All of us are made up of stories that define us, and allow us to stay unique to stand apart from the rest. And sometimes these stories are endearing enough to be heard by one and all, to keep them inspired. As we look forward to bringing you such tales, from the world of glamour, we came across a notable, accomplished and a well recognised personality Pulkit Samrat who has had his own share of battles to make a stand for himself in the entertainment industry. Pulkit is one such star icon, who has always managed to make heads turn with his on-screen energy, and has won several accolades from fans and critics.
The actor, who’s popularly known for his portrayal as Hunny in ‘Fukrey’, treated his fans with a completely different avatar of himself in his latest movie ‘Taish’. In an exclusive chat with ETimes, Pulkit opened up about his acting journey, his experience in the television industry, and the kind of challenges he overcomes to make his work stand out. He also walked down the memory lane, sharing incidents from his childhood days, his initial days from his career, and also revealed details about ‘Fukrey 3’.
You have truly made a mark for yourself in the industry. If we ask you to reflect on this journey, how did it all start ?
Yaar, sabko mazaak lagta hain.. but since my childhood, like, ever since, like forever, I don’t remember wanting to be in any other field or any other profession. I always wanted to be in performing arts, I always wanted to be an actor, I always wanted to work for the screen.
So I started with my college theatre and my school theatre. My mother has been trained in Bharatnatyam. She’s very fond of extracurricular activities, and she’s really fond of dancing and music. So she made sure that I also got trained in kathakali when I was a kid, so till about my seventh standard, I was being trained for Kathakali in my school. That actually gave me a lot of a lot of satisfaction creatively.
My first theatre performance was in my 10th standard. And I remember that was the first time I ever performed in front of a huge audience. And when I got appreciated for it and performing for the live audience, Ohh God, that adrenaline rush ! when you can interact with the audience while you’re performing, I just fell in love with it.
Most of your films had you playing romantic and comical characters. They even turned out to be box office hits. Do you get type casted or offered similar roles?
I think just before I was being type casted, I started with ‘Bitoo Boss’ and then came ‘Fukrey’. Then came Sanam Re, and the lover boy happened. Just when I was just about to be type casted, as a comic hero ‘Pagalpanti’ happened. And just when I was about to be typecast for comedy after being a part of Pagalpanti, I got to work in ‘Taish’.
So I think life has its own plan for me. I just walk with hope, Ki haa, thik hain..achha hain..I’m just crazy about working. That’s the most important thing for me. Seriously, speaking of being typecast, I would say if I don’t like something I will not get into it. It’s also my affection and my fondness of that particular genre that you know, I keep my hands I put my hands on it over and over again.
I really love doing movies like ‘Fukrey’. Because it’s a very light environment on the set as much as hard work that goes into it, but the environment is really light and chill you it’s more like really having fun with your own family on a film set.
So, do you see yourself as an outsider ? How do you deal with the issue of nepotism ?
I’ve never faced this issue. I’ve never understood nor experienced this. So for me personally, I feel there is no issue of that sort. There’s a chatter about insiders casting insiders, and conquering, though I’ve never faced that kind of an issue. Everybody gets the opportunity to prove themselves. Who so ever works hard, or puts the best foot forward is able to grab the opportunity.
What were the kind of obstacles you have faced in the industry, did you ever lose out on roles ?
There were times, my role was finalised for a project, but it never flagged off. Those things allowed me to understand my placement and shortcomings, and helped me to make myself better for future. I don’t take success to my head, and I don’t take failure to my heart, I just try to learn from both things.And that just keeps me grounded. And my family is my biggest critic. There might be a huge number of people wanting to meet me, or you know, just click a picture with me and stuff like that, but the moment I am home,..my grounding wire has been my family.
I guess the biggest challenge for me so far has been to keep growing and not let any sort of failure dishearten you! I have been following a simple mantra since forever; “Rise high, stay grounded”. This practice of not taking success to your head and failure to your heart is what keeps me quite sorted in my head.
How were your initial days in Mumbai ?
I’ve always been in a safe cocoon in Delhi at my home. So, when I came to Bombay, that was the first time ever that I actually left my nest to explore my wings. So, I had the focus. So I came to Bombay, my initial days were actually telling myself that I am here for work, and stay focused on that.
How do I figure out the connections in Mumbai because nobody from the family has been in the industry and has no link. So then life gave me a chance to explore, when I flew to Mumbai for the first time ever. And that gave me a lot of confidence. And then I started exploring more stuff when I started giving auditions I underwent training.
The journey has been more of working on myself and trying to understand the craft professionally and from people who are experienced rather than taking it as a struggling period. Even three-four opportunities among the millions of auditions, you give will change your life forever. So we just need to keep focusing and keep chasing the dream that’s the only thing. I also had my family’s support after the initial little resistance they had.
How your first audition ?
