How did you come on board for ‘Masaba Masaba 2’?
I came on board for ‘Masaba Masaba’ through an audition process. This was one of the many auditions my agency had sent my way. Luckily, I was selected for this one. Even after being selected, I went through another audition process because the OTT platform wasn’t sure about casting me because I kept shaving my head after shooting for ‘Taish’ because people loved that look on me after the film. So they were constantly making sure that I was growing my hair and that I was right for the role as well.
So it was after about 2-4 auditions that I finally got on board. A big thanks to Sonam Nair (writer) for that because she kept pushing for me and made sure I got the role as well.
Did you watch the first season before coming on board for the second? What were your thoughts on it?
I hadn’t watched the first season until the audition process started, primarily because I don’t watch much content. I am always on the move. I can’t really sit at home. When I finally watched it, I loved it. I remember calling Sonam after the third or fourth episode. I just expressed how much I loved it to her. I told her how excited I am to be a part of this project.
How was Masaba Gupta as a co-star?
Masaba Gupta is one of the best co-stars I have had a chance to work with. She is a very disciplined and caring co-star. Despite all the pressures, she made sure I was doing well, I was comfortable and I was happy. Even recently during the screening, we had so much going on and she still asked me if everything was okay with me and if I was doing well twice. I feel blessed that I got to work with her. She is a very down-to-earth and humble person.
The film also stars ace actress Neena Gupta. How was it working with her?
Neena Gupta is a legend. She is amazing. Anything that I say is less about her. She put us all at ease. Because of all the experience that she has as an artist, she was very calm and collected and her aura was so refreshing. If there is some panic going on, on the set, you just look at Neena ji and you will feel okay. She made us feel that whatever we were doing is worth it and that it is going to pay off.
You are known for your dapper personality and style. What are your thoughts on Masaba’s personal style?
I really enjoy Masaba’s personal style. She is quite unique with the way she puts things together for herself and other people. I quite enjoyed her ring actually. I think one of my favourite things about Masaba is her ring that says Masaba all around. I found it very cool. You can see it in the series.
I love the fact that she is quite simplistic. She is stylish, no doubt but it is very simple at the same time. I believe that simple things speak volumes. When it comes to fashion, you can go crazy and it is awesome if you are comfortable with that. However, Masaba has a very obvious elegance in the way she represents herself. I love the way she expresses herself through her style. That is what makes her an ace designer and an ace human being as well.
Apart from acting, you are also an avid music lover. Where does your love for both stem from?
I believe that my love for music and acting stems from my family, my roots and my background. My parents love music and films. They love going to watch movies and they listen to different kinds of music. Because of them, I have learnt to appreciate different kinds of films and music. I can’t live without them. I used to love entertaining my family as a child and that is because of the amount of music and films I was exposed to.
You have been a part of limited but impactful projects in your career so far. How do you look back at it?
I feel very lucky and blessed. It feels like the universe wanted my career to have a quality instead of quantity, if that makes sense. I have worked with some amazing artists such as Eminem, Macy Gray, Black Eyed Peas, Ashutosh Gowariker, Bijoy Nambiar and now ‘Kaala’ as well. I feel like I have had a very cool journey so far. It is quite humbling.
Were you a movie buff growing up? Who did you idolise?
I was definitely a movie buff growing up. The funny thing about me is that I might have watched a movie 10-20 times but I still watch it as though I am watching it for the first time. I just enjoy the process of experiencing a film and it is one of my favourite things to do. I do it rarely now because I am always on the move. When I have the chance to sit down and watch a movie, I am usually the one who is having the best time in the room. When Jurrasic World Dominion came out, I watched it like 3-4 times and everybody I watched it with the thought that I was watching it for the first time because of my reaction to the film. So I am definitely a movie buff.
I have idolized almost every artist I saw on screen but my first was definitely Shah Rukh Khan. Many of my family members in my house call me Shah Rukh Khan.
Ranveer Singh’s bold photoshoot has been receiving flak from many on social media. What are your thoughts about it?
I really enjoyed Ranveer Singh’s bold photoshoot. I felt that it exposed us to a different side of him and it was really cool. You have always seen Ranveer rocking the craziest styles and he has always got accessories on. He always has very bold clothing. To see him in just his own skin was quite beautiful actually. As always, he broke the internet!
There was a conversation that came up in ‘Masaba Masaba 2’ screening as well. I love that people are appreciating that photoshoot. It is very cool. I would encourage actors, models or whoever gets in front of the camera to be comfortable in their own skin. I think it is very important for any artist.
Being a celebrity, you are often judged and trolled on social media. How do you deal with them?
I have not been trolled much because I don’t have a crazy fan following yet. I feel like we are living in a society where there are humans and humans are unpredictable and extreme in their behaviour. We have seen that throughout history. You let people say what they want. At the end of the day, you are still going to do what you love and till the time you have the willpower to keep going in that direction, do it. People are always going to say something stupid. It is okay as long as you are focused and love what you are doing.
Name one Bollywood film you last watched that blew you away?
One of the latest films I watched that I hadn’t seen before was ‘Wake Up Sid!’ with my bro Danish Sood. He has actually been showing me a lot of Ranbir Kapoor movies lately. I fell in love with Ranbir when I saw ‘Wake Up Sid!’. It is a very beautiful film. It was a simple film but there were moments that blew me away. I love when filmmakers are able to express very simple situations or emotion and make it impactful. Life is like that. Things are not always crazy like Tom Cruise jumping out of a building. As entertaining as that may be, it is so cool to see something very simple become so impactful. I really loved and enjoyed that film.