Actress Anshul Chauhaan got a lot of accolades for ‘
It’s lovely how you played an Air Force Officer in ‘Tejas’ and now you will be seen as Ranbir Kapoor’s sister in ‘Animal’. Post that, you play a cricketer in ‘Chakda Xpress’…
Yes, I know that the characters are essentially different, and I’m really excited about that. I’m looking forward to people in the industry seeing this and acknowledging it. And, I want that I get better opportunities in the industry.
What is the kind of feedback that you got for ‘Tejas’ and how was the experience for you?
This was once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I would say, for an actor to get to play such a character, that is, a fighter pilot.
When I read the script, this felt like there is no way that I can let go of it. So I still feel myself very blessed that I was able to do it. It was quite challenging for me. Abhijeet Gokhale, our retired IAS officer, was on set all the time, before shooting also, and through the shoot as well. He was there to train us. He would make sure we don’t go wrong in our mannerisms as Air Force pilots. It was quite challenging, during the fight sequences, my whole arm was dislocated. But it was overall, just such a satisfying experience.
How was it working with Kangana. Did she give you any tips?
She’s got this huge experience and deep know-how. I had just seen her work on screen. But when it comes to acting and working with her, you realise, she’s so talented as an actor. I thought that her suggestions used to make so much sense once you get to doing the scene. She takes her work so seriously that on the set you don’t see her preparing but she does all her preparation from home.
Tell me about ‘Animal’, your role and the experience of working with actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor.
I’m playing Ranbir’s sister in the film. I’ve grown up seeing Anil Kapoor on a small TV at home in those days where the TV was kept in a cupboard. When I was doing scenes with them, that is what played in my head, my childhood days of seeing Anil sir on TV. And here he was, playing my father. But, somehow, I was not nervous because I was zoned into my character. For me, even working with Ranbir was a huge thing!
Is there anything that you particularly noticed about them as actors or learned from them?
You know sometimes we get zoned out as actors and Ranbir was so sweet that he would just nudge me from behind and tell me things, if I forget something. It’s so big on his part to do so, he could have easily let the director scold me or even Ranbir could have scolded me because he’s got that kind of experience and he’s a star. But he handles everything so well and is always so collaborative. One of the things I noticed about him and that is something I want to do in my life is that he is always there to give cues to other actors. Even when it’s not his seen, Ranbir is always on sets to give cue to other actors for scenes. I have not seen that happening much. He’s never off the set even if he’s not on camera. He’s there behind the camera and giving cues to you with the same energy, as if he’s in the scene. That’s so amazing.
How do you look at your journey as an outsider?
It seems very hunky-dory, from the outside, but it’s still very difficult. It’s not easy, at all. If somebody asks me how I made it, I myself get scared, to tell the other person or give them any suggestions. Because, I don’t know, how these eight years passed for me. And, I feel like, I’ve pulled myself here. I remember those times when we would only go for auditions and wait to get calls for confirmation. It was only hope that I’ve lived by and now when finally things are happening, it still hasn’t sunk in. I do believe in the power of the divine, it is not possible otherwise.
But has the advent of OTT helped many newer actors?
There are more opportunities, but the thing is, with that there are different kinds of things coming now, like, how many followers do you have, how famous are you – and that becomes the criteria to get a role. They’re not looking for actors now, but it’s more like they’re looking for social media influencers. We are not social media influencers. I’m not demeaning anybody because being a social media influencer is also a serious job and quite difficult. It’s just that, actors are supposed to be actors. It doesn’t come naturally to all actors to have a social media presence. But it depends on the choices you make and what you wish to do at that point in time.