PRATEIK Babbar is just a four-film-old actor but he is hailed as one of the most promising newcomers to have recently arrived in the industry.
With acting in his genes, he breathes, eats and drinks cinema.
Prateik has a reputation for being as bright in his voice as he seems on screen, and this is apparent when I talk to him over the phone for a chat about his new film.
For a man who believes in free love, has been there and done that on the Goan beaches and has attended innumerable psychedelic gigs, if there's anyone who knows Goa and its inhabitants better, it's Prateik.
Well, that is exactly what I find out, and much more, of course, about his Goan delicacy this summer, Dum Maaro Dum, which is less than a month away from its release.
DEVANSH PATEL: They say you are one of the best we have. Do you think Dum Maaro Dum will unleash your acting prowess?
PRATEIK BABBAR: I don't know if Dum Maaro Dum will unleash my acting prowess but, yes, I have given my 110 per cent.
I don't think I am immensely talented but I do take my job seriously. I put in a lot of hard work in every film I do and hope it pays off at the end of the day.
DP: Goa is addictive. What were you addicted to?
PB: Goa is mystical. Everyone loves Goa. It's an addictive place and almost like a paradise on Earth. I love going to Goa and relishing the fish curry.
I've been off alcohol for a year now. As soon as I landed in Goa for the shoot of Dum Maaro Dum, I suffered from chicken pox, so I couldn't really eat oily food and indulge in beer.
DP: What's the most intriguing thing about this film?
PB: The most interesting part of any film is the script. Dum Maaro Dum's script was intriguing. The screenplay was really interesting. Dialogues were exciting. When you go to Goa, you feel and see that lifestyle and get addicted to it when you read your script.
DP: Was your character identifiable with the many individuals who come to Goa every year?
PB: I play a 17-year-old boy who is indecisive and my role is very relatable to any 17-year-old when he or she are indecisive at that age and gets carried away easily with anything and everything.
Temptations can sometimes be scary.
DP: How hooked on were you when it came to the music of Dum Maaro Dum?
PB: I love listening to music. I've been to a lot of psychedelic Goa gigs and it's a mad scene out there.
I believe in the concept of free love and it's the music that used to drive people crazy in Goa. I hear anything that touches my heart and soul.
I like rock 'n' roll, psychedelic stuff, a lot of new age stuff too. Medival Punditz are my friends. They have supplied the soundtrack for Dum Maaro Dum.
They are great. They are talented and their background score is something to look forward to. My favourite song from Dum Maaro Dum is Jiyein Kyun and Mit Jaaye Gham.
DP: What was your experience of working with Abhishek Bachchan and Rana Daggubati.
PB: I've shared screen space with Abhishek Bachchan and Rana Daggubati in Dum Maaro Dum.
Rana and I clicked the first day we met in Goa. We are similar age and our likes and dislikes were pretty much the same.
Abhishek is unbelievable. He was the life on the sets. When he came, the whole film lit up. Abhishek is entertaining on the sets and that's really important.
DP: Talk about the Chuk Master Sippy, your director, Rohan Sippy.
PB: (laughs) Yes, Abhishek calls him
'Chuk'. He got that name after he directed Bluffmaster. I loved Bluffmaster; It's an unbelievable film.
By far, Rohan is the quietest film maker I've ever come across. He isn't very vocal about his ideas. You never know what he's doing. He just surprises you. He is a genius, and is great to work with.
DP: You have this mad passion about acting. Are you happy and content? Is it so far so good?
PB: I'm a four-film-old actor. Acting is something I've always wanted to pursue as a career and I will keep on doing that for the rest of my life.
I am very passionate about it. I am enjoying every moment even though it can be a bit crazy, like working for long hours and sleepless nights. But that's the price one pays for being an actor.
It's not that I will only be doing off-beat, arthouse cinema or something serious. I will do anything and everything, whether it's a short film, commercial or non-commercial, as long as the content of it excites me.