How was it working with Imtiaz Ali and the cast of Dr. Arora?
Isn’t it every actors dream to work with Imtiaz Ali? It was mine for sure. He is such a genuine and humble person that it becomes easy for young actors like me to be comfortable around him. He is so knowledgeable yet grounded, so profound yet simple. I could just go on. He understands actors. He is very sensitive towards them and it is this quality of his that makes him approachable. The way he facilitated our workshops was an actor’s delight. There was so much to learn from the way he guided us that it was like a priceless acting course in itself.
With Kumud Sir, I have had a long relation as we have worked together on a number of plays. Infact, when I had come to Mumbai and wanted to join theatre, he was the first person I had interacted with in a rehearsal room and now here I was shooting with him. It was like a full circle coming back after more than a decade for me. I was full of gratitude and he would be sipping his black coffee (he loves black coffee btw). Great thing about him is that even though he has tons of experience and he is a phenomenal actor, he treats you as an equal and makes you comfortable around him. He is one of those actors jinke saath scene kar ke aapki acting behtar ho jaatee hai.
Working with Sandeepa was fun, we had built good camaraderie during our workshops and our scenes went like makkhan. Even with intimate scenes, we were very comfortable around each other. She is a natural actor and a thorough professional when it comes to work.
You have been receiving so much love for your role in Ghar Waapsi, how does it feel?
I am truly ecstatic with the kind of response I am getting. As an actor you work hard and hope that you are able to perform to your full potential, and that your work gets noticed and that is what is happening to me with Ghar Waapsi. Plus, the mention I received by Film Companion on the Best Performances of July 2022 alongside Faahad Fasil, Sai Pallavi, Sanjay Dutt and Rajat Kapoor was not an icing, but supreme icing on the cake! I am full of gratitude.
Apart from the story what drove you to say yes to Ghar Waapsi and Dr. Arora ?
I fell in love with both the characters the moment I read the scripts. It was challenging but I took the challenge head-on. Honestly, I had been waiting to get an opportunity of this sort where I could showcase my skills in front of the camera. Also, the timing was great because it came at a point in my career when I was ready for it. SP TOMAR required a lot of work to be done on body language. I have changed the way I walk for SP TOMAR. For Darshan, I haven’t put on a mask to become the character, what I tried to do was to reveal who I was deep down and blend that in with the character. I believe more in the ‘process’ than the ‘result’ and learning the Indori dialect was extremely exciting and I knew I could do it because of my past learnings from performances as a Daastaango, from my work in theatre and as a voiceover artist.
What kind of response are you getting from Social Media?
I am receiving so much praise, love and affection from people all over the country that it is humbling. Every day I wake up to heartfelt messages from people young and old telling me how much they loved Darshan and that they wish they had a friend like Darshan in their lives. I think that is my biggest success as an actor that the character I played has made a place in audience’s hearts.
How have your family and friends responded after watching the both the shows?
They were extremely happy. They have seen the hard work that I have put in and the determination and faith I had in myself all along the journey. When you strive to become an actor, it is not just you who is swimming against the tide, your family, friends, all of them share the highs and lows of your journey (especially family) so when you achieve something it feels to them as if they have achieved the same in their lives.
You had dubbed for a character in Meme Boyz, that too released on the same day. How long have you been dubbing as a voice over artist and what challenges do you face?
I started dubbing in 2014. Back then I did it to earn a few extra bucks as theatre wouldn’t pay. Little did I know that this art will help me so much in the future. Dubbing taught me how I could use my voice to its full potential. Be it rate of speech, pitching, tonality, dialects. Today I can vary my voice at will and it is helping me in my acting. Being a voice over artist comes with its own challenges. You have to learn the art of sync dubbing, be unique and be fast in the studio. You also should know how to take care of your voice and not overuse it. I am glad I getting to work simultaneously as a voice artist in prestigious projects.
Can you describe what influenced you to pursue a career as an artist?
I think I am an artist at heart. Even when I was a child stories used to attract me. I loved, music, history, languages, culture. In fact back in school I was a no-body. I found my identity when I started performing on the school stage. That gave me confidence and that has built my personality. The other credit goes to Prithvi Theatre. The day I saw my first play at Prithvi I knew I wanted to be on that stage and in-fact theatre is where I have honed my skills be it as an actor, singer or playwright
What do you feel is more important for an actor ? Talent or training ?
Both are equally important and its the balance between the two that makes you a holistic artist. If I have to choose between the two I feel training is more important than talent. Persistent training with a right approach can make up for the lack of talent.
What are your future projects?
There are 2 projects in the pipeline. One that I have already shot for, and the other will commence shooting in August. I am excited for both these projects as the characters I am playing in them are completely different from my previous works. Infact, in one of them I am playing a Bengali and in the other a Bhojpuri. I am working on learning these new accents and am glad my past work in theatre is helping me immensely today. Apart from this, I am researching towards writing a play that I want to perform as an hour long solo act on stage. It is going to be a huge challenge and I am scared yet excited for the same. Fingers crossed.