Kunal Bhan rose to fame with his character of Dr. Rahil Shekhar in the medical drama Sanjivani (2019-2020). Earlier, he was seen as Prince Nasir in the 2018 mini-series Imperfect. He also featured in the MX Exclusive Lockdown Rishtey, a series that revolved around the 2020 lockdown. The actor got in touch with us and spoke about keeping up with the lockdown, his journey so far, projects ahead, and more.
How have you been keeping up with the lockdown?
The first one, I'm sure not a lot of us had a lot of idea about what it was, I feel like all we had was sort of a mini-vacation, that's what I did as well. I really needed a break and this was a tragic way though, but I didn't really do much. But the thing is I hate when I am not productive and not trying to do something so I think this year, I made it a point that I need to keep busy and somehow make content and hopefully, get the people entertained. So right now, for me, it is about thinking of content and shooting it and hopefully putting it out as soon as I can. Personally, not much, watching a lot of shows that people have been recommending, play video games with my friends, and that's pretty much my basic day in the lockdown.
Tell us about your journey in the industry so far, would you say it was easy or you've had to struggle your way up?
I don't think there's anyone who has had it very easy, I think everyone has their own version of struggle, plus I don't really like that word. I am really really enjoying what I am doing. It has been hard because there is a lot of competition and it is a saturated market, it has been a little bit of a tedious task to get an opportunity. I think my biggest task is to get into an audition and most times I do fine, I think I have more shots at auditions do I'd have more opportunities. Other than that, I think it is an unstable and uncertain field like anytime you sign something, there could be a delay and it could get scrapped, it is quite the known to everyone struggle and there is no security in the job. However, as long as you know that you are enjoying the process and you know that you are better than you were yesterday, that is all that matters and that is all you should keep in mind and move forward.
Would you say Sanjivani was your rise to fame?
Yes, and no. Honestly, because I wasn't known before Sanjivani but I am kind of known now. But I am not that famous yet. I think fame is a by-product of what you do, but at the same time, I am sure that I have not gotten the kind of exposure that I am getting now if it weren't for that show because I have been recognized in public, and in another country, Dubai, which is really weird and that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Sanjivani. More than the fame, I am glad that people really liked my work and that gave me a sense of satisfaction that what we are doing is working, and hopefully if you stay on this path if fame comes, great, if it doesn't, you are at least entertaining people.
OTT has been flourishing and how you have done a series already, what do you feel about it in the sense that it brings more opportunity for actors?
That is true and I think the pandemic was a major catalyst in the process. What happened is that people kept saying that digital is the future but the pandemic made it the present, like it is now. There are so many ways to entertain people via multiple platforms and I think people are trying to escape the dire situation that we are in. Any means to make people forget that, irrespective of how long, as entertainers and actors, it is great, because it is a very surreal feeling because you know you've made someone's day and I get these comments and initially, I used to think that they are saying it just for the sake of it. However, I got messages later and as an actor, it is really heartwarming. I am just happy as long as I can make people happy with my work. Moreover, I do feel that there are more opportunities for actors because there are so many OTT platforms and they want content that can drive the audiences to them. In this whole process of experimenting with content, I think that creates a larger sense of opportunities for an actor. At the same time, the competition is kind of more, because now, even film stars are coming back and coming into OTT, so I feel it is going to be vicious but at the same time, it is going to be fun to have them as colleagues in the same place. If there is more work, when you get rejected, you know there is always another door that you can knock on.
I think fame is a by-product of what you do, but at the same time, I am sure that I have not gotten the kind of exposure that I am getting now if it weren't for that show because I have been recognized in public, and in another country, Dubai, which is really weird and that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Sanjivani. More than the fame, I am glad that people really liked my work.- Kunal Bhan
What is it that you are looking forward to exploring as an actor?
I wish I had a long and philosophical answer to this, but I am just looking forward to entertaining people, how I want to do that, I am not very sure. I am looking forward to presenting characters in a manner that will make people laugh, cry, introspect, and just get the ball rolling and have them talk about it. In my capability, any character that would make me go 'Oh man, that is very interesting, seems like almost an impossible character or a real character to do', I am just sold. I really like characters that on surface level seem like they don't have much to them but then as you peel the layers, you find that they are 'selfish' or whatever they are, it is with a purpose because it gives a sense of realism because human beings are really complex people and I love characters like that.
Any upcoming projects that fans should know of?
I am not at liberty to say because I am not sure how much I can say, but all I can say is that it is a dream role because I have always felt like one day in my life, I would like to play a character like this and I have gotten the opportunity. Physically and mentally, it is very demanding, so I've had fight lessons, a little bit of MMA training, and it has been fun. Sadly, because of the pandemic, it has been delayed, but when we are in a better situation, I can tell you more.
Well, fans of the actor now know that he has something coming in soon.