From horror-comedy Official Bhootiyagiri to an out-and-out dark character in Dark 7 White, actor-writer Sumeet Vyas was seen in varied projects this year. He also shot his part in Wakaalat From Home entirely at his home during the lockdown.
“Unless I take myself out of the comfort zone, I won’t be able to grow as an artiste,” Sumeet said in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
How do you look back at 2020?
It was very eventful, to say the least. I had my son in 2020, so there were more happy memories. However, work did suffer, though I didn’t mind being confined to my house. I did go on a spiritual trip. I took things positively. I watched plenty of shows and read a lot as well. I did not submit to the lockdown boredom and used the time as productively as possible.
You experimented with characters in all your projects this year – Official Bhootiyagiri, Wakaalat From Home and Dark 7 White. How was the experience?
The idea was to consciously step away from what I did before. A lot of similar roles were coming my way. My thinking was that if I want to experiment, I should put it out there and take risks.
How did your viewers and fans react to your projects this year?
Very well. Almost 90 per cent of the reactions have been pleasant. Viewers also seemed to understand what I was trying as an actor. The audience, these days, is mature enough to appreciate the efforts of an artiste towards creating something different. I feel blessed to be in this era.
With Dark 7 White, has your preference shifted towards darker characters?
If they come my way, yes. Actors like myself don’t have godfathers in the industry. This is the only way I can show my range to the audience, give them a sense that I can be more than just a funny guy. Hence, I took up different projects and gave my best.
You shot Wakaalat From Home during the lockdown. Was there anything new you learned in terms of the technical aspects of making a show?
This was a very different show, technically. In TVF Tripling, I was not just a writer but a creative producer as well. So, I knew how things function and what goes on behind the camera. In Wakaalat From Home, there was a lot of mobile and Wi-Fi technology involved. It was a great learning experience. It taught us that you don’t really need a location or expensive equipment as long as you have a decent story. This show had 10-minute episodes, and we were certain that since we have nothing else to depend on, the timeline had to be short and crisp.
Any show or film this year that you wished you were a part of, and why?
I really liked Scam 1992. I was so mad at Hansal Mehta for not auditioning me (laughs). It’s such a fantastic show, very gripping and well made with a clean narrative. Everybody has done a fabulous job. I would’ve loved to be a part of the show.
Is there something new that you discovered about yourself this year, given that you even became a father?
The moment a child is born, your priorities change. You become less important and your hopes, journey and ambitions take a back seat. There’s a new entity in your life whom you are solely responsible for. It’s a good to see a life come into its own.
What change did 2020 bring in you?
There’s an inward churning. I don’t know if it’s because of 2020, the time that I’ve spent with myself, or it is the next phase of my life. Anything we do, we try to find deeper meaning in those things. It may sound clichéd, but it is true. As I approach my late 30s, it is easier to forgive a lot of people.
One memory from 2020 that will stay with you?
The birth of my son Ved.
What’s next on the work front?
This year, I saw a lot of my own shows and films. I sat with my team to reflect on things I did and things that I could have avoided. So now, my choices will be more filtered, which might not look financially viable today, but they’ll be in the long run. I’ll also have to balance work and home more consciously.
I stopped waiting for the right project 10 years ago because when it did not happen, I used to get really disappointed. After Permanent Roommates became so big, I stopped harbouring expectations. I cannot control the result. I would rather choose interesting work and not bother too much about whether it clicks with the audience.
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