2020 was arguably the worst year of our lives. How do you look back on the year? What is your takeaway from this year?
I think for me 2020 was a positive year where I got to learn a lot of things about life . I got the chance to spend time with my family, understood the importance of being near your loved ones, practiced a lot of meditation, and read a variety of interesting books. 2020 allowed me to enhance my skills in acting, dancing, fitness.
You also completed the shooting of a film during the lockdown?
Yes, I got the opportunity to finish the shoot of the upcoming film ‘The Wife’, which was again a challenge in itself, to come out safe and finish it on time. The highlight the year was obviously that my wife Debina and I contracted COVID and fought like warriors with the help of our doctors and later also went ahead to do our plasma donation. Overall the entire year taught me to help each other, be kind and that’s what I have taken ahead with me this year too and will continue doing it no matter what.
The OTT platform has changed the profile of the Hindi film audience. What is your take on cinema versus the digital platform?
As an actor, it’s a really good phase for us as we get the chance to be on OTT platforms and big screen as well. It is important to keep showcasing your work. Due to OTT, work has become more available. Sometimes some movies are made which take a lot of time and have problems getting good distribution but now that won’t happen as we have OTT platforms to accommodate every kind of cinema.
So you think the OTT is all good?
Absolutely.Emerging talent, innovative scripts and roles are coming on OTT which are easily accessible to view for all, so I think it’s really more of an advantage to everyone. I feel cinema has its own enjoyment, watching a movie on 70 mm has a different feel of its own, so I think both the mediums are important in their own way and have their own kind of influence in the society.
In a year of bleakness and massive losses which are the films and performances you liked the most?
Since OTT had taken over completely in 2020, I think there were more interesting series out then movies. I got to view a lot of interesting stuff on OTT and my personal favourite would be PaatalLok, Scam, Scared Games, Mirzapur, Special Ops ….I mean the list can keep going on. I feel everyone in these series have done phenomenal work, be it Pankaj Tripathi or NawazuddinSiddiqui, all were just exceptional and can’t choose one honestly.
Irrfan, Rishi Kapoor, Sushant… your thoughts on their abrupt departure?
I don’t think anybody was ready to face these losses, all three were such immensely talented actors. Their demise is a major loss for the audiences, the industry and their fans . We will always remember them now for their amazing work which they left us behind with.
There were some ugly run-ins on the social media which you handled with aplomb? What is your take on the toxicity on social media?
I think social media has such power that if you take it positively it can do wonders. Just recently, the Baba Ka Dhaba’s video became viral and it was all through the power of social media. Social media has the ability of reconnecting you with loved ones that you may have lost touch with, of reuniting families after decades of separation and so on . When it comes to trolling, I feel I just avoid the negative parts of it, I focus only on the good part and just keep spreading positivity.
What are your plans for 2021 to take your life and career ahead?
2021 is going to be a good year for me as my movie The Wife is going to be released. I have some interesting projects coming up which I am looking forward to. Also since 2020 we didn’t get a chance to work, the excitement in 2021 is at peak. I am targeting to do more and more films, as my fans have been telling me that they don’t get to see me often so this year I am gonna make sure to live up to their expectations and do more work.