“Unless you reach a particular level, there will always be a struggle to get good work. I have played a few roles that I am proud of but even today, I do not get a wide variety of roles to choose from. I come from a middle class family and did not have to go through days when I slept with an empty stomach on a stomach. My parents supported me initially but after 2-3 years they asked me how long I will continue struggling like this. That was the time when the thought going for an alternative career came to my mind for a fleeting second but the love for acting never let me go that way. I cannot imagine myself being anything but an actor.”
Like most actors who come to Mumbai every day to try their luck in Bollywood, he too came to the city of dreams to become a Hindi film hero. “I got offered quite a few roles when I started out in Mumbai but I kept rejecting them. My eyes were on films and I was determined to become a ‘hero’. But time was flying by and I did not get the kind of opportunity I was looking for. So, reluctantly I started doing television. I have to admit it gave me a lot of love and recognition and helped me find my feet in the industry.”
Thakur has been a part of some of the most prominent Hindi films in the recent times like ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, Special 26’, ‘Brothers’, ‘Madaari’ and ‘Gabbar Is Back’, among others. He has also played pivotal roles in popular television shows like ‘Dharam Veer’, ‘Dehleez’, ‘Prithviraj Chauhan’, ‘Crime Patrol’ and ‘Beintehaa’.
When asked about the kind of role he would like to play in the future, he says, “Considering my age and personality, I would like to do play the kind of roles Amrish Puri played. If you ask me to pick a single character, it would be Mogambo from Mr. India.”
On a parting note, he adds, “We are a small industry. I think it is really important for us to support each other. In the last twenty years, most of the people who came to Mumbai to become actors met me and have had tea with me. I have always helped other actors and there have been times when I have sacrificed a role so that the other person could do it. In return, I have got tremendous goodwill from the industry.”