Waiting years for your debut film to release could be tough. But, as they say all is well that ends well. ‘Running Shaadi’ might not have set the cash registers ringing but debutante Arsh Bajwa was appreciated for his performance as the geeky, jovial Cyberjeet in the film. In this interview, the humble and affable youngster talks about his journey from a small village in Punjab to tinsel town, waiting patiently for his debut film to release, being dropped out of films and looking at the future with a lot of positivity.
You had to wait for three years for your debut film to release. What are the kind of thoughts or emotions you went during this time?
I believe the producers know what is best for a film. We shot the film over a forty-five day schedule. It was a very smooth process. After that, the producers were looking for the right release date and an appropriate way to market it. It was my first film as an actor and I was really excited at the prospect of seeing myself on the screen. There is a right time for everything and I have nothing to complain about the way things shaped up.
Tell us something your background. How did you think of becoming an actor?
I hail from a village called Paharipur in Punjab. Most of the members in my family are into farming and agriculture. As a kid, I used to do silly things like faking a fever in order to avoid going to school (laughs). I was quite good at convincing people that way but I never thought it would lead me towards something that would become my profession. When I was in twelfth standard, I decided to get myself enrolled in acting classes. My parents, who have never been to a movie theatre, were a little apprehensive about my decision to take up acting as a profession but eventually, they allowed me to follow my heart. I did a short-term acting course in Jalandhar and it was then that I realized what an amazing craft this is. After finishing my course in 2012, I acted in a couple of short films which never released. After a while, I bagged the role of Cyberjeet in Running Shaadi.
You had to go through quite a drastic physical transformation to play Cyberjeet.
That happened much later. Initially, Amit Roy wanted the character to look lean. I lost four kilograms of weight. Later, he thought a chubbier look would work better for the character. Then, I ended up gaining seventeen kilos for the role. From my weight of 62 kilos, I went up to 79. I grew my hair long and sported a beard. Cyberjeet was supposed to be a dishevelled person who did not care much about cleanliness. So, to look the part I took a shower just once, after we had shot for around thirty days. I am a method actor and willing to go to any length to prepare for a role.
In Bollywood, actors are often typecast and are offered similar roles after a role they play catches the attention of the audience. Do you have a fear of getting stereotyped?
I believe if you do good work and manage to prove yourself over a period of time, you will not get stereotyped. I want to play different kind of roles and hopefully I will get enough scope to do a wide variety of roles in the future. I do not worry too much about being stereotyped.