How do you assess yourself as an actor?
My motive is to bring authenticity and do justice to every character I portray. Secondly, I have always picked up projects I believe in; doing a film like ‘Thappad’ was a huge blessing and opportunity to tell a story that means a lot to me. As you grow in your career, you become a little bit more conscious of what kind of work you are doing and what kind of messages it’s sending, wherever you can.
How do you choose scripts?
When people talk about boundaries, they talk about restricting themselves from doing certain things. But I have no such inhibitions. As long as I believe in the project, I’m sure my role will be able to create an impact. There are projects which often send out the wrong message — that’s where I draw the line. There have been instances where I desperately wanted to do something or take up a particular role, but then the project/film didn’t work well. I feel I was saved by the universe.
What has been your biggest takeaway from your time in showbiz?
‘Suno sabki, karo apni’ (Listen to everyone, but do what you want). In the beginning, a lot of people used to come and tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. Especially in this industry, people try to restrict you from doing certain projects/films. I have only one motto — becoming a stronger actor every year, and so far I think I have a long way to go. But I feel like what I was as Arjun in ‘Four More Shots Please!’ and what I was as Krish in ‘Taish’ worked. I feel stronger and smarter now.
After ‘Four More Shots Please!’, you received a lot of attention for your looks. Did that take away the praise you deserved for your performance as an actor?
I would like to think arrogantly, that it’s not just my looks and that maybe that my craft and my acting had something to do with it. When you do a rom-com people are bound to fall in love with your charm, because of the way you present yourself. But right after the series, I got to explore myself in various other projects too, which in turn allowed people to believe that I am a good actor too.
You followed it up with ‘Taish’, ‘Made In Heaven’, ‘Thappad’…
I think I just got lucky (chuckles). People get typecast very easily here, but when you are a versatile actor, and especially during the auditions, one gets to figure that out. The directors and producers are then willing to take a chance on you.
Are you happy with how things are shaping up for you in the industry?
It’s wonderful! I always knew that I was capable of creating a space for myself in the Hindi film industry. With time, I feel really blessed. I get to explore and experiment more. The only reason why I came to his profession was that I really wanted to be a fine actor. My journey so far has been rich and divine. To this end, there are still a thousand miles to go. There’s a lot to grow as an artist, so I’m excited about that.