By Siddhi Pathak
My first film, Kuku Mathur Ki Jhand Ho Gayi, is about a naïve Delhi boy Kuku Mathur, who loves cooking. He lives with his parents. His father holds a government job that doesn’t pay much. A situational comedy, the film is about how things always go wrong with Kuku. Uski jhand hoti rehti hain right since his childhood. His best friend, Ronnie, is always there to support and bail him out of tricky situations. After passing class 12, reality hits him as he finds himself alone, when Ronnie is not around.
I’m an engineer, from Dubai. I returned to Mumbai and started doing theatre. I was performing for a play that Ekta Kapoor watched and she called me for an audition. She was searching for an actor to play Kuku’s role but even after six months, the team was unable to find a suitable actor. I was called in for a series of auditions, for all the characters and eventually, I bagged the role of Kuku.
I finished my studies and after I returned, I was only doing theatre. I was learning the craft and trying to mould myself according to the system. When I got to know that Balaji was casting for a young boy, I gave the audition and soon bagged the film.
The first schedule of the film was in Delhi. I had never faced the camera before and I didn’t know how to act in front of it. Actually, I was still learning. We were shooting the climax of the film first, at a dharamshaala. I was anxious but when we finished the shot, it turned out to be a good one. And since, there was no looking back.
I wasn’t very close to the character. I’d studied in Dehradun and then in Dubai so portraying a character like Kuku was a task. I had to stop going to the gym so I lost all the muscles. I could not wear tight clothes and had to sport a different hairstyle. I had to think like a loser and speak like one. I adopted a very systematic method to approach each scene. Apart from that, my co-actors had all faced the camera before and were used to it. I was living a very comfortable and different life in Dubai. Initially, I did not like to present myself before the camera in the clothes that my character wears, as in real life, I am very selective about what I wear.
I learnt how a film is made and the hard work that goes into making it. It is so different from theatre. Being part of the film has also changed me as a person. Normally, we play pranks on people and get away with it, but when you have to be one of them, it’s a different story. I learnt to respect people who are facing difficulties. Besides, I have also grown as an actor. Now, I know how to work with the camera and the lighting.
My role model is my brother, Vikas Gupta. He has worked very hard and is now the channel head for MTV. His has been a remarkable journey, and one that has inspired and motivated me to work equally hard.
I have some film offers but till things are finalised, I can’t reveal anything.