“It’s been beyhadh (extremely) exciting,” shares Shivin Narang while talking about his latest project Beyhadh 2. The thriller on Sony TV also stars Jennifer Winget and Ashish Chowdhry in the lead roles.
Narang, who started his career with Channel V show Suvreen Guggal, had an eventful 2019. The actor was seen in the show Internet Wala Love and then went on to showcase his adventurous side on the yet-to-go-on air Khatron Ke Khiladi 10. He was also seen alongside Divya Khosla in the popular remix video Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com Shivin Narang opened up about Beyhadh 2, refusing Bigg Boss 13 and why he loves experimenting with his roles.
Here are a few excerpts from the conversation…
Beyhadh is known to be a Jennifer Winget show. What made you take this up?
Well, the way I look at it, Beyhadh became her show because of her powerful performance. The show was a love story, about obsessiveness and three characters. But the hard work that Jennifer put in, it went on to be known for her. Honestly, when the offer for the second season came to me, my first question was whether she is playing Maya or not. I am very particular about the work that I do and wanted to be part of a show which has such great artists. It’s a great team and everyone is very hardworking. That really helps us to push ourselves and do better each day.
How is to work with Jennifer? And what’s the kind of vibe on-set?
Even before the idea of Beyhadh 2 was developed, I had met Jennifer and told her how much I admire her work. She is not only a great actor but also a beautiful human being. She is very committed, professional and extremely hard working. And so is Ashish Chowdhry and other actors on the show. Beyhadh 2 is not a show where you can come, mouth your dialogues and leave. It’s a character and story driven show. And we need each other’s contribution and energies to perform. With all eyes on the show, our focus is only to make it a success.
Tell us something about your character Rudra.
Rudra is a very intense and layered role. He is very different when he is with his family than his otherwise image. He is also egoistic but that has more to do with him protecting his self respect. Since it’s a thriller, I cannot tell you everything but he is full of emotions and also quite entertaining. The audience has already seen Maya but Rudra will come as a surprise to them.
You have always been known as a chocolate-boy on TV. Do you feel you have managed to step out from that image with this show?
It’s not a tag that I have given myself so I don’t worry about it. The titles have been changing with my roles. First, I was called a youth icon, then, a serious one. Post that, it was a chocolate boy and now it’s intense. I think the audience connects you to a tag with the kind of characters you play. Otherwise, the negative image of Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar would have never changed into a lover boy with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. It happens with every actor. Every time you give a hit, people identify you with that on screen image.
What kind of feedback have you been receiving for Rudra?
Since the start of my career, I have never gone by praises or criticisms. My aim was to take up challenges in terms of a variety of roles. After my first show (Suvreen Guggal), people were shocked when I took up Veera, where I had to play the brother of the female lead. And then I took up Internet Wala Love, which had a new cast and a fresh approach towards storytelling. I feel blessed to have gotten such opportunities where I could deliver. Many want to keep doing the same kinds of roles but I believe in experimenting. And the feedback honestly has been really encouraging. I am glad that the people who love Maya are also liking Rudra. It’s an achievement in itself.
In an industry, where shows go off air in a few months, many want to play safe and do similar roles as it guarantees popularity. What makes you say you want to keep experimenting?
From my first day in Mumbai, I was very clear what I want to do. I remember I was given a couple of audition scripts but I only picked what I wanted to do. And I signed my contract on the first day itself. I wouldn’t say that I am very talented but yes, I am clear in my head what I want to achieve. I don’t look at successes and failures or even guarantees, as I only want to keep satiating my thirst for good roles.
You were offered Bigg Boss 13, which you refused for Beyhadh 2. Now that the reality show is doing so well, do you feel you made the right choice?
I am an actor first and would always pick fiction than realities. Also, I am not someone who would take up projects thinking that they will become popular. What matters to me is how I am getting to showcase my craft. I want to be creatively happy than run after success. Hence, I have no regrets.
You did participate in Khatron Ke Khiladi last year, how was the experience?
It was quite a challenge. Honestly, I have been refusing it for a long time as I was scared. This time too, it was offered to me and I said no as I was doing another show. But that got delayed and they reached out to me again. I keep telling myself to take up new challenges and so I decided to go for it. Khatron was more of a personal battle for me as I was fighting my fears. It was a wonderful experience and I am now waiting for the show to come on air.