New Delhi: Adarsh Gourav’s stunning performance as Balram Halwai in ‘The White Tiger’ has given him his much-needed recognition in the film industry. In the film, Adarsh uses his street smart and cunning tricks to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Adarsh essays the role of a gritty but poor low caste village boy who frees himself from the clutches of societal norms and unlearns servitude that has been imbibed in him since birth. Since Adarsh had to portray the role of a villager, a lot of preparation went behind the actor for him to ace the role convincingly. To get into the skin of his character, Balram, he worked at a food stall in Delhi at a daily wage of ₹100.
In a recent chat organized by The Museum of Modern Art, the actor talked about his never forgetting experience while working at a food stall in Delhi. He said “I was basically cleaning plates and sweeping the floor. I got paid ₹100 a day. I worked there for two weeks, 12 hours a day, and it was incredible, eye-opening and the hardest thing I have done in my life. There were moments when I would suddenly snap out of it, like, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’”. He further added “I would be in the middle of cleaning a plate using less soap because if I would use too much soap, he would get pissed, saying, ‘You can’t use so much soap in a day.’ And I would be like, ‘What am I doing here?’ Because there would be a big bandicoot running next to me, from an open sewer, and then I would be like, ‘This is exactly what Balram felt when he was in the village because he knew his real potential was a lot more than being just confined to the boundaries of a village, and he wanted to get out of that rooster coop, as Adiga calls it.’ I just wanted to experience that feeling of anonymity, insignificance and I stuck around for two weeks, till we started our script-reading sessions,”
Earlier this month, Adarsh earned a BAFTA nomination in the best leading actor category for his performance in The White Tiger. The film, an adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s novel of the same name, marks his first lead role.
Talking about Adarsh’s professional career, he is known for his work as the antagonist in the Sridevi movie ‘Mom.’ Adarsh started acting since he was 14 in short films and documentaries like Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Clean Shaven’ with Radhika Apte. He got his first Bollywood break with the Manoj Bajpayee starter ‘Rukh.’ After working in ‘Leila’ in 2018, Adarsh was out of work for a couple of months before bagging a lead role in ‘The White Tiger.’