Film and TV actor, Ashish Chowdhry, is a happy man these days. With the critically acclaimed detective saga, Dev, he has finally managed to come out of the funny man bracket he was stuck with, post the success of Qayamat.
“Here, I must thank Colors, for they first gave me Khatron Ke Khiladi (he had won the 2015 edition), which allowed me to challenge my fears. Dev is one of my best outings so far. I was on the verge of signing one more comic show, but it was not exciting me enough. The biggest plus point of Dev has been that the whole film industry has sat up and taken notice that I can do other genres as well.”
On season 2, he says, “That was always the intent.We had always planned Dev as a seasonal series. It was even announced at the start that we will not run more than 26 episodes. In the end, we stretched it by one more, as we had to wind up the story. As I am in an exclusive contract with the channel, I cannot do any other fiction show until Dev is in the works.”
Going on, Ashish, who had also done Ek Mutthi Aasmaan, says, “The biggest differentiator that Dev has, from other desi crime-based shows like CID and Savdhaan India, is that here, the story revolves around a character, just as in the West, for e.g. 24. Although, the latter is a high-budgeted show, while ours is a home-grown format.”
When ask about the quirks of his character, he says, “I watched a lot of international, character-driven whodunits, like Mentalist, Elementary and Sherlock etc., and tried to learn what not to do, which is more important. Later, I would sit down with my wife and close friends, and try to figure out what gels and what doesn’t.”
“I would also pen down the quirks and essential body language of the character. I believe that certain mannerisms, like Shahrukh Khan’s stammering or Salman Khan rubbing his nose, stays with people. Having said that, this does not mean I am a perfectionist like Aamir Khan and go crazy. I make suggestions, and then do as told.”
Ashish continues,“The best part about Dev is that my atrangi character is not white.The creative team told me clearly that everybody must hate this rude guy. Dev is bitter, given how life’s cards have fallen for him, but the challenge was not about playing the angst, but about making the Indian audiences, who needed to be convinced about the reason, get the drift as well.”
“I guess our thin line has worked, and I have got a little bit of adulation.”
Wish you all the best, Ashish.