!" Thanking the audience for the acclaim pouring in for TBF, he notes that the series has "not been presented in a voyeuristic way, and it has not been sensationalized." "World-class scriptwriting, direction, production design, and cinematography has defined TBF." "It's an ode to great work put in by some extraordinary people," he concludes.