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Indian 'Underdog' Starring With Meryl Streep

By SUBHASH K JHA
October 26, 2021 18:24 IST
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'Once they meet me, they know I don't need to be typecast as the Indian underdog.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Adarsh Gourav/Instagram

After making waves in The White Tiger, Adarsh Gourav is in New York working on a prestigious project which co-stars Hollywood stars like Meryl Streep, Sienna Miller and David Schwimmer.

It's his second international project, and "it seems unreal" to the young actor.

"The fact that I've been signed for a lead in such a prestigious project proves I am going about my career the right way," Adarsh tells Subhash K Jha.

Congratulations on bagging Extrapolations, where you play one of the leads alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names. When do you start shooting?

I've started shooting already.

I am in New York and we have been shooting for the last three days.

How is the experience?

It seems unreal.

To be in the same anthology as actors I've always admired like Meryl Streep, Kit Harrington, Sienna Miller...

It can't get any better than this.

It can't, but I hope it can.

This is my second international project and my first in New York.

This is my first visit to America.

IMAGE: Adarsh Gourav at a gym in New York City. Photograph: Kind courtesy Adarsh Gourav/Instagram

Have you been able to do any sightseeing?

Not much. The COVID rules are very strict on the sets.

Every morning when I reach for shooting, I've to get tested.

It makes things very tense.

So instead of going over your lines for the day in the car, you are tense about the COVID test. Kahin positive ho gaya toh?

Jee haan, Every morning!

But it's all for the best.

I got my third jab (of vaccination), the Pfizer, when I arrived in New York.

How has the shooting being so far?

Highly educational. I am yet to get a full measure of the level of professionalism here.

The atmosphere is highly conducive to good work.

IMAGE: In the first row, left to right: Meryl Streep, Kit Harington, Sienna Miller, Tahar Rahim, Gemma Chan. Second row: David Schwimmer, Matthew Rhys, Daveed Diggs and Adarsh Gourav. Photograph: Kind courtesy Tahar Rahim/Instagram

We can't wait to see your face on the poster along with Meryl Streep.

(Laughs) I don't know about the poster.

But yes, the fact that I've been signed for a lead in such a prestigious project proves I am going about my career the right way.

I am yet to get a hang of inter-continental shooting.

My agents had to say no to an offer in the UK because I had to be in the US for Extrapolations.

Luckily, the roles I am getting are interesting even as they take me to different parts of the world.

Yes, Indian parts are going to Indians, not like Peter Sellers playing an Indian in The Party.

(Laughs) There was a time when even black characters were played by white actors.

That has changed.

The producers of Extrapolations saw me in The White Tiger and offered me a role in this anthology.

And you play a car driver named Gourav?

I play a transporter. My character knows his way around.

There is this tendency to cast me as the underprivileged, lower-class Indian in international projects.

Maybe they see me that way without meeting me.

Once they meet me, they know I don't need to be typecast as the Indian underdog.

IMAGE: Adarsh Gourav in Central Park in New York City. Photograph: Kind courtesy Adarsh Gourav/Instagram

The Indian underdog is living his dream in New York right now?

(Laughs) I've been provided my own apartment with a kitchen.

Today is my day off from shooting, so I am making lunch for myself.

What are you cooking?

Just eggs. It's no fun cooking a proper meal for yourself.

I am a halfway decent cook.

I'd rather eat than cook.

Too much performance anxiety accompanies cooking.

You wait for everyone to say the spices are right, the salt is not too much, etc.

I'd rather have comments coming in for my performances.

Are you homesick?

Too early for that. After the shooting ends, I will stay on a week to see the US.

What do you return home to?

To a romcom for Excel Entertainment with Siddhant Chaturvedi and Ananya Panday. I can't tell you much about that except that it will surprise you.

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SUBHASH K JHA