My first audition was in Delhi for a TV commercial. I had recorded on my camera and then sent the CD to a certain office in Delhi. So they liked my clip and liked my work and they hired me from so far without even a zoom call sort of a thing. So yeah, then I flew to Mumbai for work. And I remember when I gave an audition in Delhi, it was the first time I was holding a placard with my number and my height. I had a living fear in my head. But I was more focused towards the positives of it. You just need to be focused.
After various auditions, I eventually met Ekta Kapoor, she really loved my work, my audition and my screen test. Then her encouraging words were the reason that I got confidence, that I’ll be able to do something like this. And from there, everything changed for me. I became a house told name within three days. It just changed my life forever. And I’m grateful for that opportunity. And, yeah, so I learned a lot on TV. So it was like a Disneyland for me and till date, every set is like this being in a Disneyland for me. I just enjoy being on set.
A lot of people talk about, people coming from small screens don’t really make a mark in the big screen, but you have done it successfully. How has been your journey in this transition ?
I would really say that whosoever works hard and also ever grabs on the opportunities has been able to make it I had I had an example of Shah Rukh Khan, that I could follow. He has been one of the biggest inspirations for me. Even Salman Bhai, if you truly understand his life journey, he was never supported by his family to get work. He went out he started doing modelling on his own. He had, you know, he used to be penniless at some times and try to grab up from left right centre giving auditions, then finally getting an opportunity to you know, do something.
I think there are so many inspiring stories around us that we we just need to just understand how they fought every single day. An actor is an actor, regardless of the medium. Enjoy the craft, learn while you work and work really really hard!
Saw you in a completely different avatar in ‘Taish’, how has been your experience in exploring both sides of friendship ?
I actually connect with both the parts. Because that is what makes you a complete human being where you have all kinds of emotions. So I think I was always looking out for an opportunity to do a thriller. And on top of that, this being a revenge thriller, I was really excited. I’ve seen that phase of friendship Huney-choocha..pandit ji, Laali, Zafar bhai.. hum sabki bhi dosto badi interesting si hain..Then, on the other hand I had a chance to explore the bromance…a chuddy-buddy kind of friendship in ‘Taish’ again with Jim.
I was really looking forward to it, because Jim comes from a very different school of acting/thought. His way of approaching a character is different. His dialect is different. His personality is diagonally opposite to mine. It was interesting to find a balance where his wise characteristics are getting balanced to my crazy antics in the life. So that was a very interesting aspect of friendship. They just get along because maybe this crazy guy needs that balance in life and is yearning to be somebody like the other wise person and the wise person is yearning to be crazy and living life to the fullest. A little spontaneous kind of soul. So I think that’s why the opposites attract each other. And that is totally true in terms of friendship. So, I feel Sunny and Rohan portrayed that kind of friendship where there are no inhibitions, you can talk to each other about anything.
How has Kriti Kharbanda been as a support system ?
She has been a great support system, I used to be very, very restless. She’s been been a big support where, you know, she is the critic that I always needed, or the balance that I always needed or the grounding that I always needed, where, you know, there are some things that you know, my family can critically look at my work once my work is done. But she can add every step, be a part of my journey, and, you know, kind of guide me as well and kind of warn me as well and kind of celebrate me and my achievements as well. So that journey becomes even more interesting and even more learning because I i understand a lot of things from her perspective, she understands a lot of things from my perspective. Hence, there’s a balance.
How has the lockdown been a boon for your relationship ?
Yeah, lucky for us, actually. We both stay in the same building. So luckily for us, like her house is on the on the top floor, mine’s a little lower. But we are in the same wing. So the lockdown basically does give us a chance to be together and spend more time together understand each other a little more. And we could do all the crazy things together. We could also share the you know, the anxiety of the lockdown together, we could also celebrate, you know, small micro milestones during the lockdown on so to get up.
Being away from the family, we could also be the family together. So it has been really nice. I think that’s why we have been able to survive a lot before so. at times you would play piano at times we would start playing the guitar at times we would walk out at time to play with Robo at times we would cook together At times, we will just sit at different corners, or be at our own homes. And you know, just read a book or she loves to paint. So she will do a lot of water colour paintings.
Is your on-set equation with her any different today from what it used to be in ‘Veerey Ki Weeding’?
Haha! It’s in fact more professional now! We try and not cross into each other’s space while working. We understand each others’ boundaries and respect the same!
Message for aspiring actors
So if you really want to be at that place, you really need to work hard every single day and just chase your dreams. And that’s what I’ve been doing. And that’s what I do every single day. There have been mistakes. There have been ups, there have been downs as well. But you learn from your mistakes, and you try to polish the positives that you have. That’s the only thing I’m doing.
An actor is an actor, regardless of the medium. Enjoy the craft, learn while you work and work really really hard!
What is the next genre you would want to experiment yourself with ?
Would love to do action! It’s addictive!!
Fukrey 3 is happening. What stage is the film in right now?
‘Fukrey 3’ is happening..and we have already done a lot of pre planning as well..very very soon we are going to start filming. Early next year.. we are going to be on the sets. So, we are looking forward to it, and the entire team is quite crazy about the script. It’s crazier, whackier and bigger. Source From : Times Of India