Veere Di Wedding starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar, Sumeet Vyas and Shikha Talsania released earlier this year and made a mark on the box office. The film is making it’s world television premiere on &pictures today.
Sumeet Vyas’s performance was lauded in Veere Di Wedding, for he was one of the most organic characters in the film. Indianexpress.com spoke to the actor who came into the spotlight with TVF’s Permanent Roommates in 2014, and has since appeared in various web series and films.
Your performance was lauded in Veere Di Wedding. How did you manage to make an impact with your character in such a star-studded commercial vehicle?
It was lovely working on Veere Di Wedding. I have realised, the hard thing about working in commercial films is actually getting the part, and not how you play it. Because what is expected of you as an actor doesn’t change with the scale of the films you do. Working with all these big names, and how much they prepare for their takes, the ‘not-so-difficult’ part starts looking difficult because you realise there is so much at stake. All these actors, Sonam, Kareena and others really prepare a lot and give their best takes.
For me, it was difficult to accept the fact that my character was dating someone who looks like Kareena Kapoor, and that she is such a normal person on sets. Even after doing all the work that she has done and achieving all that she has achieved, she is so focused. I could see the same amount of zeal and enthusiasm in her that a newcomer would have, which was quite inspiring.
Your film, Ribbon, was critically appreciated, and Veere Di Wedding performed well commercially. What direction does your career take from here on?
I have now been taking conscious decisions on what kind of characters I play. Because if you play a certain type of role and people start liking you and accepting you only in that kind of role, then it gets difficult. You get offered the same type of roles too. I had to step away from the nice, sunny, goofy guy.
Is that why you are playing a baddie in Made in China?
Yes, I am doing this film, Made In China with Rajkummar Rao and Mouni Roy. I play a negative role, but it is not a conventional villain type negative role. It is a normal person who believes what he is doing is right. I love that about such grey characters. Coming back to your question, what direction I am giving my career now, is discovering the black swan in me.
Every time I play a character, the first thing I do is I step away from who I am. If you want to stand out as an actor then I think you have to think unconventionally, and how else you can approach the same situation.
Addressing your association with TVF, how do you react to the sexual harassment cases in comedy circles and digital startups?
I don’t think this is pertaining to only comedy circles or digital start-ups in India per say. It is a countrywide thing that is going right now. It was like a volcano that was waiting to erupt. If you suppress a certain section of society for the longest time – for decades, centuries, then it will erupt. And it is high time that people start speaking up. We are so used to taking this gender for granted that we stop realising that we are going wrong. So, this is perhaps the time for realisation for people that we need to count women as equals, and that we need to think differently, and what is unacceptable is unacceptable.
Anurabh Kumar of TVF was accused of sexual harassment in 2017. There were reports that he was suspended, but now there are unconfirmed reports that he is still monitoring projects from afar for TVF. How is your association with TVF and what do you have to say about this?
My association with TVF has been a very professional one. I debuted with TVF’s Permanent Roommates in 2014 and then did Tripling. In fact, currently, I am shooting for the second season of Tripling. I am totally unaware of the reports that Anurabh Kumar is still working with TVF. I am working on Tripling and I don’t think he is associated with TVF in any way. Sameer Saxena who directed Tripling, and is directing the second season too, is the creative head of TVF right now. So all my interactions have been with Sameer.