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Bollywood Couch in conversation with Bijou Thaangjam – his journey straight from Manipur to Bollywood

Bollywood Couch in conversation with Bijou Thaangjam

Name: Bijou Thaangjam
Age: 34 years old
From: Manipur
Base at: Mumbai
Occupation: Actor, Art Director and Entrepreneur.

Filmography:
-Mary Kom
-Shivaay
-Jagga Jasoos
-Vodka Diaries
-III Smoking Barrels
-Penalty
-Swaahaa
-The Test Case
-Typewriter
-Kark Rogue
-Flesh

Bijou Thaangjam is the CEO and Founder of Thangjam Family & Co. And Madhabi Handmade Natural Soap being the first brand under their umbrella.

1.Please share us your journey from Manipur to Mumbai

– I was always the dramebaaz kid in the family. I loved everything about arts and music. After my school, I moved to Bangalore for my higher studies which happen to ignite the actor in me. It was in my 2nd year that I decided to take up performing arts seriously. Later moved to Pune, got enrolled myself in workshops and gave myself wholly to theaters and street plays. Eventually, around the end of 2012, I moved to Mumbai for good.

2.Being a Gold medalist in Biotechnology, what inspired you to try your luck in acting?

– Science is something you can only learn from an institution or an educational center. But Art is inborn. You just need to know yourself better to bring out the artist in you. I was always inclined into art and music. But I also love the idea of studying science. It was a tough call but eventually a play that I watched when I was in 2nd year, that changed me. I was born to become an artist. And now, here I am.

3.How did you feel sharing the screen with Priyanka Chopra in your 1st Bollywood break?

Please share your experience.

Mary kom was my first film and sharing a workspace and screen with a global star like a priyanka chopra was surreal and overwhelming. I got to learn many things from her. No matter how big a star you could be, but to stay grounded, humble and be like a kid, eager to learn new things.

Priyanka Chopra is not just a person but an institution. I was lucky I could be part of Mary kom which was a great learning experience for me which helps me who I am now.

4.Please share your success story behind appearing in 80-90 OTT & TV commercials?

– I love TVCs and anything about OTT. It’s always a great experience and a fun one shooting for TVC. I have been doing many commercials. But it’s not an easy ride to get cast in TVC. You have to undergo a layer of auditions. Maybe you get shortlisted 1 in 20 auditions you give. It’s tough.

Besides TVCs, OTT projects are a new kind of experience. And the process is more or less similar to the film production.

5.Is there any difference in preparing for auditions of OTT commercials & TV commercials? Anything specific you would like to share to our aspiring actors.

– It’s the same kind. Either it be Digital Commercials and TVCs, the same process of auditions that you have to go through.

What I can say is, just listen to what the casting director has to say. Follow the brief and try to execute that in a time frame of 30secs to 40 secs. That’s it.

6. How do you make yourself ready for your onscreen character?

– I read, re-read and read again the script 3 or more times to understand back stories, underlying means and the overall concept. Once I am through with the script, I try to make a behavioral sketch of the character and to understand more of it and see if I could find any reference point of view, either a fictional character, death or living. And observe them.

7. Is there any specific patterns or methods you follow to prepare for different characters?
– Answer 6

8. You have also earned fame in Masterchef 2 by being in the top 50 among 5lakh applicants. So please share us your story that how did you come to Masterchef?

– It was an ‘accidental incident’ that took me to Master chef India. One of the party crasher on my housewarming party happened to be a casting director for Master chef India, and he loved the food which I cooked that night. Without my consent, he applied my name for MCI and the rest is history.

9. Do you have any plans to open any restaurants in the near future?

– I don’t have any plans to open a restaurants, but I do have something to do with food banks. Where you can store left over food so that we can feed people who are out on street.

10. While the world was mourning due to Pandemic & lock-down, what inspired you to start your own venture “Madhavi hand made natural soaps”?

– The flora and fauna of my hometown has always been my inspiration. But it was my grandmother who gave the idea of how the local herbs and medicinal plants could be infused to make things like soaps, shampoo and others. I listened to her stories of growing up, all those beauty hacks when she was younger. This gave an idea for me to start my own brand of handmade natural soap. Also this helps me to provide jobs and employment ro the local women and artisans.

11. So you are Biotechnologist, Actor, Chef & an Entrepreneur..WOW!! How do you balance so many roles along with your personal life?

– Just enjoy the process. If you are enjoying and having fun with the work you doing, you never have any issues.

12. What are your future plans?

– I don’t know, I am too busy living my life in present that I totally blank to even think beyond today.

13. Any msg for our audience

– Just be cool, be yourself, love yourself and yes, always remember to wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Stay safe, stay blessed and do great things which could inspire others

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