How did you land the role for ‘College Romance 3’?
I was in London and had no plans to come to India but that’s when I got a call to audition for this show. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the show, it’s been running for two years now and the previous seasons have done well. The new script had evolved from the past seasons and it was interested for me to see how my character was going to fit into the scheme of things.
Is it challenging to make a mark when you’re a new entrant in a franchise that already has popular characters from the previous two seasons?
It’s challenging to be accepted as a new character when all these characters have been doing so well over the years. But the way the part was written was intriguing for me and my character injects this new energy into the show. I was skeptical about how it will be perceived but people are coming up to me and telling me I’ve done justice to the new character.
Does working in the ‘slice-of-life’ genre allow you to find relatability with your character and keep your performance natural?
It does have its own challenge. What I like to do is find a certain nuance and make it as convincing as possible. Speaking of slice-of-life characters, the stakes aren’t high in general, but to find nuances in them is more difficult. Going extreme is easy for me, but to find the nitty-gritty of an everyday character is difficult. In this case, since my character came from an army background, it was difficult for him to make friends and fit in. How he fits in and how to manifest that feeling into the character is what I worked on.
Do you think OTT has proven to be a boon for new-age actors, writers and directors?
I’m on-board with the whole OTT trend because it’s opened up so many opportunities. It has expanded the scope of things for everyone. It raises the bar because there was only theater and television before. Earlier people would give their life to just get their foot in the door but now OTT has raised the bar and the other mediums are being challenged. It gives you that freedom to do a lot more collaborative things. So, it’s a great blessing to be an actor right now with these opportunities.
What’s on your wish list next? What is the kind of work that would satisfy you?
Doing a college romance was always on my checklist. My next show, ‘CAT’ which will stream on Netflix, has a thought-provoking story. The world needs more stories that are thought-provoking. I think everything is political in our country but people shouldn’t shy away from making stuff that challenges the status quo. I think free speech and all of those things are important and should be given that kind of importance. I would want to be a part of brave stories.
Tell us about your journey and things about yourself that fans would want to know.
I come from Panipat, my father is a doctor and he’s never asked me to be a doctor. I started acting when I was in college at Delhi University. I never thought I’d make a career out of it. I enjoyed it so much. You need to enjoy the work you do. People should know I love watching films, I love to cook. I’m a closet writer, too. That side of me isn’t out there because I try to not put it out there but I enjoy a good laugh. When people will meet me they would remember me for the awkward jokes I make.
Tell us more about ‘Sam Bahadur’.
It’s a small part but not a very small part. I’m there in the film but I’m not allowed to give more details on it. I’m yet to start shooting for my role.
Which filmmakers would you like to collaborate with?
I’ve been a big fan of Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. I like Gauri Shinde’s work as well. If stars align, I’d love to work with them.