If not an actor, I would have my own startup, says IITian-turned-actor Amol Parashar
Not your typical macho man, Amol Parashar brings in a refreshing candour to all his roles. His striking good looks don’t hurt, but a reason he particularly stands out could be his non-Bollywood background. An IIT-Delhi graduate, Amol was the farthest from showbiz until his tryst with the stage.
“I had started doing theatre in college, which I fell in love with,” he tells us. “However, after my graduation I got a corporate job, which meant that I didn’t have the time and energy to pursue my passion.”
So, he decided to take a break from work to do theatre professionally and see where it goes.
As luck would have it, the switch worked out and he found himself rubbing shoulders with Bollywood royalty in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year and with a web series too.
And now, with Season 2 of TVF Tripling, a web series that is streaming now and where he plays the role of Chitvan, it is Amol’s time to shine.
In this season of the web series, he transforms from being a clueless DJ to a stay-at-home dad. As the youngest of the three siblings finds himself dabbling in responsibilities and relationships this time around, he doesn’t lose touch with his funny side even for a moment.
In conversation with YS Weekender, Amol lets us in on how he charted his acting journey, feeling like a “kid in a mela”, his love for theatre, and his plans to start up!
Here are edited excerpts of the interview.
YSW: Let’s rewind a bit. You were studying to be an engineer at IIT-Delhi, right? What made you change your career plans?
Amol Parashar: I had started doing theatre in college, which I fell in love with. However, after my graduation I got a corporate job, which meant that I didn’t have the time and energy to pursue my passion. I decided to take a break from work to do theatre professionally; that break has become a long break as I kept getting more and more opportunities, including ads and films. I am happy that I have been able to carve my own space in this unpredictable and highly competitive industry.
YSW: Have you had any previous experience performing in front of an audience before IIT-Delhi?
AP: I recollect performing some skits in school, but they were all fun and games. I would say that I “acted” for the first time in college, where I joined the dramatics society. That’s when I truly began to fall in love with the craft, and it became a huge part of my life.
YSW: So, is it fair to say that you have a connect with theatre? Do you think in the age of online streaming and TV, loyalty for the stage might flicker?
AP: Theatre has survived films and TV since it has a different charm. Watching or performing on stage is a completely unique experience, for the audience and the performer, and that experience can’t be captured by any other medium. As long as people seek out this experience, theatre will remain a sacred space for excellent stories and innovative storytelling devices.
YSW: Do you prefer web over traditional TV?
A still from the web series TVF Tripling
AP: If you ask me today, yes, I prefer web over traditional TV. It is only because I personally relate more to the content on web than I do with the content on TV. The reach of TV is unparalleled and the audience is also different, although it’s beginning to overlap now. Writers and creators are aware of what works for TV audiences and what works for audiences consuming content on the web. And thus, the choice of stories being told is different. As an actor, I get more excited by the variety of characters and stories on offer on the web.
YSW: Having grabbed eyeballs with diverse characters – Ready2Mingle’s Nirav Chhabra and Chitvan on Tripling - what roles are you looking for next?
AP: Every character is different. The idea is to do more characters and different kinds of roles as long as the stories are interesting, and you are confident about the people you are working with. I am glad that the kind of roles that come my way are of wide variety. It only means that the makers have the faith in my skill to pull off different roles convincingly.
YSW: We loved your work in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year. What was your favourite part of working in the movie?
AP: It was the first time that I had faced the camera. I did not have any big plans to be in a film. I came along, auditioned, got the part, and met these wonderful people. They were all very dedicated, including Ranbir. I felt like a kid in a mela back then. It was a very well-planned shoot and was pretty smooth thanks to our director Shimit Amin.
YSW: Now that season 2 of TVF Tripling is out, are you happy with the response from the fans?
A scene from the web series TVF Tripling
AP: The show has received a great response from the audience and my phone has been constantly ringing with messages from well-wishers and people from the industry. It’s truly encouraging to get such good feedback on your and I hope that I continue to receive such exciting projects even in the future.
YSW: For those who are yet to stream this season, could you share a quick sneak peek into Chitvan’s journey?
AP: We have all seen how truly unpredictable Chitvan can get. Due to this trait the writers have had the advantage of taking this character in any direction and they have done complete justice. So, however wild, unreliable, or mild Chitvan gets, it suits his character. In season 2, he is still the same but his lifestyle has changed because of the choices he has made. People have really liked the new layers to this eccentric character.
YSW: Do you enjoy the fame? How has life changed?
AP: I am enjoying the kind and amount of fame I have right now. I get recognised in public and asked for pictures, but it’s still not very disruptive and doesn’t make me uncomfortable. We’ll see how it goes, and whether I will able to handle it as well when it grows further. I am extremely happy to be receiving the opportunities and recognition I have. It’s important to remind yourself that you are only starting out and I think there is still so much to learn along the way.
YSW: You have worked in films and web series. Which do you think is more challenging?
AP: I do not think that an actor acts differently based on the medium where the content will be delivered. An actor’s job is to do the best, irrespective of the medium. The writing structures and editing patterns might differ, but an actor is not acting differently because it’s a web series or a movie. So, yes whether it is the web series or films, the aim is to always give it your best.
YSW: With World of MG: An Indian Abroad, you donned the cap of a host. What made you take up this role?
AP: Getting paid while travelling is a pretty sweet spot for an actor. I had done one trip with the makers last year and for World of MG: An Indian Abroad I am travelling to seven countries, discovering unexplored places and taking road trips. We have travelled to China and Thailand, to unexplored parts of both the countries. What works for me is that I absolutely love driving and going on road trips.
YSW: Which are your favourite destinations out of the places where you shot the series?
AP: We have shot in China, Thailand, and Dubai. I like going beyond the tourist cities to the villages and unexplored beaches. Culturally, each place delivers a different experience and setting out to see the areas brings with it a thrill like no other.
For instance, we stumbled upon a secret beach in Thailand which was literally called “the secret beach”. It is in these journeys between the famous destinations that we find the true culture of the country and are able to immerse ourselves in it. These are memories that will be with you for a lifetime.
YSW: What’s an ideal holiday like for Amol Parashar?
AP: I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring Dubai, Thailand, and China. I think all I basically need is a car and the freedom to go on long road trips. That always makes it an ideal holiday for me.
YSW: If not facing the camera, and bringing various characters to life, what would you be doing?
AP: My passion has now become my profession. But if not an actor, then I would probably have my own start up, and become an entrepreneur.