“I am dyIng to play an asshole ON-SCREEN.”
The guy who dominated digital space for a very long time - be it in PermanentRoommates or TVF’s Tripling,- Sumeet VyaS, who is not only an actor but an amazing writer too. Read on as Shivani Bisht gets candid with the man who dons many hats as he talks ab
So how has your journey been from working in television series to web series and now in the movies? Great! It’s been a really long journey. I have been into acting since 2000. I started off with theatre so primarily I didn’t really have a plan to specifically get into movies. The moment I did English Vinglish in 2011, is when I started taking things a little more seriously about my career in films or in digital series.
You have done a lot of webseries so according to you is there any difference between working in web series and films?
No, not really. For an actor, there is no difference because at the end what matters is acting, be it in webseries or films. But there’s one thing that everybody wants to experiment in webseries - which is why it’s a little bit more fun right now - more so as the directors are not trying to play safe. Which is why it is more fun to work in them in comparison to films and television.
What do you enjoy the most?
To be very honest, I enjoy what is in a story and what kind of people I am working with. Because that’s what you remember. What you do remember is the process when you shot the film or the series and how much fun you had, how much you challenged yourself while working on it. So in that sense it’s difficult to choose. One thing that I enjoy maybe when a script is nice. I enjoy working on projects where there are fun people to work with.
According to you, which was that one decision which turned out to be the turning point in your career?
I think my decision to call Niddhi Bisht after watching some videos on TVF worked. I was the one who called her up after that because I wanted to work with her, and because of that effort, I am where I am today. And it was an experiment for both of us because Permanent Roommates was the 1st webseries ever made.
Apart from acting, you have tried your hands in writing as well... how difficult does it get to maintain a balance?
Yes, it does get complicated at times because I am not able to take up as much writing work as I would want to. Also, balancing is very important. Since I have been acting, I don’t really have the time to write. I am only writing the second season of Tripling right now with my friend Akarsh Khurana. The first season we wrote together. Apart from this, I won’t write anything else.
What has been your best and worst experience in the industry till date?
There were a lot of bad experiences, in that sense every actor goes through them. I have been around when we use to click pictures for 50 rupees and carry copies and we use to write our names and numbers behind those pictures and plead for a chance with Ad and film agencies. When we were not called for auditions, we would just land up there and wait for them. I have seen my pictures thrown into the dustbins and I have picked it up and used them in some other office because it was like why waste the copies? Because at that time, 50 rupees was a huge amount. My whole experience of shooting Permanent Roommates was fantastic, even English Vinglish was an amazing experience. I really enjoyed working on that film with Gauri Balki and Sridevi ma’am.
You have an amazing comic timing and you always get appreciated for that, what is your response?
Thank you! (Laughs) I just don’t know how to respond to that. Sometimes I try to be funny and sometimes, I am not actually trying to be funny but it works.
How was your experience working with Kareena Kapoor in VeerediWedding?
She is a very professional actor. She is a star in the true sense and is fantastic in what she does. It was lovely working with her.
Talking about HighJack, how was your experience working with director Akarsh Khurana? Also can your share some anecdotes while shooting the film.
Akarsh and I have known each other for almost 10 years now. He has produced a lot of plays that I have directed, so we have been working together for a while. He had sent the script of High Jack long back for me to read and to know what I thought of the script. And I remember telling him that I was laughing aloud while reading it. I called him up and said that he should really consider making this film. I had no idea that he would cast me because I wasn’t really popular at that time. And then after a few days, he called me up to ask, if I was interested in being a part of this film, and there we go.
I have seen my pictures thrown into the dustbins and I have picked them up and used them in some other office.”
What made you say ‘yes’ to the role of Rakesh and can you tell us more about your character in the movie HighJack?
The script! I loved the script and thought that I should do it. Also, it’s a little different from all the characters that I have played so far - be it in my webseries or films. My character was of a guy who goes to party every day and turns the party on so it was a very exciting psychedelic character and that immediately drew me to the part because I had to take away from whatever image I had managed to get.
Is there any particular genre or character you want to play?
Yes, I would really like to play an ‘asshole’ on-screen, that’s something I have been really dying to play (laughs) and to do something in that space, to get into the darker side of my personality will be fun. I think it’s really important as an actor to get experience as a villain as well, and the grey parts are the most fun to perform. Genre could be anything. But I am really looking forward to do a crime thriller or a suspense drama.
Did you face any difficulty while shooting for the movie?
No! Not really, I think Akarsh faced a lot of difficulties and people were improvising all the time. And he has this terrible habit of not saying ‘cut’ when the scene was over so we use to do what’s there in the script and then wait for him to call ‘cut’. We would keep improvising and after like 5 -7 minute, we use to be like, ‘are you going to call cut or not?’ Until then, we use to keep going on. (Laughs)
Can you name some directors you want to work with?
I would love to work with Imtiaz Ali, I really like his work. I want to work with Anurag Basu again, I had worked in a series called Chokerbali. I want to work with Rajkumar Hirani sir, he is fabulous.
Can you name some actors you want to work with?
To be very honest I don’t have a preference of any whom I want to work with. Because that totally depends on the scripts that come your way and who fits the part well… I mean as an actor I would really want to work with an actor, whom I really admire and that is Alia. She is a very gifted actor. I also like Anushka’s work, she is a really hard working actor. I would also like to work with Akshaye Khanna because I am a huge fan of his. I would love to act with Irrfan and Nawab because they challenge you as an actor to bring your A game on.
Can you tell us about your future projects?
Post VeereDiWedding I am coming out with the next season of Tripling, I think it would be out by the second half of this year.
Any message for your Stardust readers?
Thank you! I am a big film buff. I thoroughly love reading magazines. They are my weakness, I love gossip it’s something that most people don’t really know. STARDUST always keeps us updated about what is going in other people’s lives. (Laughs)
Kareena Kapoor Khan is a star in true sense and is fantastic in what she does.”