In Conversation with Kunal Sharma

In Conversation with Kunal Sharma
The lockdown is hard on everyone. But some creative people thought of a brilliant idea to help entertain people and keep them at the edge of their seats. Actor Kunal Sharma who has been a part of films such as Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Zubaan and A Gentleman collaborated with international actors and writers to come up with a unique concept of web series during the lockdown period. Here are a few excerpts from the Interview. 

How did you come up with the idea?

I was contacted by one of my DOP friend of mine Doron, with whom I had worked on a Project. He is from Amsterdam. So he messaged me regarding this particular Project as Lockdown had confined everyone to their houses. I was like “Yes of course!! 

Kunal

How was it working from home for a web series?

It was surreal. Nobody from our industry had ever imagined that a time like this would ever come. And “Work from Home” is a concept which we associate mostly for the IT industry. Our field requires coming together of a lot of people where everyone has a designated job. So this was new for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The idea is quite unique, but how did you figure out the logistics?

So here I was with the Script and a set of instructions from Director Elene. Shooting the scene was very interesting as I had to do everything by myself – Setting the frame, doing the lights, recording the sound. In the end, it came out very nice and the team was happy. It’s something that I am going to remember for all my life. You don’t get these opportunities every day.  

What was the main part of the story that drew you towards it?

We as actors are always on a lookout to play interesting characters. So when the Creative Director Joeri narrated me the story I immediately said yes. I play the role of a chef and because of the lockdown, he is locked up in the house. To counter his loneliness, he goes to the Webcam Chat room. 

How are you dealing with the lockdown?

So far, so good. I have watched a lot of movies and series on various online platforms. And then reading and cooking keep me busy. I am also Writing and Developing my own stories/concepts.  

Do you think OTT platforms are the next big thing?

It's already proving to be life-saving. I can’t imagine what most of us would be doing if not for them. And it’s still a long road ahead before people start visiting Cinema Halls.

How was it working with the team of De Vandalen?
It was one of the best experiences till date. The Director Elene Zuidmeer along with the Creative Director Joeri van Spijk sent me an elaborate voice note regarding what she wants from me. And my co-actor Gonca Karasu was effortless and very helpful. She herself is an acclaimed actor with some International Projects under her belt. So sharing the screen with her was a great learning experience for me. Rozanne de Bont the writer has also done some brilliant work with this amazing script. I had never imagined my first International Project would be in Quarantine!! I am their First International Actor as the rest of all the actors were from the Netherlands.


What do you predict for the future of entertainment viewing?

Online viewing would definitely go up. It already is the order of the day. It will become a very integral part since it’s a long way before going to cinema halls becomes normal. 

What are your future projects?

I would be doing a few more Episodes with The team of “When we had the time”. Apart from that, I have just shot for a short film which has been submitted to a Short Film Competition organized by Drishyam Films. A few more in the pipeline.  But I really want to go on a Set asap because that’s where I feel real action is!!  So eagerly waiting for this mess to clear up.

Do you wish to be a part of mainstream cinema someday?

I have already films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Zubaan and A Gentleman. It’s the Web Series that I have not done yet. So I would love to be part of some good Web series. 

Which are the 5 shows online that you recommend to viewers?

A) Breaking Bad
B) Street Food Asia
C) Jamtara
D) Tiger King
E) Money Heist
F) The Last Dance 


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