Nakuul Mehta Interview Part 2: ‘TV shows will be given stiff competition by web series’ says Ishqbaaz actor

Arjun Varma
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Arjun Varma

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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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Arjun Varma
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nakuul mehta

This is part two of excerpts from our chat with Nakuul Mehta. You can read part one here.

Did you have any apprehensions about doing a web series like this – which shows you in such a different light as compared to the characters you play on TV?

So, a lot of people asked me this…just before they saw anything of I Don’t Watch TV–they were like, ‘What’re you doing? You’re sitting on a shit pot in the first episode…??’ (laughs)

On television, you’re projected as this desirable hero. But honestly, I wanna go out there, do different stuff yaar. I want to challenge myself and I don’t want to live with an image which television creates…and TV can really box you in images. I feel it’s my job as an artist to break out of it. Also I think it helps that I wouldn’t have got anyone else to do this. Because a lot of people I went and narrated that farting scene (in episode 1) to…they were like, ‘Hey this is great, who’s doing it?’ (laughs)

That scene was not supposed to be done by me, we had approached three other actors and all of them were like, ‘This is pretty adventurous man, who’s doing it?’ So eventually, Ajay said, ‘Listen you’ve got to pull it off because no one else is willing to fart on screen!’

So, I’m absolutely fine and being the newer generation of TV actors, I think it’s for me to go out and break notions of how an actor must be perceived.

Do you think web series and digital content has the potential to take over television?

I think that’s a tall statement to make. India is a country where the reach of television will always be much more because TV watching is considered a group exercise, you know. Aap chhote shehron mei jao, toh people there watch TV together– on one screen. It’s hard for that to happen on mobile phones.

But even though I say that, I think it’ll definitely be rivalled and be given stiff competition by entertainment online because the youth is getting hooked on to it. And also, all of us don’t have time anymore to sit in front of the TV and watch our favourite shows. But, to say that it’ll take over TV, I don’t think that is true.

What plans for Season 2 of I Don’t Watch TV?

Well, our plan is definitely to create new content and not get stuck in something which we’ve created for ourselves. It’ll be fun to do it because, you know, after this one’s come out, a lot of actors have come out and said, ‘Listen why didn’t you cast me or why didn’t you get me on it?’ So definitely there’s a lot more excitement and people want to associate with the brand…but I think as makers, we’ve stayed with this for a year, this project really started for us last July.

indian web series

Cast and crew of I Don’t Watch TV with director Anurag Kashyap

We want to try something different before we come back to it. So, we’re already in fact scripting a new show, which we want to make. It’s very different from I Don’t Watch TV. I would think that if everything goes well, we would probably get on with that before we come back to I Don’t Watch TV.

Will that be a comedy as well?

That is satire…satire comedy. I think that’s a space which people enjoy, it’s easily consumable online. Also as a writing unit, that’s our strength.

Any plans of releasing deleted scenes, bloopers etc. from I Don’t Watch TV?

(Laughs) That can be an entire series yaar! I don’t know actually… it all depends on Arre. The onus is on them to bring it out whenever they feel it’s right but I hope they do because we have so much content which is just crazy man…

You can click here to binge watch all episodes of I Don’t Watch TV.

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