Actor Gautam Mehra made his big OTT debut with Sony Liv’s latest release ‘Chutzpah’. Gautam plays the role of Kevin, who aspires to be a social media influencer. He started his journey as a writer and has ‘Roohi’ and ‘Khandani Shafakhana’ to his credit.
Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Gautam Mehra:
How has been the response to Chutzpah and your role in it?
It has been amazing. I get many heartwarming messages from viewers every weekend. People are liking the show and my character as well. Also, everybody can relate to my character. And people are saying that there is no reference point to this show because nobody has made something like this before. The concept is so international, fresh and relevant.
Did you find it challenging or fun to play the character of Kevin?
It was fun to play Kevin. He is high on energy and is very passionate about whatever he does. I was very entertained while playing the role and I am sure that the audience would enjoy as well.
Kevin is a social media freak and aspires to be an influencer. Will the audience get any tips to up their social media game while watching the show?
Yes, but people will also learn a lesson from his character. We are living a dual life these days. Our real life is very different from what we show on social media. And sometimes, people are so absorbed with life on social media that they forget about their real life. The line between real life and virtual life is so blurred right now. After watching the show, people might learn about how to maintain a balance between both.
Was there an instance in your life when you were unable to maintain a balance between your social media life and real life?
It happened when I initially joined Instagram. I found it very interesting and used to spend half my day scrolling through the app. Even when I used to go out, I kept thinking about what to post on Instagram that would look cool. But it was a phase and I am over it. My work keeps me busy now. I don’t get time to post anything. My directors call me and ask me to post about the projects I work on. So, I am learning from Kevin (my character) how to maintain engagement on social media.
Is this your first acting project?
I have done theatre. But you can call it my big acting break where I have got a chance to play one of the leads. I have been giving auditions for years. I was offered many projects in the past but I didn’t find them interesting and therefore, I had to let them go. I have played some roles on-screen as well. But Chutzpah is my first breakthrough role where I could show my talent.
How was your experience working on the show?
It was amazing. Right from the moment I was finalized and the workshops began, it was a rollercoaster ride. We used to enjoy even during rehearsals. I learned a lot from the team. Our costume team was amazing. Everything was a joy ride for me. I think I have been spoilt on the sets of Chutzpah working with such an amazing team. I think I am going to be more choosy from here onwards.
Did you bond with someone on the sets?
Yes. I share a good bond with Kshitij Chauhan who plays the role of Prateek, my roommate in the series. I have also become good friends with Manjot and Varun Sharma as well. Although I didn’t have many scenes with them because most things were virtual, but we bonded well during rehearsals or screenings.
Do you think that you will have more opportunities in the industry after the success of Chutzpah?
Yes. I think I have never been so busy as an actor as I am now. I am getting 2-3 offers every week and I am weighing my options right now.
What kind of roles would you want to play in the future?
I don’t want to bind myself in a fixed category. I am getting offers for thrillers, so I might do that. I am also getting offers for rom-com roles, which is again very exciting for me. Right now, I am too charged up for everything.
On a scale of 1-10, how obsessed are you with social media?
Before the show, I must have been just a 4. But after Chutzpah, I think I have graduated from 4 to 6.
Who do you like to stalk or follow on social media on a regular basis?
I follow a lot of Indian and international directors. And I like to stalk Amitabh Bachchan. I don’t follow him, but I stalk him often. The reason why I don’t follow him is that I can watch him all day long. Once I begin seeing his posts, I can’t stop myself.