by ASJAD NAZIR
ONE of the most popular and best-reviewed Indian web serials of 2020 has been Hotstar crime drama Aarya.
The cast includes talented actor Ankur Bhatia, who takes on the role of the younger brother of the title character played by Sushmita Sen. His unpredictable character, Sangram Singh, is torn between family and building up an illegal empire by any means necessary.
Eastern Eye caught up with Ankur Bhatia to talk about Aarya, his future plans and inspirations.
How does Aarya compare to the other work you have done?
My last two projects before Aarya were Haseena Parkar and Sarbjit, which were biopics. They were real people, whereas Sangram (in Aarya) is one I built from scratch with the directors. He can be seen as negative and his business is illegal, but we treated him as someone who is doing it for his family. He is multi-layered, so I took a lot of different characteristics from people I’ve met and built them into Sangram.
What was it like starring alongside Sushmita Sen?
It was amazing. We play siblings with conflicts, so there had to be a certain level of bonding and we developed that before shooting with workshops. It included getting to know more about each other. She is a gem and it didn’t feel at all that she wasn’t my sister during the entire shoot. It enhanced my abilities.
Which is your favourite moment in Aarya?
My favourite moment was the wedding sequence in the beginning. I was the last one to join the shoot and it was a 360-degree shot. So each of us had to do our bit and there wouldn’t be a cut in between. There were three cameras and it would come to you. I was so confused. I have never seen this kind of a shoot before, so I decided to just behave as if I was in an actual wedding. It was done for 25 minutes. I just enjoyed the moment. So that was special.
What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I really enjoy watching thrillers and action. Lately, I watched Paatal Lok and Breathe: Into The Shadows. Abhishek Bachchan is brilliant in that. I also watched Class Of 83 and Bobby Deol has done a great job in it.
What is your plan for when the lockdown is finally over?
I just feel like going back to work and facing the camera. It’s been a long time, so I want to resume shooting as soon as I can.
Do you have a dream role?
I really want to play an ultra villainous character, exactly opposite to how I am, like Amrish Puriji or Anupam Kher sir have done, with Mogambo (Mr India) and Doctor Dang (Karma), respectively.
I would also like to play the role of a cop. The uniform just gives a certain power to the character. I always get excited about watching a cop in shows and movies, so I really want to do that.
What inspires you?
A lot of people have inspired me at various junctures in my life. I read a lot about people and that has helped. And one of them is Shah Rukh Khan. I have read about his journey and experiences. I have taken certain things on board about how he balances his work life with family. Hrithik Roshan also really inspires me. The way he transforms and comes back from failures to conquer it all is inspiring. There are many more. Wherever you look, there is inspiration.
Finally, why should we tune into Aarya?
You should definitely watch Aarya because a brilliant creative team has made it. Sushmita Sen had made a comeback after some time and I think it’s one of her finest works. The show is about a woman taking charge. It’s thrilling and backed by wonderful performances from great actors. It has done so well since its release, so is definitely one show that you shouldn’t miss.