Amol Parashar: ‘An Actor’s Tools Are His Body and Mind’
The star of TVF’s ‘Tripling’ series and ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’ on his upbringing, scripts and comedy
Amol Parashar portraying a laidback and nonchalant DJ Chitvan Sharma in TVF Tripling is a state of mind we could all do well to adapt, especially right now.
But there are chances you might have missed him in his first ever Bollywood cameo, back in 2009’s Rocket Singh as Ranbir Kapoor’s friend Sai. Still a regular face on OTT and web series, Parashar has steadily played to his quintessential boy-next-door image and most recently gone on to make his Netflix debut in Alankrita Shrivastava’s Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. He essayed the role of a delivery personnel and Dolly’s (Konkona Sen Sharma) love interest, showing his wide spectrum as an actor. In an otherwise gritty and grey world of Srivastava, Osman’s character is as pure as the driven snow.
In an interview with Rolling Stone India, Parashar opens up about his career trajectory, learnings and his childhood. Excerpts:
How was your experience working for Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare alongside Konkona and being directed by Alankrita Shrivastava? Was it different from the previous work you have been doing?
It was a refreshing and a learning experience at the same time. Both of those women are not only masters of their craft but also inspiring as human beings. Generally on this project I was working with an entirely new crew and cast after a while, not having had worked with anyone before. That helps you pick up new things and break patterns in your work and personality. Most of my time was spent around Konkona and Alankrita and I feel I grew as a human being and an artist around them.
In the years so far, what’s been a reassuring or touching moment you’ve encountered as an actor?
I can’t recall any one specific moment as such. Most recently when Dolly Kitty released, many people pointed out how it was so different from the other work they knew me from. That was pretty rewarding because I remember how much work had gone behind making the characters real in themselves and therefore different from each other. It’s these small and personal rewards you remember the most.
You pivoted from engineering into acting, but was there something in your childhood that influences you as an actor today?
An actor’s tools are his body and mind. Most of what you create comes from within you. Who you are as a person, how you look at the world, how you interact with the machinations other societies at large have an impact on your approach to your characters and scripts. I can’t escape my childhood. It has been lived and it can’t be altered. My childhood has nothing to do with films or acting, except for weekend night entertainment purposes. I had an analytical and scientific upbringing and education, nobody including me could have guessed that I would end up in arts. But that’s the knowledge I have at my disposal, I use those tools now to better understand my craft. In some ways, it makes me unique because in my head science and arts are overlapping and the boundaries are invisible.
How has your family reacted to this career graph?
Your parents just want you to be happy and satisfied eventually. We grew up in a setup where a stable income was the end goal. I guess in that respect, they might still worry on some days. But they have seen me give it my all for all these years. They understand that it is not just a passing fad, unless passing fads can be a decade long. They know that this is what I want to do and it makes me happy, so they bear with my choices.
What kind of themes are you drawn to right now, while choosing a script?
Anything. I enjoy reading and playing all kinds of characters and genres. I just need something fresh, something original, something unique about the script. Sometimes it’s in the story you are telling, sometimes it’s in the way you tell the story, sometimes it’s what the story is trying to do or say. To read a well written original script is a joy that few other joys can match.
You’re known for your portrayal of Chitvan from Tripling, which is a comedy. Do you prefer this genre? What are the other genres you want to explore?
I don’t have a specific preference for this genre. In fact this was the first time I was playing a comic character on camera. I was nervous and anxious, and some of my best has come from when I have been scared. Post that, I have been part of many stories from other genres as well. Like I said earlier, as long as it is a well written well intentioned script, it doesn’t matter to me what genre it is.
What’s next for you?
There’s a couple of interesting announcements lined up which I have to wait for the official sources to talk about. What I can say is that a I have had the privilege of doing some interesting work for the big screen as well and I am excited about how it will be received. I am reading a lot of shows and also developing some of my own.