He is one of the most well-recognised faces on television and has been only seen as a ‘good boy’ on screen till date. Now, in his second web show ‘My Name Is Sheela’, Ankit Bathla will be seen playing a character with grey shades for the first time. In this exclusive interview, he talks about the show, his journey as an actor and more.
What is the major difference between working on television and web?
Working on a web show is a very different experience. It is a shorter format. When it comes to a TV show, you live with a character for two or three years but when it comes to web, you are playing a character for a much shorter period of time and you get to design your character according to your vision. You get more freedom in this space. In television, you tend to get typecast. That does not happen here. In the digital space, people give you different kind of roles to play.
‘My Name Is Sheela’ revolves around a female character. Was there any apprehension before signing the show?
I had some apprehension but not because it is a female-driven show. I have always played the good boy in all my TV shows and even in the web show I did. Here, I am actually playing somebody who is creating obstacles for the female protagonist. Also, I feel kabhi achchai dikhane ke liye, aapko buraai dikhaani padti hai.
You have been active as an actor for several years now. How has the journey been?
I think we are actors since we are born. Actors have the power to entertain people, to inspire people. In one life, we can play so many characters. I feel very privileged to be in this profession.
You started out as a trainer with American Express. How did the switch to acting happen?
I have done Economic Honours and worked as a trainer with American Express. But, I always wanted to become an actor. My dad used to be a theatre artist. I learnt acting from his theatre guru. We used to perform in Shreeram Centre in Delhi. I trained for almost three years. I used to do theatre theatre while I was working with American Express. I used to work on weekdays and would do plays on the weekends.
So many people come to Mumbai everyday to become actors. How difficult, do you think, it is to stand out in such a competitive space?
I do not think you need to do anything special to stand out. Every actor has some unique qualities which makes him different from the rest. You cannot compare one actor to another. I think one should just be honest and true to one’s craft.
Does this show have a message for the viewers?
Yes, it does. The show talks about how important it is for everyone to be empowered. Sheela is a maid. Nobody can think that somebody like her can become an internet sensation but she manages to do exactly that. I am sure the show will inspire a lot of people.
A lot of people think OTT platforms will take over television one day. What are your thoughts on this?
I do not think so. I know a lot of people think television is regressive but things are changing. TV is watched by a large number of people in the country. We also make positive shows like ‘Kulfi Kumar Bajewala’. I think television is moving towards a more realistic space.
You had acted in the film ‘Club 60’. Do you plan to another film soon?
I have signed two films with two reputed production houses. I also did a music video with Zee Music Company recently. Hopefully, there should be a third season of Love Lust And Confusion soon. I am also in talks for a comedy show on television.