Your short film ‘Ghuspaith’ is getting a lot of appreciation ever since it released on October 6 on Jio Cinemas. What made you be a part of it?
I did this just for the love of art and to support a young director, Mihir Lath. When I met him, I just loved his enthusiasm and how prepared he was. And of course, the subject was pretty thrilling. This is when I was filming for season 3 of ‘Breathe’, which anyway takes everything from me. And this was during the phase, when the second COVID wave was around.The schedules were changing every fortnight. So, I had to cancel twice with Mihir. I told him, ‘Look this is your first film and my schedules are changing and I don’t want to mess your work and schedule. So you go ahead with someone else’. But he just kept saying, ‘No, I will make it with you only.’ At that point, I just felt responsible. You know, I also felt obliged and responsible for him. I had to do this.
Is a short film creatively satisfying after you’ve done feature films and web-shows?
I did this to support short films. You don’t do it for a fee or something. You do it for the love of this craft or people. So, I did it for the script and I did it for Mihir and I’m happy he’s made a good film. You know, I hope people like this film. I hope this can be a good showreel for him which gets him the kind of work he wants to do. And to be honest, I want to really compliment Jio for giving everyone this platform. I feel short films, indie films, festival films, independent films, I think they need a support system. Moreover, you don’t do movies or things to showcase your talent. I mean, your talent is showcased, but after a point, in your career, you do movies or you do tell stories because as an actor, it’s your job. Our job is not to showcase our talent. Our job is to make better films. And of course, as you grow in your career, the stakes go higher, your responsibility goes higher. I’m the same how I was 10 years back. I believe in people. So, you know, one hand, I wanted to support Mihir because I loved his enthusiasm and his passion. And the other thing was the story, and we dedicated this to Danish Siddiqui, who was a photographer journalist for an international portal but he was an Indian, and from New Delhi. So, it was definitely fulfilling and there are some beautiful scenes in the film.
While you’ve really grown in your career from television to movies and now web-shows, you also continue to remain quite elusive in your personal life…
Thank you for noticing this. To be honest, I’ve not created this. There’s one thing which I’ve been able to do, is remain honest with myself. When you’re honest with yourself, you’re honest with everything. I’m very comfortable. I’m very happy. I’m at peace with life. For me, that’s the biggest gift or achievement because I’ve been very troubled when I was younger. A lot of people have a big role in making me reach that stage – friends, colleagues, media, fans, people, work. But I’ve done a lot of work on myself to remain simple. To keep life simple. Uncomplicate yourself. Uncomplex myself. I think I’ve achieved that. I’m just happy in life about that.
You also recently returned from a biking trip. Does this connect with nature and the real world also help you as an actor?
Everything you do off-life, every breath, every thought, every blink of your eye makes you who you are and where you are. Whether it is movies, on the set, off the cassette. I think what contributes to me being able to remain happy and be able to touch people or communicate better or form a bond with people, is because of my connection with humanity; it’s because of my connection with nature. I feel once you start connecting with nature, the humanity component in you increases. And once you have both humanity and nature in you, that’s when actually your life starts.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have another season of ‘Duranga‘ coming. I’m going to shock my fans and people. I’m playing the anti-hero, and it’s the first time doing so. Otherwise, mostly I’m always playing the protector and the saviour. So I’ve come out of my comfort zone and I’ve tried something and I’m very excited to share it with the people. That is going to release in October. And then I have a couple of movies that are ready and I’m not a cameo in them. I’m a full-fledged character. So everything is ready. And next few months, things will come out.