“I am blessed, honored and call myself lucky to be Sundeepji’s first choice,” says Akash Hora, the talented new comer whose Jo Jo Laali is being released by Quantum, an American Distribution agency and it is now also in the prestigious American Film Market at Santa Monica, California. Over coffee, mithais and lots of cracker sounds in the background, Akash Hora takes us on a journey from Bareilly to Hollywood, and from modeling to a film on AIDS that’s the talk of the town.
Films & TV: Your Jo Jo Laali is making a lot of waves. Can you throw more light on the film and your character.
Akash Hora: Jo Jo Laali has been the first film to be released by Quantum, an American Distribution agency and it is now also in the prestigious American Film Market at Santa Monica, California. Just recently it was screened at the National Aids Conference in Hyderabad and it has already made its premiere in Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore and my home town Barielly too. Very soon it will be screened in Delhi, Chennai and Goa too. In the film I play a photographer who falls in love with a classical dancer, played by Kalpana Pandit. It’s an innocent character that suddenly goes for a total change. And that’s the interesting plot in the film. The film has got good reviews and I am happy that everyone has appreciated the film.
Films & TV: From a small town boy to making it to the arc lights and to the American Film Market. How does it feel to be cheered for your talent?
Akash: It is a dream come true. I had never thought that from Barielly my journey would go to Bollywood and to Hollywood. I feel on the top of the world and also happy that as Priyanka Chopra made it from Barielly, even I did achieve a bit and looking forward for more to come. I can never forget my first autograph that I signed recently in Bangalore during the premiere, when one viewer who had not even watched the film and didn’t know me, came to me and asked for my autograph. That was my first way to stardom.
Films & TV: How was your experience working on this movie and especially with your heroine cum producer Kalpana Pandit.
Akash: I had watched Kalpana Pandit’s song from Moksh and also some of her songs in youtube before I met her. I was a bit tensed and nervous as I had to work with an established actress who has done several films, and happy too, that I got a good break. As a producer, she is so perfect as she made all arrangements to see that the entire shoot goes smoothly without any trouble or disturbance. As my heroine, she is wonderful. I had to do a erotic scene in the film and she made it so easy for me, as she told me to forget everything and perform as it is real. And my comfort level became easy. And after which, we had to do several other scenes and the romantic scenes which looks very natural on screen, that everyone is complementing.
Films & TV: Did you always aspire to be a model and actor? What all have you done till now?
Akash: I would lie, if I say that I wasn’t looking for a career for Bollywood. Well, who would not want to be with the arc lights? I have done ramp shows in my college, local advertisements and taken training in dance, as I have cold feet. But, now I can manage to dance well. I have done two films till date - Woh 5 Din and Jo Jo Laali
Films & TV: “Woh Paanch Din” was also directed by Sundeep Malani. Are you the first choice of Sundeep when it comes to roles? What’s your equation with your director?
Akash: I am blessed, honored and call myself lucky to be Sundeepji’s first choice. But, I don’t think he would consider me for all the films. It’s just that if I suit the role, I am in the project and I value and respect that. As he won’t be comfortable having me in a role that he won’t suit me and vice versa. I played a flirtious character in Woh 5 Din that had a comic touch to my role. And in Jo Jo Laali my character was of an innocent lover. So, Sundeepji has balanced both my characters for me to give dimensions to my roles. He is my elder brother and I don’t think I need to explain the equation between two brothers.
Films & TV: From modelling to acting, how did the transition take place?
Akash: I had done modelling in Barielly for college events. My friend Piush Anand had done events and also had shot an advertisement for a local brand. I was a part of it, and when he was making an entry to films with Woh 5 Din, he got me in and that’s how the transition took place.
Films & TV: It seems you are also doing some Bollywood projects. Can you highlight on the same?
Akash: My next film with Sundeepji will be taking off in February. This is a total transformation of the characters that I have played. But I am sorry as I am not supposed to reveal anything about the film. It would be better if it comes from the director himself.
Films & TV: What are your future plans?
Akash: My future plans are to do more and more films and when I have a big brother around, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Woh 5 Din is scheduled to release by the year end. Hoping for a bright 2011.
We wished him all the best and took his leave....