ONE would expect Pasha Bocarie to be pleased when a fan tells him that his character in the iconic soap Emmerdale was a “good role model”.
Little did they know there is much more than meets the eye as the soap star – who plays composed village lawyer Rakesh Kotecha – starts to reveal a much darker side.
“I’ve had Asian people coming up to me saying they love the representation of Rakesh and how he is a positive role model. “At the end of a day, he is a character and someone everybody has to be able to be interested in.
He’s not a role model,” Bocarie told EE. “You have to have shades of light and darkness in your character, otherwise it gets boring.
“There are so many characters in the soap and if you are not interesting or not doing a good job, you are not going to be talked about.”
The London-born actor’s first major breakthrough role was when he was cast as Amar in Ae Fond Kiss, directed by acclaimed director Ken Loach. On TV, he has starred in prime-time dramas Babylon, Casualty, Spooks, Silent Witness and Law & Order.
Bocarie joined Emmerdale a year ago and recently signed a twelve month extension. He was introduced as part of an arranged marriage storyline for Priya Sharma (played by Fiona Wade). Her brother Jai (Chris Bisson) is not happy with arrival of his “old business associate”.
“The mystery about him (Rakesh) is intriguing because we just don’t know how far he can go,”said Bocarie.
“Being in Emmerdale has been phenomenal, but very challenging.
“If I’m honest it’s one of the hardest things you can do as an actor in terms of acting, because you work very long hours, you’re very busy, and you have to be on your top game all the time.
“It’s been a real challenge to establish the character, to be good enough for the writers to write more for you, and to move your way up in the show. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.”
Bocarie caught the acting bug during his student years when he bagged a role as a pilot in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
“I had a love for acting, but never really pursued it. Then one day I found out that George Lucas was filming Phantom Menace, and I was a huge fan of the franchise. I just wanted to be part of it and I got in as a pilot.
“Once I got on the set, I got the bug there and I just wanted more. I wanted to give it (acting) a serious shot.”
He studied drama at Westminster College in London, where he obtained a diploma in dramatic art and also studied at the Ivana Chubbuck and Margie Haber studios in Los Angeles.
Bocarie said being in the US “opened up” his eyes to a lot of things.
“I got retrained almost and looked at my acting from another perspective. I studied with some great people and I also did a lot of great projects which moved me along as a actor.”