Though he is one of the most prominent faces in the digital entertainment space today, Amol Parashar started out with a Hindi film produced by Yash Raj Films. It took a few years of struggle for this young man, who studied engineering at IIT Delhi, to reach where he is today. In this exclusive interview, Amol Parashar talks about his journey from studying engineering at IIT Delhi, how ‘TVF Tripling’ has evolved as a show in two seasons, the freedom he is getting as an artiste on the web, why he turned to writing and more.
You made your acting debut with ‘Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year’, a Yash Raj Films’ production. Surprisingly, after that you did take up any project for a long time.
‘Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year’ happened to me at a time when I was not really chasing films. I was doing theatre and enjoying the whole process of acting but I was not sure if I wanted to pursue it seriously as a profession. I did not have any plans of becoming a film or a TV actor. It took me a couple of years to get used to that idea. Also, since I had done a Yash Raj film, I did not want to take up any random project. Theatre kept me busy and I was actually doing at least one film a year. Many of those films never released and a few released after being in the cans for a very long time. I shot for ‘Traffic’ in 2013 and it finally released in 2016.
You said in an interview that the entire process of finding acting jobs can be very frustrating. Did you go through this phase after your first film released?
Actually, I was not looking for acting jobs immediately after ‘Rocket Singh Salesman Of The Year’ released. Around 2012, I had to take a call whether I want to pursue acting or go back to doing my old job. That is when I started looking for acting jobs actively. I started calling people and meeting them. There were times when there was not much work to do. In 2016, a film released, a web show came out – a lot of things happened at the same time and suddenly, things started looking up for me. After that, I have been constantly working.
You studied engineering at IIT Delhi, one of the best institutions in India and then worked for a while as well. Was it difficult to muster up the courage to leave all of that and get into a profession which is considered to be unstable?
Actually, it was the other way around. I actually did not have the courage to do a nine-to-five job. It was more natural to do something that I enjoyed. I was doing theatre in college and I really enjoyed it. I did not leave my job thinking that I would go to Mumbai and would become a big star. I just wanted to take a break from the job, so that I could get more time to do theatre and understand the craft of acting.
Did the thought of going back to being an engineer and doing a nine-to-five job come to you during your struggling days?
Not really. When I came to Mumbai, I was really enjoying the whole experience of being active in theatre and interacting with people who had worked in this field for so long. I had never expected to do a Yash Raj Film or doing an ad on TV. But all these things happened to me shortly after I had moved to Mumbai. I got a lot more than I had expected. I never really thought of going back to being an engineer but I started writing as I felt people were always looking out for writers and there was always some more work for them. I got a few projects as a writer and people liked what I wrote. I started writing and directing plays regularly.
You are writing a show now.
I am actually developing something or myself. A lot of people are interested in hiring me as an actor but not all of them have a proper script or concept with them. I thought of writing something which I can pitch to them.
What is the best and the worst thing about this whole digital revolution?
The best part is that there is a lot of variety. The number of platforms is increasing almost every day. People want to experiment with different kinds of subjects. I do not really see anything negative about the medium. Two there years back, we could not afford to make shows on a huge scale because of budgetary constraints. Now, all the giants like Netflix and Amazon have come to India and they are willing to put in a lot of money. A lot of shows have higher budgets than some of the films that are being made out there.
The second season of ‘TVF Tripling’ came out recently. How do you think the show has evolved over the two seasons? There must have been an increase in the budget.
Yes, the second season was made on a higher budget than the first one (laughs). But, when we made the first season, the budget of the show was higher than that of the other shows that were being made at that time. Most of the web shows were shot in a single location or in indoor locations. We shot in multiple outdoor locations.
What are you doing next?
I recently finished shooting for ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Who Chamakte Sitare’. There are a couple of other films which I had shot for a while back. Hopefully, they will release this year too. I am in talks for a few web shows but have not signed anything yet.