‘Ek Jhoothi Love Story’ is your first project on the web. Was working in this space any different from doing a film or a TV show?
There was no difference as such. There were some minor difference as far as the technicalities are concerned. Personally, what I find amazing is that this medium helps your work reach out to people living in different countries. OTT platforms have brought in a revolution and I am glad to be a part of it. I have been getting a lot of calls from people asking me “Zee5 ki ID kaise banaayein?” (how do we create an account on Zee5?). I actually explained to a lot of people how to open their accounts (laughs). I just want more and more people to see this show.
A lot of people in India have seen it and continue to see it. What, do you think, is that one element that has helped a lot of people in India connect with it?
The concept is quite universal. I think anybody across the world will be able to relate to it. The way different human emotions have been portrayed is something most people will be able to connect to. Every age group, who has been a part of a family, can relate to it. The beauty of the script lies in the fact that it is very real and relatable.
You have stated in an interview that you look for challenging parts. What did this particular project offer you which no other show had in the past? You play a young man from Karachi in the show. Interestingly, you have grown up in the same city yourself.
Yes, that’s right. I have always played very intense characters. The character I have played is not very intense and that is one of the reasons why it was refreshing to play this part. He is a young man from a middle-class family in Karachi. It is a very relatable character. I did not have to work very hard on it. When I read the story, I realized the character was very simple. Right then, I decided that I will not put any effort in preparing for the character. I would just work on my costume and a few other things. I would go to the shoot and enjoy the process.
You have trained as an actor at the National Academy Of Performing Arts. How did this training help you?
I did go to NAPA to for a three-year long diploma but I was kicked out after three months (laughs). I was pursuing a course in BBA in Marketing at the same time and was finding it difficult to manage both at the same time. While studying at NAPA, I got the offer to act in a TV serial. Because of the shoot, I could not come for 20-25 days. When I came back, they told me that you do not need to come from tomorrow. I was a very introverted person and lacked confidence. Theatre gave me the confidence to act. It is a medium I will always be grateful to.
Your next show ‘Abdullahpur Ka Devdas’ is slated to come out on Zee5 too. What can you tell us about it?
It is a bit early to talk about the show. It should come out by December end or January. It is a very interesting story and I got to play a wonderful character in it. It is completely different from ‘Ek Jhoothi Love Story’.
You have played several memorable roles in a short span of time. Your portrayal of Taimoor from the show ‘Balaa’ was very well-received and earned you a couple of nominations as well. Which is that one role which is the closest to your heart?
I recently did a play called ‘Pyaar Kay Sadkay’ where I was playing a character who was mentally challenged. It was quite a challenging part. I had done a show with Saba Qamar called ‘Cheekh’. I was playing a negative role in it. It was a challenging role and I had a great time playing it.
A large number of people in India have watched the show and loved it. Is there a message that you would like to give them?
I am really overwhelmed by all the love I am getting for the show. I have been of fan of Indian content, especially Hindi films. If the political climate gets better someday, I would love to do projects in India.
Ek Jhoothi Love Story is streaming on Zee5.