In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Ravi Dubey talks about his music video Toxic, mental health and more

Working on Toxic during lockdown was an unprecedented experience: Ravi Dubey

A powerhouse of talent, Ravi Dubey began his acting career in 2006 with the show Teri Kahani. He rose to fame with the Indian TV serial Jamai Raja. The actor is a multitalented star.

Recently, rapper Badshah has come up with a new song and the music video Toxic features TV actor Ravi Dubey with actor/better half Sargun Mehta. The song is Badshah’s second collaboration with singer Payal Dev, after Genda Phool. The makers have revealed that the song has been “home shot and directed by Ravi Dubey” during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Ravi talks about his music video Toxic, mental health and more.

How was the experience working on the music video Toxic?

I think it was extremely exciting. For me, it was a huge learning experience. It was overall an unprecedented experience because of the situation that collectively the entire world is in which is the lockdown. It was exciting because it was an opportunity for me to collaborate with one person I am professionally and personally fond of, Badshah Paaji and Payal Didi. The song was outstanding. Me and Sargun, both were sold on the song the time we heard it. More than us, Badshah Paaji had a reservation that should we do it or not as the song talks about a toxic relationship that is far from who I and Sargun are. But that was exactly the reason why we chose to be a part of it as it gave us an opportunity to tell a story which could be any couple’s story out there. Also, the fact that no couple is immune to toxicity. It is important to talk and raise awareness about and also to tell people that a relationship deserves a shot before one person decides to give up. Having said that, it was Badshah Paaji and Payal Didi’s song hence it required a video that was of a caliber. Just being in lockdown could not be an excuse so, we collectively began to design and conceptualize the song. Badshah Paaji is an angel. The faith that he had on us was amazing and I will always be thankful to him.

How did you overcome the challenges while shooting at home without equipment?

There were several challenges while shooting at home. However, I won’t call them challenges as I think they were huge learning experiences. Like to stabilize the camera, you need some kind of tripod, when you are moving the camera. Also when you need various lenses, none of that was available so everything we had to do with our smartphone. We only had sun to use as light. Technically we had only 2 hours in a day where we could shoot which was 4.30 to 6.30 which the natural light was good. We did our best. We have managed to shoot the video in roughly around 8 to 10 hours. An immensely hardworking actor like Sargun who was with me in the frame throughout, it can be difficult for female artists as I have seen in past they face difficulties with their hair and makeup. But I think Sargun was always there to help. I have to thank Badshah Paaji and Payal Didi as the kind of patience that they had while the shots were been taken because I was with them on a video call. They were very patient and were supportive. I am thankful to both. For a particular angle to shoot, we needed thermocol. However, we had nothing at home so my houshelp Suraj got one big utensil and he was standing behind us and that’s how the sun’s light was bounced on our faces. This is how we managed to shoot that sequence, so we have been very creative in that way.

Working on Toxic during lockdown was an unprecedented experience: Ravi Dubey 1

How are you spending your quarantine time apart from making the video?

We are trying to be as productive as possible. Personally, I am watching back to back Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films and in 4-5 days I will complete all 44 films (guessing the number). Right from Musafir to Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, I have seen them all. I am also watching some shows on the various streaming platforms. I am enjoying it. Sargun is reading a lot and getting involved in a lot of creative process. Our schedules are pack with watching stuff, reading stuff, working out and sleeping.

Have you explored something new during your free time?

I haven’t. However, Sargun has explored cooking and she has become a fantastic cook. That makes my life even more beautiful. Unless she wants to spoil her day, she won’t ask me to cook.

How important it is for a couple to spend time at the same time give space to each other?

Well, that is another thing that you will see in our song Toxic. We also felt that every couple who is going through a tough situation it should be their story and they should be attached to it and find hope from the song. Sometimes I feel when there is so much excess of time that you want with your partner that it spoils your relationship. It is extremely important that while you demand a lot of time from each other, it is also important to have the necessary amount of space so that you avoid the toxicity.

Working on Toxic during lockdown was an unprecedented experience: Ravi Dubey 2

How important is mental health during such a difficult time and how should one must face it?

Mental health is very important. We are what we think about our self and our society. You do not know what is going to happen tomorrow but either it will be good or bad then you might align to a better alternative. I feel it is important to see the good in everything. Especially in times like these where we can effortlessly look into the negatives. You can only view the universe in two ways, either you view it as your ally or your nemesis. It is only a matter of time and once everything is fine, life will be beautiful. If life gives you a lemon, you make lemonade.

What do you miss the most during the lockdown?

I miss going out and miss my friends. I miss my family whom I haven’t seen in Chandigarh and Delhi both. We intend to go when it is safe. We want to party but that’s the same with everyone. I think it will soon be better.

Any final message?

No matter what situations you are going through, there will always be a few things that are right in your life. Counting your blessings is imperative. If it is the only thing you do in a day than do that and be grateful for the good things in life. Just be thankful for everything you have and extend support whenever you can.

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