A stellar vault of talent, faith, and confidence!
What may look unconventional to some end up producing spectacular results, creating a whole new path for success. Pratik Gandhi, a Gujarati boy next door, had no clue that his school would be a launchpad for his career. While most educational institutes focus on academics, Prateek’s school, Pravruti Vidyalaya, concentrated on a child’s all-round development. When in fourth grade, he climbed up the stage for theatre and set his root for a lifetime! But his story proves that there is no single definition or method to struggle our way into the creative field.
Despite being an exceptional actor, Pratik weighed life’s necessities and studied for a degree in engineering. While that paved the way for a career and regular income, he left a large part of his heart in acting. He balanced two of his passions, acting in theatres and a consultant engineer in a corporate for eight years. Alongside this, he also worked as a freelance anchor for a better financial hold to survive in an expensive city like Mumbai. But he knew that one day the industry would welcome him with applauds.
Pratik saved up over two-hundred leaves in the confidence that he would use them when he signed a film. Call it the law of attraction or destiny, but his faith won all odds. In the year 2012, he bagged his first Gujarati movie, Bey Yaar, which became a super hit! Interestingly, Pratik shot the film in twenty-two days and went back to work soon after. The process remained the same even for his second film, Wrong Side Raju, which deservingly won the National Award for the Best Gujarati Film in 2016.
There comes a time in our lives when we stand before two equally appealing choices, and we have to pick one. Pratik faced the dilemma of choosing between promoting as the Additional Vice President of a corporate and taking up acting as a full-time career. Fans, the film industry, and the nation are thankful that he took a leap of faith and chose his creative side. From then to now, we saw Pratik’s stellar performance in ten Gujarati and two Bollywood films.
A creative field has a mysterious way of working. Even though artists work and leave a mark, there comes that one epoch-making role that changes the person’s fate and existence in the industry. In 2018, director Hansal Mehta offered Pratik Gandhi yet another career-lifting script. It has been two years since, and in 2020, we saw the man play the lead in Scam 1992, a SONY Liv’s hit series!
In Scam 1992, Pratik plays the role of Harshad Mehta, a character he enjoyed playing. “When I received the first narration of the script, the character’s description and craft blew my mind. As an actor, I was extremely excited to perform something like this,” he recollects. But such a character requires massive preparation and dedication.
Pratik gained eighteen kilograms to play the role. He had to eat everything placed before him to become healthier and look similar to the real Harshad. It was also challenging for him to approach the role neutrally since a lot of controversies surround the man in question. But Pratik’s creative side attracts towards characters that comprise of complex human emotions. The tremendous response from nation-over confirms that he didn’t just ace the part but also won numerous hearts.
Being an opportunity that opened a hundred doors for Pratik, he made sure he gave his best. After all, he sacrificed a settled job to grant his talent a real chance. Be it researching about Harshad Mehta, understanding the stock world, meeting people in the investment business, or understanding the technicalities of such transactions, he knocked on every door to perfect himself before the shoot. “I wanted my dialogues to seem believable. If I don’t understand what I am doing or saying, how can I convince the lakhs of people watching me on screen?”
Nonetheless, Pratik agrees that being Gujarati helped connect with Harshad’s thought process. Since the reel and real Harshad have similar cultural backgrounds, it became smoother for Pratik to identify with the character’s entrepreneurial dream. The dialogues, jokes, behavior, and mannerisms came to him more naturally than he expected.
Fifteen years of yearning to find a mainstream role came to Pratik Gandhi in a way that he hadn’t imagined. But it was in his hands to convert the opportunity into something that would prove his worth as an artist. The overwhelming response to this biopic feels surreal to him. Colleagues and co-stars in the Gujarati film industry praised Pratik’s performance like family. “I am completely overwhelmed by the response,” accepts a cheerful Pratik. “Finally, I can see myself as a mainstream actor who can pull off protagonist roles.”
Rightfully so, Scam 1992 is only the beginning for this vault of talent.