Interview By: Drishti Pandey
He knows no boundaries in the Ad industry and has already made his presence felt in as many commercials of various brands. Harsh Naagar, the charming boy has come a long way. He starred in Shah Rukh Khan’s production ‘Always Kabhi Kabhi’ and now will be seen in ‘Love Day’. He spoke to us about his film and his journey.
“I’m not a guy who goes around with a prefect plan. I’m more a person who does stuff that he feels like doing without his debut ruining anything”
What was the starting point for ‘Love day’?
It’s a film about three friends and about friendship and this film travels from when they are 13 years old to 30 years old and wanted a character which could pull of both the roles as a collage going boy and a married guy my other co-stars were casted before me. The film deals with hardship of these three guys and it’s put up in a funny way and the director wanted a face which is my character in which people would sympathize with; even though it’s a comedy. They had seen my few commercials so they enquired about me and contacted me so that’s how I got this role.
As we have seen you in many commercial ads working with great brands like Pepsi, ICICI, close up etc and now that you stepping onto doing a film, so how was your journey so far?
I’ve done a film before for Shah Rukh sir the film was ‘Always Kabhi Kabhi’ the film came out in 2011, I was a teenage back then and the film they made was also a teenage film it was about the last years of school. So for me it always started as a performing child; as in school also I was into plays, dance and other activities. I was in Anupam Kher acting school and then I got this offer to do in Shah Rukh’s film so my introduction was actually Red Chilles. I was aware about the film making and shooting process and also that I was doing commercial ads so it was nothing new to me. I’ve also work with known actors and know little bit about the craft of acting but how a set works and what are the camera technicalities I learnt it from ‘Always Kabhi Kabhi’. Recently shot with director Nitesh Tiwari and also did an ad with Imtiaz Ali for Parle Mari; so I was always surrounded with filmy people and also that I had done a French film before this. So for me it wasn’t new that I had to know about the how it works but what I had to adjust myself was with timing; what happens is that in an ad you just have a few seconds in which you have to arise your emotions there is no time to arrive at your emotions so in a film its more time, there’s more time to react, there’s more time to built up, but it wasn’t that tough because this film was like a travel time which made it lighter; because you don’t get into a room and start working, here it was different it’s like different feeling working in different locations. It was really easy I didn’t feel that I had to push myself also that it’s a guys film so it made it easier, also that the genre was fun it wasn’t intense, crime , thriller.
How was it working with your co-stars as specially Ajaz Khan?
It was great I keep saying that with him you never know. He’s been here for a long time he has his personality of cracking jokes and stuffs his not the standard person if a scene says that these three got out of their car and spoke about life it would actually come out to be something else. I think with any actor who improvises a lot who kind of changes the material little bit in it you have to be more aware and I feel it’s more exciting also because in ads I use to not get this chance because it’s all set up. With Ajaz you have to be very active when you shooting with him because he improvises a lot and secondly even I discovered myself as too what comedy I can do to improvise and mostly with new actors we have to stick to the script we can’t add anything. Ajaz is very vocal about things it’s always nice to have someone who speaks their mind who’s not fake and diplomatic and have an entertainer while shooting.
Now that we see there are many nercomers in industry so are you apprehensive in any manner?
Every year there are a lot of people coming up and I’ve been acting since 6 years now .In my acting course I’ve seen many people coming in; some being successful some not. I don’t really look at it as a short term span. There are so many one hit wonders, there are such big actors whos first film wasn’t a hit. So I don’t feel any pressure. I actually don’t take the pressure of this will be the end I feel like creative people take notice of you if even one thing is wrong and 9 things are right in you. And I believe in my efforts and slowly slowly you develop your art and what is right and wrong for you; so I feel I must have done that much right that people don’t right me off. And also I’m not scared of one film failing.
You’ve even worked in a French film ‘Rani ‘ so how was it working for a different language and what was your role in it?
I was on a short list for ‘Life of Pi’ but for some reasons it didn’t work out so Fox and the casting team had my biodata so they knew I could speak French, and I had started French since school so they asked me to audition for them and that’s how I got the part. I had studied French in my school days and it had been a long time since then so I had forgotten most of it because there wasn’t anybody to speak to and there is a lot of difference in writing it and pronouncing it rightly. French industry is much ahead of us in terms of experience and everything they had more detailing they had an edition coach for me a language coach too; it was a sync sound film because they had come to India. It was an action adventure and they wanted real sound in it. There was this pressure though of sync sound film and I had to get it right. It was a time period film so we were playing at the period of 1757, it’s an era where people use to ride horses but didn’t have carriages I was playing this Tamilain guy in this film who meets this girl and stays together and she teaches him French so it was that I had to learn two languages Tamil and French. I was the romantic lead in the film I had to speak Tamil with my family in the film I had even spoken in Tamil in few of my ads when we do it in Tamil but to do an emotions thing for a different language was a new thing.
Is there any actor you get inspired by or an idol that you follow?
I really like Amir Khan and certain performances of Ranbir kapoor, I think every actor has a particular style of acting; I like the effortlessness of Ranbir and also that he is of a new age. But I really love and wish to do the detailing of how Amir Khan does. if there’s five DVDs lying and I had to choose I would choose a Aamir khan DVD to watch because there is so much creativity in it and also I’ve grown up seeing him. I really like his filmography and I totally get impressed by his work and him.
Is there any particular genre you would like to work on?
Everybody has a personality and has an image, this is what a lot of big people have told me. For example, Amitabh Bachchan as angry young man, Shah Rukh Khan as a romantic hero things like these even I’m looked at in my ads like a cute looking college guy image but I haven’t made those choices; and I don’t believe in that typical girl meets boy story. I feel it’s done so much. I would like to make what the directors want to make but if I had a wish then as a genre I feel Sci-Fi would be really amazing; not like ‘Ra One’ having a lot of money put in but a nice small and interesting would be really nice and anything that is off the topic. As we see change has been really accepted by seeing our past films and upcoming films. I feel any story with an edge and not the standard Rom com. Sci- Fi will be new and the audience will like something new.
Any particular director you wish to work with?
Yes I would like to work with Imtiaz Ali, what I really like about him is that in his films he has a unique take on it. I’ve worked with him though in a Parle Mari ad and I’ve travelled with him and stuffs like that even during travelling he was reading all Rabindranath Tagore stories. And every film of his has been new out of which some of them have not been commercials successful but just having the ability to say something new with the mainstream budget and mainstream stars is extremely nice for the industry. So one of the directors I would like to work with even if I have a small role in it, is Imtiaz Ali’s film.
Now that you working in films so is it that you’ll not be seen in commercial ads?
No that’s not going to happen because the ad takes a day or two of shooting but also for the love of the people that I’ve been working with and if I’m free and if I can; I will probably do a shoot in the day for a film and shoot a ad in the night with the people I love and the people I’ve worked with for 6 years and sometimes I meet the DOP’s like Mohanan his was the DOP of ‘Don’ and 100 of movies so I’ve shot with him for snickers and now shooting with him for something else, and it’s nice to meet with people who you have worked with before and cherish your memories with them. I’m not a guy who goes around with a prefect plan I’m more a person who does stuffs that he feels like doing without ruining anything. It will be a little less but whenever I can I will definitely do it because films take a lot of time.
Any future projects?
I’ve already shot my second film but it’s not yet launched so I can’t talk about it because there are more people in it I’ll talk about it when it’s an appropriate time; same like this film there are more actors in it.