Free Press Journal

A talk with Kanan Gill on his journey from Youtube to Bollywood


Stand-up comedian Kanan Gill talks to Nikita Wadhawan about his first Hindi movie, working with Sonakshi Sinha and funny line-ups ahead…

From ruling YouTube to making a Bollywood debut opposite Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill has come a long way from working as a software engineer in Bangalore. Gill gained popularity with his viral series Pretentious Movie Review. He then moved on to collaborate with other comedians and groups like AIB. Speaking to FPJ, he shares his experience on working on his first Bollywood outing and his next lot of Pretentious Movie Reviews, and more…

From YouTube to Bollywood, how will you describe your journey?

I was doing stand-up comedy, and then I and Kalyan Biswas came up with this idea of Pretentious Movie Reviews. For a while I was juggling both of them and then when the videos got popular I started getting movie offers, but none of them actually excited me. Then when I read the script of Noor, I thought I should be a part of this movie.

What prompted you to start your acting career with Noor?

I met Sunhil Sippy first before reading the script, which helped a lot. Because when I sat with Sunhil, he mentioned the kind of comedy and comedians that I like, he then described the role to me and that’s when I realised that this is perfect, I can do this – this character is just like me.

So your character in the movie and you in real life are alike?

My character is not very different from me or my capabilities. I play Saad Sehgal who is a very funny guy, always full of little quirks, giving advice and my actual personality is also like that. So this was what made me connect with the role.

How was your experience of working with Sonakshi Sinha, given that she is already an establish actress?

So around three-four years ago she tweeted about one of my movie reviews, I think it was Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, she said that this was very funny. The inside info is that she actually recommended my name for Noor and so I was shortlisted. When we started filming, we both had that instant connect as friends, which made working with her super easy and it wasn’t like ‘Aap star ke saat kaam kar rahe ho’. We had a very honest friendship on the set.

Do you plan to review this movie in your Pretentions Review style?

Absolutely. I will be the first one to do it as I have “inside friends” (laughs).

It has been a while since you have uploaded any new videos. What is the reason for delay?

We did it for two years then we realised if we want to do other things, than it has to be now, otherwise we will be typecast into doing this forever. So we branched out and tried to do films, stand-up, etc. And then we can come back and do reviews any time again.

So will we be seeing any new review soon?

I can tell you it will be very soon. We have not finalised the date yet, but soon for sure.

So what next after Noor?

I am so glad you asked. I have a one hour comedy show coming up on Amazon Prime, which will be out in May.

So to wrap up, how was the experience of your first Bollywood movie?

It was large-scale. Out of everything I have done, this has been on the biggest scale ever, primarily, because of the number of people who have worked on it and the amount of money that has gone into the movie. So just to see something on this scale was overwhelming and sometimes surreal. All in all, it was a huge learning experienced. I kept reminding myself that I used to write software four years ago, and now I’m in a movie!