Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY
In conversation with Mukul Chadda, with regards for his recent Hotstar special web series ‘The Office’ which is a remake of the U.S show. Here, we speak to him about the USP of ‘The Office’, thoughts on remakes and much more…
The trailer looks really funny. How did ‘The Office’, happen to you?
I had received a call saying they were making ‘The Office’ and they asked me to audition for it, and till then I had not seen the show; the casting director asked me to see the show to get an idea of the show and that was the first time I saw it during the audition process. There were three rounds of audition and there was a long wait too, but the minute I started the audition process I was very excited about the role and I was hoping that it will happen. Many times I thought it won’t happen, but then it finally happened so I am very thankful and happy.
Your character seems to be interesting in the series. As ‘The Office’ is a remake; did you refer to the character?
Yes, I had a reference point of the character because the show is based on that character. And watching it initially was a great idea because it gave me an idea of not only the character but also the kind of humour is used in the show, the style of the show, so everything was easy that way.
In that case, how was your approach towards the character?
There is a basic structure, a character sketch that was already there so that was a good thing to build on, also, the show has been adapted for the Indian audiences and the writers had already written the episodes which was very helpful to us. In fact when I got the role, I stopped watching the U.S show because I didn’t want to copy what they doing; it doesn’t work and it’s not effective. But yeah, there are certain things you understand about the character based on watching the show so that was a helpful starting point. There were certain changes, certain differences that the writers had already incorporated so that was there to work off. Then I also had to create this character who’s a branch manager in Faridabad, which was very different from the way I am. His mannerism, the way he speaks, all this work started off and it was all in that direction of approaching the character.
Are you a methodical actor?
I don’t think there is a fixed process in everything I do; I think it’s different sometimes for different roles, the way you approach it, and it depends how much time you have. But I think I would like to put in a little work before a character, I feel it’s not easy to just jump in and do something. I actually like projects like these where you have to do preparatory work and then you have that character for a long period of time. Because this is a long process of so many episodes, the show also realizes you need preparatory work. For instance – we had workshops, I had taken time before and after to do my own work and they allowed me to do that, and I liked it rather than being unprepared.
Remakes are trending and are well accepted, your take on it?
The fact that web series medium that’s out there is fantastic for all of us; there is so much more content, different kind of content. It’s a very free medium because there is no time limit, it’s not like film of 2-3 hours, television has its episodes length, this is different having every episode of any length, number of episodes, number of seasons, and it can be anything. So a lot of different stories can be covered in this case. As far as the web space has come out, I am very happy and excited. And as far as remakes are concerned – at some level it is good because if there are good projects already, the U.S show ‘The Office’ which is so popular and is actually a remake of the U.K show yet the U.S ‘The Office’ is so successful that it ran for nine seasons. So if you have a good content, good concept, why not remake it. At the end of the day our concern as actors is to have good content, it really doesn’t matter if it’s original or remake. Now we are taking stories from the books and that’s great. When you have a good content to start with, it always makes the process richer.
What is the USP of ‘The Office’?
We have so many different genres of shows coming up and here this is a light comedy and I think that is a nice different thing to watch. I feel people will like watching it; it is light and different from other genres like thriller and drama. And the other thing I feel, it is a very relatable show as so many people go to office and probably you realize that these characters are in your office. I think people will relate to all these characters and situation that happen in office and I hope that when people watch this show and go back to their respected offices they might name their colleagues as one of the characters in the show. (Smiles)
End of the day, what really matters as an actor?
I want to constantly challenge myself and do interesting roles, interesting work. And constantly feel the sense of challenge on the project I take. I am lucky with ‘The Office’ and I hope I get many such projects with different genres, different roles, where you are constantly feeling that the script is good, it’s a difficult character but an interesting character to play.