Popular actor Karan Kundrra talks about his new show Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal
By: MOHNISH SINGH
KARAN KUNDRRA has come a very long way since making his acting debut in 2009 drama serial Kitani Mohabbat Hai. That winning performance as Arjun Punj kick-started a cool career that has seen him balance movies with becoming one of India’s biggest TV stars.
He is currently part of recently commenced supernatural thriller Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal, which follows two werewolf brothers who fall in love with the same girl. The versatile actor stars alongside Gashmeer Mahajani and Reem Shaikh in the finite show drawing in audiences on Colors TV.
Eastern Eye recently caught up with the popular actor to talk about Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal, the character he plays, and what most attracted him to the unique project. He also spoke about his definition of love, changing tastes and comparisons to The Vampire Diaries.
Tell us a little more about your new show Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal?
It is a supernatural thriller that revolves around three characters – Armaan, Eisha, and Veer. I play Veer. Armaan and Veer are brothers who also happen to be werewolves and this beautiful girl Eisha, played by Reem Shaikh, is a human. It is basically a triangle. I think that it’s a beautiful universe in itself. We were left mesmerised while shooting for the mesmerising show.
How much has the positive response to the show meant to you?
Gashmeer Mahajani, Reem Shaikh, and I have worked really hard on this show. Mamta and Yash Patnaik have written a fabulous show. The creators, writers, direction team, and production team have worked hard on it, and this is the result. When you work hard on something and later find out the results are positive and the show appeals to audiences, then you feel nice.
Keeping your successful stint on Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai aside, you are returning to the fiction genre after a long gap. What made you say yes to Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal?
(Laughs) They were paying me really well. Jokes apart, it is a finite show. What I like most about finite shows is that you can give this kind of quality to it. The reason is that we had a script in our hands and could pre-plan everything. Budget, locations, etc. When you work on such shows, you also want to give it more than 100 per cent as an actor because you know the character’s pre-defined graph.
Your girlfriend Tejasswi Prakash did Naagin on Colors and now you are also doing a supernatural show on the same channel…
Yeah, I guess inspiration begins at home, but jokes apart, Colors is a channel that has mastered this genre. I don’t think any other channel has come close to what Colors has done in this genre over the past few years. Their supernatural show Naagin is, of course, my favourite. So, I think they have it in them and if you see a progressive order, Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal is an evolution of what they have already accomplished. So, it does not get better than this.
Lots of comments have been pouring in on social media that Tejasswi should maybe do a cameo in your new show. What do you think?
Fans are fans. There is a lot of love that has come in, to be honest. They have been pouring in their love ever since the promo came out. And it is not about just my character but Gashmeer and Reem’s characters as well. So, we are getting a lot of love and there is a lot of anticipation which we really, really like.
How do you define love?
Well, my love story is pretty much out there. We have learned ishq (love) from cinema and books. Whoever has written these beautiful love stories must have felt love very deeply. And now, I am also in that phase where I can experience all those beautiful things. Now I know what is love. When you start feeling love, the universe conspires to make you happy, to make you feel in love. Whatever is happening in your life feels magical. That is love for me.
There have been shows on vampires and werewolves before. How different is this going to be?
You know, love stories have been running for decades and they will continue to be. It is all about how you put it out there and showcase it to audiences, keeping in mind the current dynamics.
But the taste of the audience has changed a lot post-pandemic…
We know what the television audience wants right now. We know our target audience, their taste and what they usually watch, so cater to that. At the same time, we must keep our cultures and values intact, because at the end of the day, television is still the biggest medium in the country right now. So, it has to be an amalgamation of all of that. How we are going to entice the audiences is something that you have to see for yourself from Monday to Wednesday on Colors. Trust me, we will not disappoint you.
The show is also being compared to The Vampire Diaries. What do you have to say about that?
See, if somebody writes a story about two brothers and a mother, you immediately think of Deewaar (1975) or Karan Arjun (1995). The genre of supernatural and fantasy has not been explored much here but there have been some iconic shows in the West in the same genre. So, you have to take some reference. But it is not like we have replicated that. Then why would somebody watch our show? They would go and watch that show. It is as simple as that.
How challenging was it to do a supernatural show?
It is not easy. I am sure you would have not seen a show mounted on such a humongous scale before. This show is going to disrupt TV. Audiences are demanding more from television especially after the lockdown because, as you said, now they are watching content on OTT also. You just cannot give shows with the same old format anymore. You have to
work harder and bring new things. That’s how anything evolves. So, I think this is a part of that.
How was it working with your co-stars Gashmeer Mahajani and Reem Shaikh?
After shooting with Gashmeer for two months, I realised that he is a man of few words. If he likes you, he will never say it. He comes from theatre, a massive artistic sort of place. He brings that experience to the table. Reem has also been working for years now. We bring all our experience and put it together to make a fabulous show like this.
Popular stars generally avoid doing a two-hero project, but you were game for it…
We signed the show some four months ago and have already shot for two months. Trust me, we never thought about it. Gashmeer and I are killing it. Everybody is adding something or the other to the show. We are all about coming together and making a good product. We are brothers on as well as off screen.
What, according to you, is the most fascinating thing about the new show?
Apart from the three of us, the interesting thing about the show is that it is a visual spectacle. The kind of locations we have shot in and kind of layers that our characters Armaan, Isha, and Veer have on the show is just amazing. The story is set in a different world altogether, with magic, passion, and intensity. It is something you cannot ignore.
Tere Ishq Mein Ghayal airs Monday-Wednesday at 9 pm on Colors TV