Exclusive: 'Most People In The Industry Are Outsiders' — Undekhi Actor Surya Sharma

Shubanka Sridhar , 06 Aug 2020

After his brief stint in television with his role in the serial Kaala Teeka, actor Surya Sharma bagged a role in Rhea Kapoor’s Veere Di Wedding in 2018. But it was only with his next project, Sudhir Mishra’s series, Hostages, that brought him his much-deserved fame. Post this, he starred in the recent series, Undekhi, which has garnered a lot of praise from all quarters. The actor played the role of Rinku, which was much appreciated.

In a conversation with us, Surya spoke about his break with Hostages, his role in Undekhi and shared his view on the  on-going insider-outsider debate.

Excerpts:

How was your experience working on Undekhi? Your character in particular is one with slight grey shades. Tell us a bit about it.

2 years ago, when I was in Delhi shooting for the show, Hostages, I got a call for Undekhi. I had no idea what the show was about or what my role was. So, when I came to Mumbai, I met the makers and learnt about my role. I don’t think Rinku, my character on the show, is a negative person. I believe an actor shouldn’t judge his character, because if you judge the character you cannot do justice to it. As for me, I live with my character while shooting, so it helps me perform my scenes better. Rinku has some grey shades, which are related to his upbringing. But whatever he is doing right now is to protect his loved ones and that is his intention. I keep getting a lot of messages from my fans saying they want a friend or a brother like Rinku. I never thought about how I would play this character. All I wanted to do was to play it in such a way that people can see the human side to him and connect with him. I think I am authoritarian as a person, hence I used that part of my personality in the role. Plus, I love my father a lot, so I think that helped too!

You were appreciated for your stint in Hostages. How was your experience being directed by Sudhir Mishra on the show?

I think I am lucky to get directed under the guidance of Sudhir Mishra sir at the start of my career. His working style is very very different. He is very impulsive and he improvises a lot on sets. We did a few workshops before we started shooting. He used to make us read the scripts daily so that we understand the crux of the story and all its sub-texts. This helps us understand the qualities and traits of the character which was a great learning.

How was it shooting for Undekhi? Any anecdotes you can share from the sets?

I used to stay in character on sets, so I think people avoided pranking me! People used to tell me that it seemed like I was always plotting something in my head. We shot in Himachal, and it being my hometown, I was super excited. My parents also came to see me on the sets one day and that was really special. While shooting for the show, I even adopted a dog called Tiger, who is now 1.5 years old. He is at my house in Himachal and whenever I see him, it reminds me of Undekhi. Another special memory from the show for me is that I performed my own stunts. Since I am a huge fan of Akshay Kumar, I always wanted to perform my own stunts and I ticked that off my bucket list with this!

With the whole insider-outsider debate going on right now, what is your take on it? Being an outsider yourself, how welcoming was the industry to you?

If you think of it, most of the people in the industry are outsiders. It’s just that they have been a part of the industry for so long that now they are insiders. Similarly, if I stay around in the industry for long, people will start considering me as an insider, too. Honestly, I don’t focus on these things at all. I concentrate on my work and focus on how I can connect with my audiences. In fact, after Undekhi, I got a lot of calls from the Industry people appreciating my work. Anurag (Kashyap) sir called me and gave his feedback, which is like Guru mantra for me. He told me to concentrate on my work and even said he loved my role in the show. Sudhir sir andHansal Mehta sir also appreciated my work.

What’s next in the pipeline for you?

I was about to start shooting for a film, but we could not because of the COVID-19 lockdown. I am also waiting for the season 2 of Hostages. Plus, I have signed few projects about which I can’t reveal much right now as I have to follow protocols.

We sure cannot wait to see him in all these projects super soon!

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