In conversation with Karan Kundra.

Whenever I have worked with Ekta, I have always emerged as a bigger entity: Karan Kundra

Karan Kundra is a dapper in every sense of the word. His rugged looks, piercing gaze and crooked smile has stolen the hearts of many. Karan, who is best known for his portrayal in shows like Kitani Mohabbat Hai and Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, made for a powerful judge on MTV Roadies X4.

The heartthrob is currently enthralling audience as Rithwik Noon in Sony Entertainment Television’s Dil Hi Toh Hai. Karan spoke at length about himself, his absence from TV and much more. Excerpts from the interview:

You made a comeback in a daily drama series on TV after a long hiatus. How did this role come to you?

Yes, coming back on television with a drama series was not something I was looking for lately. When I was returning from Goa after completing my other show, I got a call from Balaji for ‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’. Later Ekta ma’am explained to me the concept which didn’t seem like a typical daily show. My character of Rithwik Noon is that of a real guy unlike other male characters of daily soaps. Rithwik has a darker side as well, which makes the character more real and we hope to offer a visual delight to audiences. Dil Hi Toh Hai is already making a buzz among audience with its unique concept and impressive cast.

According to me, this will be the biggest show on Sony and ALTBalaji till date. I can’t deny the fact that, whatever position I have achieved in life today, is only because of television and Ekta, as she was the one who gave me a break on the small screen. Sony Entertainment Television is breaking barriers and coming up with distinct content. I have worked in films, fiction shows, reality shows but coming back with a show like Dil Hi Toh Hai is truly exciting.

What inspired you to take this show?

To be honest, it was Ekta Ma’am’s narration and the way she described Dil Hi Toh Hai that made me want to be a part of the show. I have reached that stage in my career where I won’t do a show only for its content, but also for the meaning and value the show brings to my table and its impact on my image. After doing 1921 movie, I got multiple film offers but none of them made sense to me. Even though this is a television show, I know this will give a boost to my career. I mean it’s amazing the way the trailer of Dil Hi Toh Hai has been shot. The makers and Sony Entertainment Television have ensured that I become an integral part of Dil Hi Toh Hai with its interesting narrative.

Whenever I have worked with Ekta, I have always emerged as a bigger entity: Karan Kundra

Can you tell us more about the show and the character of this show?

I am playing the character of Rithwik Noon and the role is an edgy one. Rithwik Noon is a no-nonsense man when it comes to work. He has helped his father to expand their business empire and taken it to new heights of success. He is an entrepreneur and has a solution for every problem, a man of intellect and doesn’t rest till the task at hand is completed. But on the other hand, he is a charmer and the handsome hunk every girl would dream about but also could be their worst nightmare. Exploiting women and deriving pleasure from them is something that makes him happy, but he will never commit his heart to them. Much of this stems from him having a tormented past as a child.

How did you prepare yourself for this role?

I never had the time to prepare myself as I just came back from another shoot. My character itself is my preparation. Ekta ma’am is the one who launched me in the Television industry and I am blessed that this is my 4th fiction show with her. I think my homework was just to listen to what she was narrating and ensure that I portray Rithwik’s character in an effective way for the audiences.

Any interesting incident that happened with you?

You all know by now that I got mobbed when we were shooting for the trailer at Lavasa. We were not expecting a huge crowd because of the summers and soaring temperatures, but I have no idea how other people turned up at the shoot location. We shot the promo at diverse locations in Lavasa which reminded me of the power of television. I was pleasantly surprised to see my director as he was the one with whom I shot for around 2 years in London. It was an amazing experience shooting with him again for the trailer of Dil Hi Toh Hai.

What we heard is that the promo was shot similar to how trailers are shot. Is it true?

I have never worked on any television promo which has been as big as the one we did for ‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’. I have been a part of many television and reality shows earlier but this experience was totally out of this world. Our Director of Photography, Himank Sir is also a renowned Bollywood DOP with whom we shot the trailer, this in turn makes it a huge project.

Rithwik is shown to be a rich business tycoon who belongs to a Punjabi family. Are there any characteristics that are similar to you and your onscreen character?

When I met the team and the storyline was narrated, I found the character to be very similar to me in real life. Uncannily I also made few connections with the role in my head while listening to the story. Rithwik is an extremely ambitious and driven individual. It’s a Delhi based story and also touches upon family bonding. Having 3 sisters and a mother in my family is one of the other similarities between me and my onscreen character of Rithwik in Dil Hi Toh Hai.

Whenever I have worked with Ekta, I have always emerged as a bigger entity: Karan Kundra 2

Tell us about your experience of working with your co-star Yogita Bihani and others?

Yogita is a bright girl and very hardworking at the same time. She comes across as a very strong and independent personality, which works beautifully for the show. I am sure the onscreen chemistry between us will be great and the audiences will love watching us together in ‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’.

Now-a-days, many television actors are moving to big screen while many Bollywood actors are making their presence on small screen as well. So do you think television is also an equally important medium?

Why not, I am the best example for it. I have done fiction, reality shows on television and films as well. I have been an important part of films like Mubarakan and 1921 which broke records in Pakistan. Our daily soaps are very popular in Pakistan. I could get a break in Bollywood, as I have worked in the television space earlier. I think television is huge and it has been instrumental in building my career and I love it to the core.

Do you think the importance of family is fading in today’s time? Why do you think it is necessary to bring a family show?

I think that everybody is too busy now-a-days. When we were young and had any problems, we used to go to our older brothers or parents which seldom happen at present. There was a time when the essence of a family and being together was portrayed through movies in 70s and 80s. I think it’s important for us to start instilling those family values again and I really don’t want the youngsters to drift away from their family. In present scenario, families don’t eat together and rarely go for family vacations. In my opinion, it is important for them to understand value of their family which cannot be measured by any means.

In today’s time of social media where everything happens on the digital world, do you think the family beliefs, moral values, love are somewhere disappearing?

I think there is a gap evolving among families and the different members. Young boys and girls, prefer taking pictures with their cars, friends but not with their parents or siblings. Only on occasions like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day youngsters post pictures with their parents. Somewhere western culture is influencing the moral values of youngsters and it is up to us to get them back on the correct path. Our show Dil Hi Toh Hai in a way aims to do something similar.

What was your reaction when you got a call for this show?

It was little scary, as Television demands commitment. For me it was choosing between a film that I was doing now and doing Ekta’s show, either you do a film or the biggest show on television and with Ekta Kapoor with an intense love story. So it was a big commitment and it made me shiver but again every time I have worked with Ekta I have always emerged as a bigger entity.

As the show is a love saga and you’re also a part of the love school, what is your thought on it?

There were so many films and web-series offered to me but I chose this show. Love stories are the most beautiful stories and they are evergreen stories, the day and age changes but the feel and romance is always going to be there as my love story with Anushka is also a real love story. I would love to do such story.

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