KATHMANDU, April 10: Back in his schooldays, Praveen Khatiwada took part in almost every school play. He loved acting so much that he would listen to plays aired by Radio Nepal and enact those amongst friends and family.
After completing school and in his Intermediate levels, he joined the science stream which took from him the one thing he loved the most: acting.
He says that due to the rigorous study routine, he had no time to spare for acting. Then one day he decided to drop the subject altogether and majored in journalism which was comparatively less time demanding. A local of Morang, he came to Kathmandu for his college education and joined Gurukul, too.
It’s been eight years since his association with Gurukul where he is considered among the finest actors. His acting career took a positive turn after “Loot” where he not only played Mane, the bad guy but was also the casting director of the movie. We catch up with him for a chat.
How did “Loot” happen?
I was at Gurukul when the makers of Loot had come to meet Saugat dai. (Saugat Malla, Haku Kale in Loot). While Nischal, the director of Loot, was discussing the script, he asked me to help out and I thought why not.
After reading the script, I found it extremely interesting and began to think of how I could help. Nischal suggested that being a part of Gurukul I knew a lot of actors and could decide on who could portray the characters in the film.
And just like that, I was the casting director of the film. I was really excited about it because all the while I was reading the script, I had actually pictured people in it. My role in the film, however, was decided by Nischal himself.
Do you observe any changes in the film industry after Loot?
Yes, definitely, and the good thing is that the changes are all positive. The Nepali film industry people have finally begun to pay more attention to the story and script of films. In fact, there are workshops before the actual shoot begins where the actors and all others involved share their ideas and work on it. There used to be this monopoly of the makers on how the film should be, which no longer exists.
What are you busy with at the moment?
Right now, I’m reading a lot of scripts. It’s interesting that that the scripts these days are actually meaningful. For now, out of whatever I was offered I’ve decided on doing three films.
One should begin quite soon and the other two are scheduled to release before the coming Dashain. Talking about the kind of roles I’ll be doing, I would say a bit of everything. I have a negative character in one film the other has me as a positive guy, and the role I’m most excited about is one in which I have Saugat dai as my best friend.
What’s the current situation of Gurukul?
Well, we’re still packing and it’s going to take us a few more days. The owners of the place have given us a few more days, thankfully. There’s no concrete plan yet but tentatively it should take us a year and half to set up the new building. Only then will we be able to stage plays. But I would like to assure everyone that Gurukul will never die.