• Sunday, June 26, 2022

Arts and Culture

Superb story of success

GREAT MOMENTUM: Karanvir Sharma



2021 was a transformative year for Karanvir Sharma.

His drama serial Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani became a big success and then one of the most talked about TV shows of all time after it ended. His chemistry with co-star Debattama Saha quickly became iconic in the show. They then teamed up for the acclaimed Jo Tera Howega and Aankhein Band Karke music videos.

Debattama Saha.
Debattama Saha.

With a major movie and web series on the way, along with a rapidly growing global fanbase, the versatile Indian actor has impressive momentum behind him and is one to watch. He has also taken his first steps in directing and is exploring writing.

Eastern Eye caught up with the hardworking star to discuss acting, books, the deep connection Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani made with audiences, grounded nature, inspirations, future plans, and why he thinks his co-star Debattama is a special talent.

What first connected you to acting?
What connected me to acting was bunking college lectures and going to watch movies with friends at the cinema. That’s one thing I remember doing. I remember next to my college there used to be a very popular cinema chain Chandan Talkies, and they played the best films, whether big or small. I remember once I got to see some amazing Academy Award winning films. That’s when I started watching movies very differently. These movies were equally engaging and entertaining yet different, which led me towards cinema and acting.

How much of a turning point has Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani been for you?
I’ve always been waiting for a turning point and the right opportunity. As an artist or human being, you always feel that if you put in your hard work, at least there’s some kind of compensation which is given, and that is appreciation. I think every artist works for that. But the kind of appreciation that I’ve got was unparalleled. I’m actually humbled by it, and it’s been long overdue because I’ve struggled almost a decade to reach this point. Unfortunately, time takes its own toll and it’s taken me time to get here, but I never gave up.

Are you surprised that it is one of the most discussed shows even after it has ended, and more so than many that are on air?
I don’t think anybody, even the makers could understand this, and it’s amazing. I recently got to know that it is doing extremely well in South Africa and has done really well in other parts of the world such as United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I don’t understand the whole logic behind it, but I knew that if we had a brilliant story, which was being made well, which connected to the audience of today, you would definitely see something turn out positively. But to be honest, I don’t think this kind of (public) praise has ever happened. It is being discussed more than the highest rated shows currently on air.

Why do you think it is so loved and that too long after it went off air?
An audience is everything, but I think our audience is more evolved and I think it sort of connected with people at a deeper level. This is the kind of story that when it connects on that deeper level it’s hard to make any sense out of it. To be honest, I don’t like watching my own stuff because I just feel that I will be too particular or critical about myself and, generally, don’t enjoy it because I am constantly looking for ways to improve. But my parents were after me and telling me that you must watch the show, so I did and after four to six episodes, I don’t know what it is, but you want to keep on watching.

Karanvir Sharma with Debattama Saha in Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani
Karanvir Sharma with Debattama Saha
in Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani

Your chemistry with Debattama Saha in Shaurya Aur Anokhi Ki Kahani and that fantastic music video you both produced is amazing. What is she like?
Thank you so much and for all the appreciation you have shown, Asjad, which has been very humbling. To be very honest, we work together very organically, and she is someone who is not affected or polarised by the entertainment industry and has this childlike quality. I think that’s her USP. She’s very genuine towards her work and doesn’t give a damn about anything else, including the limelight or how you’re supposed to portray yourself in media. I don’t think she has that nature and that’s a very good quality, which I have always seen in her. That way you don’t have too much of pressure on yourself with what to do and what kind of projects to choose, and you go with the heart. I think then that’s the best performance and she has that.

What is she like to work with?
She’s superbly talented! I mean everybody knows that and she constantly surprises you. She is good at acting, singing, dancing, painting; basically, everything to an artist’s advantage. I think she’s an artist in a true sense. In terms of work, we elevated each other and became a team. I think that we make a great team.

You have now also added direction to your skill set with the superb job you did on Jo Tera Howega?
Actually, I always wanted to take up direction because I used to love putting things together and have always been good at it, like you could give me a puzzle or anything like that. And I like editing. You know direction is also the same thing; you have to put together a team and I love that. I love the fact that I can unite people, and it makes me feel elated that I can create such kind of unity. Like with the Jo Tera Howega video, we were just four to five people working on set under (Covid) restrictions and we all had to multi-task.

What is the plan going forward?
I have started scripting and penning down some ideas, which I have been brainstorming over the years, knowing it would take some time to get a foothold in the market and I don’t know where it’s going to go. I want to concentrate on my acting career for sure because these are my big days or years, but at the same time only if I get a very good bound script or a great concept (to direct), I’ll jump for it like I did with Jo Tera Howega, because I knew that nobody else could have done it, as I’m so deeply connected to that song. So, I really wanted to do that and maybe that’s why it was a calling. As of now, acting is my priority.

A lot of fans want to know, what keeps you so grounded?
I don’t know! You know a few people have been saying this, but I think honestly, it’s my upbringing. I have been born and raised in Mumbai. I come from a very simple, invisible family and household, who have never believed in showing off. I’ve struggled my way through to everything and had failures. Knowing where you have come from, the challenging journey and the thought you could lose what you have now, should keep you grounded. It’s just about being real and honest, you know.

You love reading, what is your favourite book?
One of my all-time favourites, which just helps me in my acting and understanding characters, is a famous book by Joseph Campbell called The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I really like that. Recently, I came across Simon Sinek. He’s basically a public (inspirational) speaker. He speaks about leadership qualities and what is needed for change. His global bestseller Start With Why, kind of questions everything and is a good read to understand human behaviour. It’s a good book.

What can we expect next from you project wise?
Currently, I’m filming a web series (Invisible Woman) with actors, including Suniel Shetty and Rahul Dev. I am really excited about that because I am playing a cop again. I have played a cop a couple of times before in (TV series) 24 and later in (the film) Blank. This time I am trying to elevate it and keep it real. I have just finished filming and dubbing for a film called Thursday, which is a thriller produced by RSVP. I’m really excited because I think it is one of the stories that I will be really proud of, honestly.

What inspires you?
I think anything during the day can inspire me, whether it is a good gesture, people with positive vibes and those who don’t put on any kind of act. Children inspire me, music inspires, and good movies inspire me. So, everything which is good in life and very real is what inspires me.

Why do you love being an actor?
Why do I love being an actor? Honestly, I ask this question to myself every day. I think what I like about acting is that it enables you to transform into a different person and makes you believe that you’re someone else, even though you’re not. I think it just gets out those emotions you might never get out in your entire life. I think as an actor you get to learn a lot. I think that learning is what helps me want to learn even more every single day. I learn a lot from acting and that is why I love it.

Would you like to give a message to your fans?
They are amazing and I have never come across a fan base like this. I remember one of the first things (Thursday co-star) Yami (Gautam) said was that she had never come across such a strong fan base. She has so much experience, is so versatile and knows the business, so to get a reaction like that was immense. So, my fans should take that very positively. They are amazing and I can’t thank them enough for their unconditional support.

Eastern Eye

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