Didn't Anticipate Chitvan's "Baba" To Catch On: In Conversation With TVF's Amol Parashar

The engineer-turned-actor talks about his web series, films and approach to acting.

amol parashar, chitvan, soham, the viral fever, tvf, tripling, bisht please, traffic, mamas boys, disco 82, rocket singh, web series, actor, IIT

The Viral Fever has introduced millenial audiences craving for fresh entertainment to many talented actors. One such actor, who has inspired a cult of his own, is Amol Parashar, who is currently winning hearts as Soham in Bisht, Please!. Be it his current role, his portrayal of the devil-may-care DJ Chitvan in TVF Tripling, the hapless Arjun in the short film Mama's Boys, or Rajeev in Traffic the engineer-turned-actor has made his mark, and promises to offer more quality entertainment in the time to come.

In conversation with this talented actor:

1. Moving to showbiz from engineering, what was your struggle? How did your family react to this switch?

There have been lean periods in terms of work, but I have never really looked at it as conventional ‘struggle’. Struggle is a state of mind – and since I hadn’t really come to Mumbai with any set ambitions, I was never frustrated or disappointed. You feel disappointed when you have expectations. Therefore, I feel disappointed more now than I used to in my early days, because now I have certain expectations from myself.
My family was strong and gracious enough to let me do what I wanted to do, in spite of me burdening them with unnecessary worries with this decision. At the end of the day, parents want their kids to be happy and satisfied. It must have been difficult for them, but they tried to not let that bother me, and I am grateful to them for that.

2. When did you decide to take up acting?

Strictly technically, I would say around 2-3 years back. Yes, I have been acting ‘full-time’ longer than that, but it was only a little later that I started to think about ‘acting’ in a professional manner. Before that I felt like I was ‘on holiday’ and was still exploring possibilities. Slowly, my belief in my own abilities grew, and so did my acting ambitions. The holiday is over now.

3. What is it about Soham (from Bisht, Please!) that made you say yes?

Nidhi and Biswapati had told me that there was a character in Bisht, Please! that they wanted me to play which they thought I would do justice to. I heard the script, and loved it. I remember laughing a lot during the narrations. I don’t know whether I did justice or not finally, but I didn’t want to miss out on being a part of it or miss out on working with the two of them. Also, the idea of all of us hanging around cracking jokes on the set was too tempting.

4. Soham and Chitvan are rather similar- nonchalant, and cool. Are you specifically drawn to characters of this kind?

The two characters are similar in the function they have in the scheme of things but they are different personalities individually. That being said, I don’t think I have a soft spot towards a certain kind of parts. In fact, I like to experiment with my choices, sometimes too much for my own good. I have already done a variety of characters on stage and in films. In case of Soham and Chitvan, I guess these fun characters have been drawn to me.

5. Was it difficult for you to get into the skin of Soham?

Not at all. In fact, playing Soham and being on the sets of Bisht, Please! has been one of my breeziest experiences as an actor. I like to make myself comfortable on my sets, but on this set I was more comfortable than anywhere. I was more at home than I was at home.
Biswapati, being the writer and the director of the show, had a very clear picture of Soham in his head. So I had pretty much gotten into the skin during the readings and workshops themselves. What was difficult was to keep getting in and out of it, since I was simultaneously shooting for the film as well. On some days, I was jumping from one set to another, so I had to make sure I was a different person during the day and a different character during the nights. It was challenging, but quite an adrenaline rush as well.  On some days, I would wake up from a mini nap and not remember which set I was on.

6. Whose idea was "Baba, you are beautiful!"?

Strangely enough, this line was not in the script. During workshops, Sumeet and I were trying to improvise a small scene between the two of us in the car. At one point during the scene, Sumeet suggested that I turn to him and say “Baba...! You are beautiful”. Everybody loved it and found it funny in the context. I loved it a little too much and told Sumeet that I want to use this line in a couple of other places as I felt it defined the relationship between the two brothers in an endearing and quirky manner. Still, we had not anticipated that this line will become as definitive of the show as it eventually did.

7. How was your experience working in Traffic?

Traffic was a long shoot spread over a few months. It was a difficult shoot to coordinate because there were so many different actors and locations and it got quite hectic at times. I was a little overwhelmed in the beginning, because there were so many senior and gorgeously talented actors all around. But I was pampered a lot by my director Late Rajesh Pillai and my co-actors Manoj Bajpayee and Parambrata Chatterjee – which made the whole process so much easier for me.

8. Which medium do you prefer- theatre, TV, cinema or the web?

I have done a lot of theatre, I have done a lot of TV ads, I have done a couple of films and now recently a couple of web series. I have thoroughly enjoyed all these mediums and I am still juggling between all of them. I would like to keep it this way, because this keeps me on my toes as an actor and helps me keep in touch with different aspects of my craft.

9. Acting as a career doesn’t have consistency, you have to struggle a lot and prove yourself every single day. Did you at a certain point of time have second thoughts about pursuing acting?

That thought hasn’t come yet. And now after all this time, I think it is too late for the thought of quitting to come. I feel too much at home with acting.

10. What kind of a person are you off-screen? Seriously involved in practising your dialogues or having fun on the sets?

I believe that an actor should come as prepared as he/she can on the set, so there is less reason to worry on the spot. Shoots can tend to be haphazard and erratic at times, and I wouldn’t want to add extra stress on myself by having to learn my lines or plan my moves right there. Also, that stress tends to transfer to the people around you. Therefore, I do my work at home and keep it light on the set.

11. What other projects are you working on?

I have recently finished shooting for a film called Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai. In the film, I am acting alongside Swara Bhaskar, my Tripling Baba Sumeet Vyas, and long-time friend Naveen Kasturia and the film is directed by Gaurav Sinha. It is a fun film about young people and their relationship problems.
I am also going to soon finish shooting another film called Disco 82. The film is directed by Karan Darra and is a gritty film based on underground parties.

The Reacho team wishes Amol all the best for his future ventures!

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Anagha Wankhede (WRITER)

Potterhead, gourmand, culture junkie, INTJ. Aspires to be Lady Olenna Tyrell. Dreams of getting paid for travelling, eating and watching TV series all day. Presently settled for writing about it.