December 29, 2020 5:58:13 pm
For actor Dheeraj Dhoopar, 2020 brought in the biggest shocker, when work was stalled during the pandemic-led nationwide lockdown. “None of us thought that would ever happen in the television industry,” said the actor.
Once shoots resumed, Dhoopar was not just back playing the much loved Karan Luthra in Kundali Bhagya but also showcased his versatility playing a negative role in Naagin 5. He also backed up his work profile with a couple of music videos and TVCs.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Dheeraj Dhoopar looks back at 2020, his different projects and his expectations from the coming year.
How do you look back at 2020?
The world was facing a major crisis and things were not looking good. However, I am a person who likes to see things from a positive side. I got to spend so much time with my family for the first time. But I must add that while initially it all seemed very exciting, I was soon craving to go back to work. I am really happy with how my career progressed and even personally, I was in a happy space. So 2020 has been fairly good for me honestly.
For the first time during the lockdown, TV shoots were put to a halt. Tell us about that experience.
Till the time the lockdown didn’t happen, I believed that shoots would never get stalled. Be it storms, bandhs or heavy rains, the industry has always worked. This was the first time that we experienced something like this, and it was really weird. I was not happy as I love working and being on the set. Also, I think it was not just for the entertainment industry as every sector suffered a lot. I am glad that things are getting back to normal, and we will soon also get the vaccine.
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Given the kind of restrictions involved, all of you did manage to pull off work brilliantly. But what was the biggest challenge when you were returning to work?
Trust me, we have such a great team and everyone is always taking care of each other. The production and channel also assured that everything was well sanitised and all precautions were followed. I remember there was a time when I was on four different sets working with separate units– Kundali Bhagya, Naagin 5, Humko Tum Mil Gaye (music video) and a TVC. The exposure was too high but fortunately nothing happened. It was all because we were careful. I think people somewhere understood that it is a dangerous virus and one has to be safe.
Kundali Bhagya was back on top of the rating chart after the show resumed post lockdown. What do you think has worked in its favour for so long?
From the time Kundali Bhagya launched, it has been doing well. I think given the show is so real it works well with the viewers. Also, the interpersonal relationship between every character is very relatable. Karan Luthra is very similar to me, and I feel I hardly act on the show. I think this is what has worked for us all these years.
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Apart from Kundali Bhagya, you also did a cameo in Naagin 5 and starred in a couple of music videos. Was it a quest to try something different or were these offers too exciting?
Honestly, I have always wanted to do things on different mediums. When I got an offer from Naagin, I was thrilled as it was something totally different. It’s a supernatural drama, and the role was so exciting. I even got to don a very different role. I immediately grabbed the offer, and I am so glad that people loved my work. I would love to do something like this in the near future too. As for the music videos, I have always been a fan, and was really happy working on it.
Social media also became an important means of connecting with fans during the lockdown. Do you sit and decide on the content you post, or you just go with the flow?
Honestly, I follow my heart. Through my social media accounts, I want my followers to know me, and one has to always be honest with that.
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While everyone is talking about how sad the year was, any happy moment from 2020 that you’ll cherish?
There are so many moments– spending time with family, celebrating my dog’s birthday. Also, I recently traveled to Maldives for my anniversary, and it was an amazing experience. It was due since March, and we really enjoyed ourselves.
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What has been your biggest learning from 2020?
I will say that don’t wait for good things to happen. Go out and tell people that you love them. In times like these, you realise how unpredictable life can be. It’s therefore very important to be with your loved ones, and create opportunities to express your emotions to them.
It was your birthday recently, what did you wish for the coming year while blowing the candles?
I am very demanding when it comes to these things, so I had a huge list. As they say wishes don’t come true if you share, so I am not telling you anything (laughs). However, I thanked the universe, and everyone who loved me so much, and kept praying for my health and wealth. I hope everyone stays safe and sound. I want to keep everyone entertained, and hope I can do something really great in the OTT space or a film next year.
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