You are known as one of TV’s biggest, most bankable stars. How has the journey been?
It’s been an incredible journey so far. I have been lucky with the kind of projects that have come my way. All of them have helped me explore different aspects of being an actor. However, I feel there is still a lot I want to do. I wish to expand myself more as an actor, try different shades of the characters I choose to do and be a part of more experimental projects.
As an actor, do you think the small screen is restrictive or is it up to the artist to make an impact, irrespective of the screen?
The medium should never restrict an actor. A story or a character flies and leaves an impact on the audience if it has a substance. Especially in today’s era, where content has actually established itself as the king, a conversation around a medium has no space. I will do a project if I believe in it, no matter where it airs — be it television, the OTT platform or the big screen.
What projects are you working on currently?
I am working on a couple of music videos currently. I have also wrapped the shooting for a soon-to-be-released film. I can not really reveal much of the details for now, and I am sure the audience will enjoy it.
How was your Bigg Boss experience?
Apart from enjoying the game, Bigg Boss was a therapeutic experience for me. It allowed me to introspect a lot about myself. I was shocked by the kind of things I understood about myself. It was a roller-coaster ride, but it was worth it by all means.
Were you, at any point, conscious of baring your life open and exposing it to criticism, by deciding to be a part of the Bigg Boss?
I was aware of what I was getting into when I said yes to the show. But I still wanted to give myself a chance of doing it. Also, I feel there is a flip of criticism, where the audience could actually love the way I am. I am glad that has happened where the viewers could understand and resonate with me. The only thing I was sceptical about was leaving my family behind. I am a family man, and it was a hard decision to stay away from them for long.
The film/TV industry can be a cruel place to be in. What keeps you going and not flinch even in the face of hardships?
Cruel may be a strong word to use, but yes, it is hard. It comes with many challenges. It may look glamorous from outside, but there is a lot it asks you to sacrifice. The only thing that keeps me going is facing the camera every day. The joy of acting is indescribable. I live for the moments between action and cut!
As an actor, what do you think is your biggest strength?
It has to be my ability to let go of all my inhibitions and be myself. As an actor, the challenge is to be free and explore yourself to understand the character better. The idea is to dive deep into your emotions and portray the same on screen, basis the character’s demand.
With OTT channels promising more for actors, with a range of characters/situations, would you say this is a great time to be an actor in India?
It has allowed the makers to experiment more because now we have an audience for all types of content. It has also opened so many avenues for young talent to diversify and explore. Indeed, it is a great time to be an actor or be a part of any creative field — direction, editing, or writing.
How did you keep your sanity during the lockdown, and a grim future?
It was a challenging time for everyone. I was lucky enough to be with my family. It made me understand the value of having loved ones around. It also made me appreciate small things that hold utmost importance in your life that you often tend to forget in the hustle of achieving big. I could keep calm and wait for a brighter future only because of my family.
Would you say your acting career has panned out the way you wanted it to?
I have had great opportunities as an actor over the years and played some of the most interesting characters on screen. I would not have wanted my journey to look any different. But, like I said earlier, I still have a long way to go. I would love to experiment more, create more exciting projects, and have fun with roles.
Your idea of a perfect man: Someone who is chivalrous
What makes a perfect companion: Someone who can hold hand at the best and worst situation
One relationshiprule you follow: Being there, always
One trait in your personality not many know of: I am shy
What’s your style staple: Keep it simple and classic
What’s on top of your bucket list: Experiment more
What attracts you to a woman: Simplicity and maturity
Mountains or beaches: Anywhere with family and friends
A piece of advice to the world: Be yourself and not let the world rule you
Living out of a suitcase or chilling at home: Chilling at home
One role you’d accept without any hesitation: Any as long as it challenges me
Style team: Pulak Sharma; Assisted by: Archita Elwadhi
Make-up: Manglesh Ghadge; Hair: Elvis Naaz