Interview: ‘Chitvan Is Not The Kind Of Guy Who Falls In Love’ – Amol Parashar On TVF Tripling And More
Arjun is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who, before stepping into the glamorous world of entertainment reporting, assisted acclaimed filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron and Christopher Nolan.
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Amol Parashar aka DJ Chitvan as he’s more popularly known now, is definitely one of the breakout actors of this year. Owing to an unexpected, simultaneous release of his short films like Azaad, Mama’s Boys and the rocking new web series on the block – TVF Tripling, the young actor suddenly took the digital entertainment space by storm.
Though it is of course his brilliant turn as the carefree and cool DJ Chitvan on Tripling that’s made him the new favourite among fans, viewers and industry folks alike.
We caught up with Amol recently and asked him about this exciting phase he’s going through as an actor, his short film Mama’s Boys becoming the subject of some controversy and what we can expect to see in upcoming episodes of TVF Tripling…
Lot of exciting stuff happening in the Indian digital entertainment space. Good time to be an actor as compared to a few years back?
Digital, of course, has opened up a completely new avenue. It’s completely independent of whatever’s already on films or on TV and it’s creating more work for the actors which is obviously a good thing. And an even better thing about the web is the kind of content people are watching and lapping up, which is far more interesting than what is on TV. It’s so much more interesting for an actor to do yaar.
With TVF Tripling and your short films, you’re suddenly all over the web. How’s that like?
Funnily, a lot of things I shot for (Tripling, short films) unexpectedly came out all together…and it seemed like, ‘what a debut I’ve made in one month!’ (laughs). Sometimes as an actor, you also hope that things pace out– ki iss mahine ye aaya, agle mahine kuch aur aaya but it’s all just come out in 10-15 days, which is good in a way; you’re almost everywhere and people are watching you.
Coming from a theatre background, do you feel this explosion of digital content in India is helping theatre artists (actors, writers) get more visibility?
Yes, that’s completely true. I think the digital content ecosystem allows makers to focus more on stories and characters. Even the audience right now, whoever is watching, they are focussed more on the story and the relatability to the characters. So makers are not forced to look for a star face. Agar story achchi nehi hai, chahe usme aap star ko bhi le aao, they’ll [audience] immediately comment saying, ‘I don’t like this’ and whatever, and they will react positively to something they’ll like.
So all the theatre actors, who had the skill but maybe didn’t have the star power or good looks or six pack abs, are suddenly finding themselves with opportunities where they can showcase their work. Even a lot of senior actors from theatre– they are suddenly discovering, that, ‘yaar hum log 10 saal se theatre kar rahe hain…and suddenly this thing is giving us more fame, people are recognising us on the roads.’ So it’s a different feeling and achcha hai, it’s a good thing and I hope it continues.
What if all the talented actors just treat this as a stepping stone to get into films?
Personally, I feel that even if I get more opportunities in films but still something interesting comes up for the web, I’ll gladly do it. It’ll be good to balance out both these mediums because abhi bhi thoda sa difference hai. Films tend to get a little mainstream because they cater to a larger audience, they’re driven by box office numbers etc. But web series follows a slightly different template and format. There is edgy stuff, new things to do…so as an actor, that keeda [of doing something different] can be satisfied by going and doing things on the web.
Your short film – Mama’s Boys – a naughty and funny take on the Mahabharata was recently taken down post some complaints from Hindu organisations…
See we were just trying to have fun, not offend anyone. And I really didn’t expect that people were so sentimentally connected to characters from Mahabharata. I didn’t think Arjun and Bheem were gods.
Mahabharata, even on a college level, people keep doing small skits on it and everything. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron mei they had done yaar, and even locally people do all these small performances and Mahabharata characters have been used and played around with several times. I never thought this was stepping on religious beliefs. Obviously something like the Ramayana would be more sensitive, that I can still agree because there is a certain faith and belief attached to those characters but this is a little surprising. But theak hai, abhi kya kar sakte hain.
What else is going on?
I’m co-writing a show for TVF which might be their next web series. We’re working on it right now. It’s mostly fun stuff. Right now at least the 2-3 projects that I’m working on are mostly humour based. One of the things that we are writing is completely off the map! We’re attempting a crazy, young-people comedy which…I don’t know how it will be taken (laughs).
What can we expect to see in upcoming episodes of TVF Tripling?
Things are going to get crazy because now all three of us are on the road, post episode 2. Tab tak thoda sa chal raha tha sabke apne apne issues. Now, just the 3 characters will be on the road and that’s when the actual events and things going wrong or things going right will start happening.
Will Chitvan be getting a love interest somewhere down the show?
I don’t think Chitvan is the kind of guy who falls in love yaar (laughs). Or he does maybe fall in love but his love is a different kind– he falls in love maybe at first sight or whatever.