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'I was in awe of how driven Kareena is'

Last updated on: June 12, 2018 12:36 IST

'I was in awe of how committed Kareena was even at this stage of her career.'
'It was very inspiring and motivating, not just for me, but for everyone else to pull up their socks and give it their all.'

IMAGE: Sumeet Vyas and Kareena Kapoor in Veere Di Wedding.

Sumeet Vyas has been making waves with his role in Veere Di Wedding.

"I have a certain approach of doing my scenes, which is subtle and realistic. They took note of it and are very appreciative. I'm getting nonstop messages," Sumeet tells Rediff.com's Patcy N.

 

Reviews have praised you. What feedback have you got from the industry? 

People have noticed my work. They specially mentioned me and said how believable my work is. That's a huge compliment for an actor.

People from the industry have noticed me and my work.

They have noticed the smaller details, and been really appreciative.

I have a certain approach of doing my scenes, which is subtle and realistic. They took note of it and are very appreciative.

I'm getting nonstop messages.

One director friend told me it did not look like I was acting.

Did you receive any negative feedback?

Honestly, no.

But a lot of people have had issues with the content of the film and about certain scenes, which I think is fine.

No matter what film you make, there will always be some people who will not like your story.

I am just glad that there are more people who liked the film than those who did not.

 

IMAGE: Kareena and Sumeet Vyas in Veere Di Wedding.

Were you in awe of the stars of the film, Kareena Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor?

No. I have been working far too long in the industry -- it has been 16 years now -- so I'm not in awe of famous people. I am in awe of their talent.

Like I was in awe of how committed Kareena was, how driven she is, even at this stage of her career.

She is so motivated, giving it her all.

It was very inspiring and motivating, not just for me, but for everyone else to pull up their socks and give it their all.

A lot has been said about Swara Bhasker's masturbation scene.

Firstly, I am glad I am not doing that scene! (laughs)

Secondly, I think too much has been made out of it.

A certain section of society is always uncomfortable with the fact that a woman is pleasuring herself; she is not allowed to do that.

If the same sequence was shown with a younger boy or a man, they wouldn't have minded it so much. There would not be such a hue and cry.

There are giving a lot of attention to something that is not the core of the story.

The core of Swara's angle in the story is that she is stuck in a marriage where the man is a chauvinist.

Rather than focusing on that, people are focusing on just that one sequence.

 

IMAGE: Shikha Talsania, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Swara Bhasker in Veere Di Wedding.

A lot has been said about your styling.

This is the first time my hair and clothes got a lot of attention.

This is the first time I got a haircut for a film.

I thought it was very good, but Rhea (Kapoor, co-producer) called it 'generic'. So I had to get another hairstyle done.

I thought her comment was quite in-depth. I had never thought of fashion in that sense.

For me, decent clothes is good enough, but to be able to stand out, you have to stay away from 'generic' clothes.

I have been thinking on those lines ever since.

Everytime I pick up clothes, I think, 'This is good, but it's is generic. I want something more edgy.'

Were you worried about the screen time you would get in this female-centric movie?

I had read the script, so I was aware that I had a substantial part. I was pretty comfortable doing the film.

I also felt that now that I have the opportunity, I should give it my all.

If it still doesn't work for me, then it is my fault, not because I didn't have a good role.

 

IMAGE: Sumeet's selfie with the Veeres. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sumeet Vyas/Instagram

Did you ever feel left out while shooting with four women?

Not really. I do not have a lot of scenes with the entire cast.

When I was shooting with them, we had a great time.

I have known Swara and Shikha (Talsania) for many years now.

Swara, for almost eight years. Whenever we shoot together, we have a great time.

Also, when girls are having a great time, you should not disturb them. Just let them be.

How much will Veere Di Wedding help your career?

I will have to wait and find out.

I did not do the film because it would change my career.

I think it is unfair to put all your expectations in one project. It demeans the other work I have done so far.

I am extremely happy that Veere Di Wedding is doing well.

If it helps me, well and good. But I have not placed all my expectations here.

 

IMAGE: Sumeet with his trophies for Permanent Roommate. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sumeet Vyas/Instagram

Tell us about yourself.

Born in Jodhpur, I moved to Mumbai when I was four years old.

I started working in an editing studio at an early age; maybe 16.

I watched a play in which my father (B M Vyas) was acting at the Prithvi Theatre, and that really changed my life.

The very first thing I did after that was quit my job.

My father refused to help me. He told me if I wanted to do this, I should 'figure it out' on my own.

My father's friend, also a theatre actor, said he would help me. But first, I would have to hang out with them at rehearsals, and then, take it from there.

I got inspired just watching those people, helping them backstage.

I got more and more involved. I then worked with Nadira Babbar's Ekjute (theatre company) for seven years.

I have not quit theatre. I still do theatre on and off. It has been 18 years. At times, it gets hectic.

Theatre does not pay much. So in 2003, I started doing television.

I debuted with a small role in the Doordarshan serial, Woh Huye Na Hamare. I would shoot for 10 days in a month and earn Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 a month. That was a lot of money for me.

There was no real plan how I wanted to shape my career. I just kept doing whatever opportunity I got.

I directed a short film, Haircut, and wrote series like Bang Baaja Baaraat for YRF.

Then, I wrote Tripling for TVF. My series Permanent Roommate did really well.

IMAGE: Cory Hibbs, Sumeet Vyas, Mehdi Nebbou, Sridevi, Ruth Aguilar, Rajeev Ravindranathan, Damian Thompson and Maria Romano in English Vinglish.

You worked with Sridevi in English Vinglish.

The experience of working in English Vinglish changed my view of how to look at cinema and my career in it.

Before that, I wasn't really serious about this avenue.

The experience was so lovely that I realised this could be as much fun as theatre. Plus, you reach out to so many more people.

Working with Sridevi was a fantastic experience.

I think she is the chosen one among so many actors. It was a special experience working with her, I don't know how to put it in words.

What are your forthcoming films?

I am doing a film with Swara, that is tentatively titled Aapke Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai. It should release this year.

I am also writing the second season of Tripling. That should go on the floors by the end of this year.

Patcy N / Rediff.com in Mumbai