HE MAY be one of the biggest TV stars of his generation, but that hasn’t stopped Vivian Dsena from being super selective about work he takes on.
That desire to concentrate on quality over quantity has turned the actor into a small-screen icon and why his return with new serial Sirf Tum was welcomed by audiences globally. The romantic drama is based on 2019 Bollywood blockbuster Kabir Singh, which itself was a remake of 2017 Telugu film Arjun Reddy. He went through intensive preparation for the role of a hot-headed doctor and is very much enjoying bringing the challenging character to life.
Eastern Eye caught up with the massively popular actor to discuss his welcome return, new serial, high expectations, lockdown life lessons and incredible fan base.
When you took a step back after your last series, did you expect the break to be so long? I have not taken a longer break, it’s just that out of my two-and-a-half-year break, one and a half years was for Covid, where everybody was having a lockdown and not just me. I didn’t want to repeat myself as an actor. Like I say, I wanted to do a different character with a different approach.
Was the biggest challenge finding a satisfactory project? Yes it was, because everybody either wanted me for a ‘Harman’ kind of a character or wanted me as ‘RK’, so I wanted to break that pattern. It is important to reinvent yourself and take up projects that are different from the previous body of work.
What did you like about Sirf Tum? The thing was that my character is a college-going guy, similar to (drama serial) Pyaar Ki Ek Kahaani – I never went to college in real life, but there I was playing a vampire. Here, I’m playing a human being, so the feeling is totally different, as is the approach. I somehow work on challenges and unless I’m not challenged as an artist, I will not be doing my 200 per cent, to be very honest. So, I had to work hard on myself to look like a college boy. Then I had to do a little bit of medical science research to play a medical student, and, of course, the whole approach of the character is different.
How much is it on the lines of Kabir Singh? I don’t think there are any similarities. (My character) Ranveer is quite a bit different from Kabir Singh. There are basic similarities as the show has a medical background and he is an angry young man, so people might have those kinds of thoughts about it, but I don’t feel that similarity.
With more development time, are you looking forward to adding more layers to the character? Of course, I’m completely working on my character every now and then, be it the body language or any kind of scene, and about losing weight. Who wants to lose weight? Everyone likes to be in their comfort zone, but you can’t be in your comfort zone forever. One has to take up challenges at some point.
Do high expectations put pressure on you? Not really! I don’t consider myself in competition with anyone. I’m my own competition with what I was five to 10 years back and what I am now. That is what makes competition for me. I don’t compete with any actor and have my own ways. I run it my own way and have to be the best version of me, not a comparative version of someone else.
Do you think about previous successes? The days I’m low I think about those days. We’re all human, so there are days when I feel low and think about all that I’ve achieved. It is human to experience different feelings and emotions.
What does acting mean to you today? I never wanted to become an actor, so for me my profession became my passion.
What is the secret of a good performance? When you’re scared of performing you get a great performance. There are scenes where you have butterflies in your stomach and you are constantly thinking about that scene and are reading it again and again. That is what keeps you alive as an actor, so those butterflies in your stomach are important.
What is it like working in a pandemic world? Things have changed! People have become more cautious and are taking it more seriously, with hygiene being way better than before. It is important to work. As they say, the show must go on.
What inspires you today? My inspiration is the love I get from my fans and viewers. People can disappear with their career if they have been away for one or two years. I’ve made a comeback in a show and the way they have accepted me has been humbling. I think that is enough inspiration I need to have.
What is the biggest life lesson lockdown taught you? Eventually, you get to know the real ones for you. We need to value our time, priorities, and our loved ones. Life is in the present moment. It is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.
How much do your fans who have patiently waited mean to you? I love them! What I am today is because of them. The thing is that whatever a person gets in life is either something they are worthy of or deserve. Any of us, be it a person who works 10 hours or be it a person who works 15 hours, we all are worthy of what we are today because of our choices. So, it’s the biggest blessing I’ve got from God that my fans are all over the world and they have liked my work. To have that kind of love from all over the world is a great responsibility on my shoulders.