You will soon be seen making your acting debut with ‘Afwaah’. How did you come on board for the project?
I got a call from a team member of Mukesh Chhabra’s office for an audition for this role. I did the audition and got selected for the role.
Tell us something about your character in the movie.
The character is very shady and self-centred. He is not selfish, but simultaneously, he also knows when to enter and when to exit any deal. He is very smart when it comes to handling social media. The character kind of represents social media today, it’s extremely powerful but, if used for the wrong purposes, can have disastrous results. It is a very important character in the movie, which will decide the storyline of the movie. So I am happy that I am able to play an important role in the movie.
Did you get a chance to work with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar?
I didn’t get the opportunity to work with Nawazuddin and Bhumi. My major scenes were with Sumeet Vyas only, but the experience with Sumeet was amazing. I have been a fan of his acting since he started working on web series, and now working with him has been a great experience.
How is Sudhir Mishra as a director?
He is amazing. He looks for perfection. He wants the artiste to give their best shot. He knows how to get the best from an actor. I am blessed that I got a chance to begin my acting career under his direction. It was a dream for any artist to work with him. I am a fan of his work since I got to know that he is the writer of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.
Whom did you bond the most with on the sets of the film while shooting?
When I came to the shooting location, it was raining heavily, and for the next few days until the time I was there, the rain didn’t stop, so my first priority was to give my 100 percent as an actor on those particular days. Because of the heavy rain, I didn’t get much time to gel, but yes, I spent some time with Sumeet bhai and Rockey Raina on the set.
Where did your passion for comedy stem from?
I am searching for the answer, but the moment I see people laughing because of my jokes, I get energy, I feel calm, and I feel lucky as well as blessed that I have the capability to make people laugh. I feel those happy faces are the main reason why I keep working hard on this craft and making sure I will be able to make people laugh for the rest of my life.
What are your thoughts on the comedy scenario in India?
I feel the comedy scene in India is at its best when established comedians are going global, touring all over the world, and working in Bollywood movies. Also, Indian audiences now understand the true potential of stand-up comedy as well as stand-up comedians. So the opportunity for new comedians as well as established comedians is enormous. If you are reading this and you want to pursue stand-up comedy, this is the best time.
Several comedians have tried their hand at acting. Do you think stand-up comedy has become a stepping stone towards Bollywood?
I feel any creator who has a fan following, can try their hands at acting, and that fan following will help the creator reach the relevant people who decide and select the actor. The same thing happens with stand up comedians also, but I feel comedians are very fortunate that we are not dependent on acting for commercial purposes, so we can choose roles as per our choices and the power of the character in the movie/web series.
Were you a movie buff growing up? Whom did you idolise?
Yes, I am. There was a time when I could tell the name of the movie in 2–3 seconds just by looking at the movie. I have seen a lot of movies. Even now, whenever I get some time, I watch good Bollywood movies. I am a huge fan of SRK, sir; he is perfect in everything. He is a great actor, a smart entrepreneur, and a super awesome human being.
How do you look back at your journey so far?
It’s a roller coaster ride. I started doing stand-up comedy when no one knew what stand-up comedy was all about in India. It was a tough time to make people aware of the art form. I was scared in the beginning about how the future would be for me as well as for stand-up comedy. However, now, after 500+ million views on social media and 2500+ shows all over the world, I am coming into a Bollywood movie. So here I just want to say that life is a beautiful gift, so keep exploring all the opportunities it gives you.
There are some shows that I am planning for my YouTube channel and a new stand-up comedy special that I will start touring next year, and some more projects that I will reveal once I am confident about them.