1. How has the response been from the audience towards your character in ‘What The Folks’?
Well, Anita gets a marriage proposal almost every day on Instagram. I think I have to remind them that she’s not real, and I’m not her. But jokes apart, the response has been absolutely overwhelming. I still find it hard to believe how positively affected people have been with it the past few years. People actually tell me about how the show had saved them from a really rough time in their lives, or fixed their relationships with their partner or their family. I can’t say I ever expected that.
2. How close/far are you from your reel characters Anita & Nikhil?
Well, Anita is strictly no-nonsense, and I’m all about the nonsense. The makers did allow me the freedom to put a lot of myself into the character. For example, she’s oddly funny and pretty sarcastic, which I don’t think was part of the original plan but she just evolved that way. I do like that she always stands up for herself, but personally, I’ve got to learn a little bit more about confrontation from her.
3. Tell us more about S3 and what different can the audience expect?
Well, the last episode dropped on 2nd November so we’ve explored a good mix of comedy and light drama before, so I’d say Season 3 is like a simmering pot, where everything comes to a head. There’s a lot of conversation, and some isolation amongst the characters whereas before they were always together.
4. Share your experience working with Renuka Shahane –
Oh God, I can’t even tell you how much I love her. She’s one of the most intelligent actors I’ve worked with. She questions every scene, but always performs instinctively. Also, she’s really nothing like ‘Bhabhi’ which was a huge relief to me.
5. Share one of your most memorable scene / moment from the last two seasons?
“No, Anita. This is home. You and Me.” For me, that was the most memorable moment when Nikhil and Anita on the balcony, at the end of Season 2. We actually improvised that entire conversation at 4 am, just before the shot, and it was so real and genuine. I think that kind of simplicity is hard to come across in real life.
6.You play a millennial couple on the show, is there any learning that has stayed with you from a marriage perspective?
I’m guessing marriage is probably a lot harder than what we see on the show but if I had any perspective from it I’d say that the two of them are friends, or family to each other before they’re lovers. Maybe that kind of ease and unconditional attitude would make it easier to be married.
7. This season touches upon some new topics like the empty nest syndrome, life after divorce etc; how important is it for filmmakers to bring it out to the audience?
I think the show has always touched on such topics that are typically taboo, but it deals with them in a pretty gentle and palatable way. As a country, we tend to shy away from talking about anything that gets uncomfortable, so the fact that it opened these conversations without slap people across the face with them made it easy for the audience to ask themselves those questions.
8. Share your experience working with Dice Media
It’s family. It’s actually the one shoot that never feels like work to me. Also, the makers always gave me freedom to create the character the way I wanted to while still challenging the choices, and as an actor you can’t really ask for more.