Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

From the success of ‘Fukrey Returns’, Pulkit Samrat has moved to something unconventional in the form of ‘3 Storeys’. The actor has this natural swag which can’t be missed every time he walks into the room and interestingly, that’s what he had to get rid of for his role in this latest release. Samrat talks about ‘3 Storeys’ and more in this candid chat…

‘3 Storeys’ didn’t unfold much at the trailer level. There seemed quite a mystery attached to it, so how did you interpret the film when you came on board?
In life, we see that every face has a story to it. This is what the film actually talks about. There’s a mystery behind every face – whether it’s an angry face, a smiling face, someone who is always fed up or chirpy. Similarly, in this one, it’s about what lies behind the face, beyond what we show to people. That’s why if you see Renukaji’s character, or everyone’s character, we all have a certain mystery to us. When I got the one liner of the film and then got to know the cast I might be working with, I was half sold on that. Then when I heard the script, it turned out to be something that maybe I wouldn’t have chosen but because people had Excel also had the belief that I could pull off this one, so I kind of surrendered to the director, team and went with the flow, so it turned out to be nice.

The tonality of this film is very different from the work you’ve done. Is that why you said you might not have consciously chosen this film?
Yes, that’s why I wouldn’t have consciously searched for a film like this but I’m lucky that this film searched for me and came to me. I’m very happy being a part of it. I think it’s one of the most respectable film in my body of work. It was challenging but we did workshops and that helped a lot. The main thing we were doing in workshops with me was to throw away the swag. That’s what the director wanted. We did readings with everyone, it was a fab experience. I got the chance to work with Renukaji, since I have many scenes with her, so I loved it.

How happy are you about ‘Fukrey Returns’ doing so well, especially now when many sequels are not really living up to the mark?
Happy of course, but more than happy, I am really thankful to the entire team and the audiences who have come forward and given so much to the film. The response was unprecedented. We were hoping for something like this but when it turns out to be true, it’s exciting.

As per the one liner of ‘3 Storeys’, that all of us have some mystery attached to us even in real life. As an actor, is it more necessary to hide yourself considering the constant limelight on you all?
Hiding yourself doesn’t work. The more comfortable you are in front of people, and in your own skin, the more you are accepted. If you are trying to be someone else, then after a few years also, what you are will come out eventually. Also, I think, that’s how you can contribute to a character. If you are not being yourself then you are not adding anything from yourself to the character. Then you are just doing what’s written and mugging your lines. When you start getting under the skin of your character then a few of your traits come in, a few of the character’s traits come in and only then you can make it your own and unique. That exercise is interesting. We work here because we love it. You love something only when you are passionate about it.

You’ve had an interesting association with Excel Entertainment now with four films…
Yes, Excel is home now. These guys know what they want. They don’t just work with the intention of making money but the aim is to make something nice and creative. There’s a reason why they’ve been torchbearers for so many things – be it the kind of cinema or technical advances, or writing. It’s a great place to be in. This is home, I never feel like an outsider with them.

It’s an interesting mix for you now – ‘3 Storeys’ after ‘Fukrey Returns’ and ‘Veere Ki Wedding’.
I’m just happy about being busy. The result is not something which you can guarantee but it’s just important to keep working. You can hope for the best but that’s only if you are constantly working. It was not a conscious effort to have one release on the 2nd March and another on 9th March, it just happened. I am happy being busy, that’s most important.

What is it that you take back from ‘3 Storeys’?
When you work on something creatively, be it as a musician or an artist, or an actor, I take it as a form of meditation wherein that’s the only thing you are focused on. You don’t care about what is happening in the outside world. When so many people say that the best way to live life is to be in the moment, I think acting is the strongest example of being in the moment. You could be in a sad mood but then you could immediately be shooting a comedy scene or vice versa. What you are going through will not affect the scene. That’s like meditation and it definitely helps in exploring yourself more.

Now do you feel accepted by the audience and the industry?
I think it’s an ongoing process and it’s going to be lifelong. You get accepted as a romantic hero, and then you want to do something else and get accepted for that. And then if you get accepted for your comic timing, then you start working on something else. So, you have to keep doing other things, and re-inventing yourself. If you honestly work towards that and if you have a great team then it falls into place. You just have to be honest.

You’ve always been very confident about what you can bring to the table as an actor.
That’s important. An actor is not a piece of furniture. Actors need to be cast only when they fit a certain role and when you believe that a certain actor will take the character above what’s written. That’s an interesting exercise.

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