Pradeep Pattanayak

The very mention of 'Lotiya Pathan' rings a bell in the ears of Bollywood film aficionados of the 1980-90s.

Who can forget the rustic bearded Pathan hounding Munna aka Mahesh Deshmukh in the dinghy lanes of Dharavi in blockbuster 'Tezaab'. The lead antagonist, Lotiya Pathan, in the Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit starrer 1988 film, was Kiran Kumar, son of veteran actor Jeevan (Omkar Nath Dhar). 

Kiran, an FTII alumnus, had made his debut in Bollywood with ‘Do Boond Pani’ in 1971.  The journey continues. The versatile actor is still the best in giving justice to all types of roles. 

Kiran, who was in Cuttack on Sunday for a film shoot, expressed his desire to act in an Odia movie during a tete-a-tete with OTV reporter Prabhat Bisoi. 

Here is the excerpt:

Prabhat Bisoi: You made your entry into Bollywood as a nayak (hero) and did some films as a hero as well. Afterwards, you were seen portraying khalnayak (villain) roles. Why was the transition?

Kiran Kumar: I did some 250-300 films playing nayak roles. And most of them worked too. Apart from playing khalnayak, I also did some character roles. I always make it a point to be part of the game, to be part of the film industry. Tomorrow, if I don’t have work in my hand, I would become a spot boy, or a light man. My purpose of the life is to be active in the film industry till my last breath. I am thankful to my audience who shower their love and affection on me and accept me in all the roles I have played. A khalnayak in a film is as important as a nayak. A khalnayak is not an ordinary person. He is a powerful person. All, including the hero, fear him till the climax. Then only he is beaten up by the hero. Khalnayak character is an indispensible part of a film. It is because of them, the heroes get prominence. 

Prabhat Bisoi: Have you taken inspiration from your father?

Kiran Kumar: Every child’s inspiration is his father. I have learnt a lot from my father. My father has a world record to his name for playing ‘Narad Muni’ role in 61 films. There is none except him in the world to have played a single character in as many as 61 different films. I am very proud of my father and his achievements. My son Shaurya Kumar is also making a debut and you will soon see him on silver screen. I wish he should also come to Odisha to shoot a film and you take his interview. 

Prabhat Bisoi: If you are asked to pick up the best character among all that you have played so far, which one will you pick?  

Kiran Kumar: Lotiya Pathan. It was such a character that became synonymous with Kiran Kumar. People started referring me as Lotiya Pathan as it happened with Amjad Bhai (Gabbar Singh) and Amrish Uncle (Mogambo). Lotiya Pathan tag is still with me despite my best efforts to get rid of it. 

Prabhat Bisoi: If you get an offer to work in Ollywood, will you accept it? 

Kiran Kumar: Definitely, why not? But it depends on the kind of role. Look, in a film, it is not the language which plays an important role, but the character. What type of character you are playing in a film matters a lot. So if the offer is to portray a good character, I will definitely do it.