Interview By: HASTI DOSHI
Work hard always is what Gaurav Arora says. Interviewing him gave me a feeling of positivity. His ‘never giving up’ attitude is what has brought him so far, and created an interesting journey from modelling to acting. Let us know about his experiences and his upcoming release ‘Raaz Reboot’ in this chat:
“You have to go through that struggle as it’s a very difficult nut to crack but, if you are passionate then it will happen.”
Your career started from modeling and now acting. So was it already a planned decision or a sudden one? And how far are you happy with your decision?
It was a planned decision and I always wanted to get into films. Yes, I am very happy with my decision and also it’s just a beginning so yes, I am quite happy.
Did you ever have a Plan-B where you thought if not acting or modeling then I could get back to this?
No, I don’t have any Plan-B. I never had and I still don’t have. I remember I had completed my BBA from Indore and I didn’t collect my marksheet or degree or anything and I just came to Mumbai straightaway. I remember meeting Bhatt sir. When I met him for the first time he asked me that, why do you want to become an actor? I don’t him, that it’s because I do not have a Plan-B. So, he told me then I will always remember you as a guy who never had a plan-B. This is the only thing I wanted to do and this is the only thing I probably can do.
In your debut ‘Love Games’, you played role of Sameer Saxena so were you satisfied with that character, or you thought you can do much better ones?
I think after every project if you look back, you feel I could have done this thing in a different way. I wasn’t satisfied and I am still not satisfied so every project that I get I am sure about that. Whenever I sit back and watch, I think that this scene could be done other way it would be much better. So that’s a process that will go on all my life probably once I go to theatre and see ‘Raaz Reboot’ again I will feel the same, which is good. You should never be satisfied with your work and the way things are going there is lot of competition and lot of possibilities also. I don’t think I will be satisfied as easily as there is a lot to do, a lot of scope for improvement.
Who was your role model or a person who attracted you towards cinema?
I never had a role model as such. I don’t know where this thing came to my mind because the place where I come from is “Mugaoli”. It is a very small village in Madhya Pradesh and doesn’t even has a theater there. So I was sent to boarding school and I was studying there and I remember when I was in class five we used to have those dormitory evenings where we used to put up a play or such. So I remember when I was in class I have directed the play whole evening, like the three plays and the entire portion, so I don’t know where it came from but, it was there. And I never had a role model as such though when I look at movies there are favorite performances but if you ask I would probably say Amitabh Bachchan because the way he has come without support and that used to give me hope that I can do it too. There are lot of performances of few actors that I like. For example, Ranbir in ‘Barfi’ and ‘Rockstar’, Amitabh sir in ‘Deevar’, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony.’ So there wasn’t like particular one person who inspired me as such.
You have worked with Vikram Bhatt in your last movie ‘Love Games’ and also the upcoming ‘Raaz Reboot.’ So how was your experience working with him?
It was a great experience. In fact, when I met him for the first time for ‘Love Games’, he asked me few random questions and he was testing me. Then he said, this is the guy for my film and so I signed the film within five minutes. After that when we were shooting for ‘Love Games’ on the fourth day of shooting he offered me ‘Raaz’. So that was big you know, because, without even seeing me on big screen and without even knowing need of film he signed me. I think Bhatt sir is known for that they have a heart to launch a new talent and back him up. So it was a great experience, and he is very calm on set and I feel when a person knows his job well, this is what happens. I used to ask him sometimes you are you so calm always do you every get angry? So I think when a person knows his job well then he is calm. I also remember once when we were shooting in South Africa he called me up one day and said you are like our dark horse in the industry and out of nowhere we have picked you up and we have given you these two films and we are putting money and we know you will be there. They are filled with lot of confidence and faith that they have.
You have done thriller and horror genres so are you open to any genre of the movie or any particular ones?
I feel that horror in India have a huge market. Like if you see ‘Raaz’, it has fans so if you see other films like ‘Conjuring’, ‘Annabelle’, ‘Lights out’ they all have done really well but what I see is actors are really happy to be part of such films but not everyone is going to do film like these so I think actually I am lucky to get opportunity like this. And of course I would love to do lot of other genres and I would love to do a love story or an action film for that matter.
What about the comedy genre which is trending much now a days and everyone wants to try comedy once in their acting career?
I think it is the most difficult genre and difficult nut to crack and I would definitely like to do it because at the end of the day everyone even audience who watch they all get entertained. So now how you entertain them and it’s not that it should have a slapstick comedy or something. A good story, a good narrative or a good performance they also entertain. But I agree comedy is most difficult thing to do and I would love to do it. To make people laugh is a great thing and if you can make people laugh you are still doing your work. Now days in India, the family is working throughout the week and then at weekends they go for films with their kids and everyone and lot of money is spend on buying food and everything, so even they want to spend a good time as they come with a lot of expectations.
Tell us more about your role in ‘Raaz Reboot’.
All the three characters that we have, all have a grey shade and the role I am playing of Rehaan Khanna is a very intense guy and he doesn’t talk much. He talks with his eyes and has got grey shade which I feel makes it very interesting. Otherwise having same kind of roles is very boring now days. So this kind of character makes it very interesting that has depth. And again it’s a love triangle, suspense which makes things interesting. It was an amazing experience to be ‘Rehaan’ in this movie as this role was a totally different role than what I did in ‘Love Games’. There was a guy who was outspoken, party animal, took drugs on the other hand this role I am playing is absolute opposite he is introvert, has very few strength, intense role so for me it was really nice to do two different characters in a very short span of time and I am hoping people like it.
You have done both of your movies with Vikram Bhatt so, who are the directors you have on your list with whom you would like to work?
There is a never ending list as there are so many of them like Imtiaz Ali, Mani Ratnam, Sriram Raghavan, Zoya Akhtar, Mohit Suri and Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and many more. As an actor I would like to do that and why would anyone want to restrict themselves to a particular one. There are so many younger directors and actors and new scripts and I would love to do whatever comes my way.
What were the hardships you did during your modeling and acting career? As there are times when you feel low, so what is your mantra to get back to your work with same dedication?
There were many times actually. It took me ten years to get my first film. When I was studying in Indore I felt all these models were getting into films like Dino, Bipasha, John, Arjun Ram Pal, so I thought this is the only way to get into films or to be part of industry. So I came with that frame of mind and started modeling here and it was a difficult thing to get into it and then later on as an actor you go through lot of rejections. Because, the first thing they tell you is your negative points which you can’t do and take out the faults first but I knew that would happen and I was prepared for it. There was a time when every day I used to come home and wonder what’s happening with me? And where I am wrong? And what should I do? But I think it’s a journey as it takes time to happen and then it did. There is only one mantra that, never lose hope. You just have to be ready for the opportunity when it comes to you because it always comes and you should be prepared.
There are many aspiring actors who want to get into industry, so is there anything you would like to tell them through super cinema?
In these last ten years I have been to lot of auditions and have seen many familiar faces and also lot of new ones. What I have noticed is that many come here for fun and they would have all these expensive cars but, you can’t struggle with all of that as there are people who are absolutely serious and hungry for work. So I feel if you are really passionate and want it bad then it will happen to you. Once you are not hungry you won’t get it. You have to go through that struggle as it’s a very difficult nut to crack but, if you are passionate then it will happen.