Kunal Kemmu is all set to make his digital debut with ZEE5’s Abhay. Inspired by real events, Abhay will see Kunal play an investigative officer, who solves bone-chilling murder cases, while dealing with his own personal demons.
Produced by BP Singh, the eight-episode crime thriller will launch on February 7 and release two episodes every month. At the launch of the series, Kunal sat down for an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com on donning a never-seen-before avatar, the rise of the digital medium and his Bollywood career.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Tell us more about Abhay.
What’s interesting is that it’s not like any other crime show. It’s the first police procedural in the OTT space. Also, unlike other series, the audience will know about who the criminal is from the word go. The episode will focus on how Abhay cracks it. The sub-plot also deals with his intriguing personal life. Packed together, it made for a great digital debut. I am also playing a cop for the first time.
Q. How did you get into the skin of Abhay Pratap Singh?
That’s the fun of doing something for the first time. You don’t know how it is going to be. I would rather wait to see what people have to say. But Abhay is not like the typical uniform wearing police but part of the special task force. We did have an officer on the first day to help us understand the body language and keep it real. We have shot just one episode and am enjoying the process, learning new things.
Q. What’s your basic criteria to pick up any project?
One needs to be really excited about doing it. Intitution is definitely important. And then the script, the people involved and also the production house. Over the years, I have understood that the hard work of the entire team can go for a toss, in case the film doesn’t get a good release.
Q. Saif Ali Khan also made his digital debut recently with Sacred Games. Did he share any tips with you?
Actually, Abhay happened all of a sudden. And I last met Saif before Christmas. After that, we have been busy with traveling and work. It was actually him, who sent me the poster asking what is it about. And then I sent him the trailer, which he really liked. To be honest, whenever we meet, work is the last thing we talk about. There’s so much to catch up on anyway.
Q. What’s your take on the digital boom?
I think there is a lot of interesting content being made. We can’t shy away from the web. I have consumed it for a long time and everyone is now getting hooked to it. The phone screen has slowly become our go-to medium. Though I must add that I have grown up on cinema, so there’s a lot of things that I want to still watch in theaters. But I can’t say the same about the next generation. Their passion for cinema might be different.
Q. You’ve been in the industry for a long time. Does it affect you that you are still not considered as an A-lister?
I have learnt better to not ponder over the past. I know it’s hard as we tend to analyse everything. But every actor’s life is filled with ups and downs. Unfortunately, you are dictated only by the Fridays of your life. But acting is not a solo sport. It’s teamwork. Everything needs to work – be it the script, direction or production, for a project to become successful. So I just count my blessings and be thankful to keep getting good opportunities.
Q. You missed your TV debut with Kanpur Waale Khuranas by an inch. Any regrets?
I really wanted to know what that space feels like. Also, it had an interesting mix of fiction and chat show format. But sadly the dates clashed with Kalank. Hopefully, sometime in the future, TV will happen.
Q. What’s next in the pipeline after Abhay?
There is Kalank. And I have also done another film with Fox Studios. That should release this year. But I cannot talk about it at the moment.