‘There’s no formula of choosing projects’
Lalit has had two theatrical releases after the COVID-19 restrictions were eased – Zombivli and Medium Spicy – and in both, his characters were contrasting. The same is true with his other films and the actor shares that he doesn’t want to repeat himself. He shares, “I don’t have a formula of choosing projects. The effort is always to challenge my limits and do roles that are different, while working with a team that helps me learn, unlearn and create something new. In fact, even when it comes to cinema, there’s no formula anymore. Global exposure has led to a shift in showbiz and storytelling. As an industry, it has become imperative to rely only on originality and relevance while making a film or series today. You can’t just say that we are doing this for the first time in our industry. If someone else has already done it and people have watched that, there’s nothing new you are offering the audience.”
Lalit’s recent Marathi film, Medium Spicy, won hearts but didn’t fare well commercially. Ask him what he prioritises more – love from the audience or box office success – and he replies, “Medium Spicy was a niche film and I loved being a part of it. Yes, commercially, it didn’t do as well as we expected it to, but in the ‘new normal’ everyone is still trying to understand what might work and what may not. It’s all a calculated gamble right now. Personally, I feel there should be a balance between your passion and commercial success. One can’t be prioritised over the other. That said, my choice of projects is impulsive. While saying yes to the right project is important, it’s equally important to say no at the right time.”
‘Took a conscious break after Julun Yeti Reshimgathi’
Lalit became a household name for the Marathi audience with the serial Julun Yeti Reshimgathi. However, as is the case with many actors on the small screen, Lalit was on the verge of being stereotyped. So, he took a break. “After the show went off air, I took a break for a year and did nothing. It was a conscious decision to break away from that ‘Chocolate boy’ image that had formed. I rejected a lot of offers during that year but finally, when Paresh Mokashi’s Chi Va Chi Sau Ka came my way, I said yes to it,” he says. While the film marked his big screen debut and a turning point in his career, Lalit says that he calls every project of his a turning point. “I like to confuse and surprise people with my performances. I want to reach a point where people are confident that I can pull off any role with ease. So it’s a constant effort in that direction, be it with Anandi Gopal, Smile Please, Zombivli, Medium Spicy, or my upcoming films Sunny and Tarri,” he shares.
‘Would love to go back on stage’
Having dabbled in theatre and TV before his big screen outings, Lalit says he wouldn’t mind going back to these two mediums. “If it’s an interesting project on TV that doesn’t require a lot of my time, I would definitely do it. As for theatre, I have wanted to go back on stage for a while now. I was looking at a few scripts too, but nothing materialised. But next year I am definitely doing something in the theatre space. If not as an actor, as a director for sure,” says the actor, who is also gearing up to make his Hindi film debut soon. “I am not allowed to divulge much right now, but yes, I am doing a Hindi film,” he says.