A lot of actors have contracted the virus in the last few weeks. What precautions are you taking to stay safe?
We can’t be afraid of Covid, but we have to be extremely careful. I take all the necessary precautions and ensure that I have a mask in my pocket at all times. Only while shooting do I take my mask off; the moment the director says ‘cut’, I put it on again and sanitise my hands.
Tell us about your journey in Bollywood?
It has been slow but smooth. However, I don’t like calling it Bollywood; for me, it’s the ‘Hindi film industry‘, maybe because I am someone who associates with Punjabi and Tamil film industries equally, having grown up partially in both these states. All I can say is that Mumbai has been kind to me. The theatre circuit and the voice industry have taken care of me and groomed me to be a better actor for the film industry’s consumption. I had to take the hard and long way, but I have also been lucky with the kind of projects that have come my way.
At any point in your, career did you bear the brunt of nepotism?
The brunt of nepotism hasn’t and will never touch me. I have met people who have given me an opportunity that I deserved. I do not belong to that section of people who blame trivial terms for their inadequacy as professionals. If I am good, I will be hired; it’s as simple as choosing a 5.0 star rated taxi over a 4.5 star rated taxi. You make your own brand in this business.
Did you always want to be an actor?
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to become an actor. I was distracted by music and then wanted to join the army, but eventually, my passion for acting led me here.
You have worked with Varun Dhawan in several films recently. How has your bond strengthened over the years?
Shooting with Varun has always been a fun experience; we have a very interdependent relationship when it comes to performing on screen. We complement each other beautifully. If given an opportunity, I’d love to work with him time and again. I have picked up humility from Varun. Believe me, he comes from a very good family, and it shows. Seeing star kids be so real, accessible, and humble opened my eyes to the word ‘gratitude’.
You will now be seen in ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’. Share your experience of shooting with John Abraham…
John is a self-made man; I have always had high regard for people who dream big and achieve everything with their own two hands. He is a sweetheart to work, talk, and be with. I haven’t met a kinder soul as my co-actor than John Abraham, to date. I could write a book about the experience of working with a fellow motorcycle enthusiast.