Ankur Rathee On His Character In Undekhi 3: 'I Wish Daman Had More Of Spine' (EXCLUSIVE)

Ankur Rathee On His Character In Undekhi 3: 'I Wish Daman Had More Of Spine' (EXCLUSIVE)

Ankur Rathee talks about his gripping crime thriller series Undekhi 3 and opens up about his character Daman Atwal.

Manisha KarkiUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 05:43 PM IST
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Ankur Rathee |

Ankur Rathee has carved a niche for himself in the industry. He is well- known for shows like Four More Shots Please, Inside Edge. He also featured in the Taapsee Pannu starrer Thappad, and Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada. The talented actor is riding high on the success of his much anticipated third season of Undekhi, which has hit the screens on SonyLIV. In the crime thriller, the handsome hunk is playing the character of Daman Atwal.

In an exclusive conversation with The Free Press Journal, Ankur talks about Undekhi 3, his role as Daman Atwal, challenges and memorable moments on sets. Excerpts:

Undekhi Season 3 is now streaming on SonyLIV. What is the response that have you been receiving from the audience?  

People have really loved seeing a more jaded and violent Daman this season. He's got a thick beard, long hair, and a gold earring that all say, "I've had enough." It's quite the shocker when he puts a bullet in Samarth. A lot of people also appreciated the hospital scene where Daman explodes on Teji (Anchal Singh).

Can you shed some light on your character, Daman Atwal, in Undekhi Season 3 and how the character's arc has grown throughout the series?

A big question I had for Ashish Shukla (director) before we started shooting this season was, ‘Does Teji still love Daman?’ This question has been haunting Daman as well since the end of Season 1. This huge rift in their marriage becomes apparent in Season 2, but this season we must face the aftermath of Teji's lies. Also this season, Daman's quest for Papaji's (played by Harsh Chhaya) approval pushes him to do evil, challenging his morality.

What drew you to the role of Daman?

Five years ago, Siddharth Sengupta told me about Daman. He's concerned about right and wrong, but his loved ones perform horrific evils, creating conflict and tension. That really spoke to me. He said Daman is the lens through which the audience views the violent world of Undekhi. That conflict and tension intrigued me.

Set against the backdrop of Manali, Undekhi is known for its intense and gripping storyline. What can viewers expect from this new installment?

This season, we see a different Papaji emerging as his dark past begins to haunt him. Rinku and Daman ally to secure the family's future. Daman is at a breaking point after realising the extent of Teji's betrayal. This friction inside him makes Daman unpredictable.

What challenges did you face while filming Season 3

There were many scenes between Teji and Daman that led to heated discussions. Ashish, Anchal, and I have all been in our respective roles for five years so when we felt they were behaving uncharacteristically in a scene, we would passionately argue our points. Sometimes compromises would be made and other times we just needed to see the scene from the other person's lens.

Undekhi has garnered praise for its ensemble cast and performances. Any interesting moments from sets?

I love goofing around on set, especially during serious scenes. As actors, it's easy to take ourselves too seriously, but we're just playing make-believe like we did as kids. I crack jokes, make faces, and love making my co-actors break character and laugh during scenes.

As an actor, what aspects of Daman's character did you find most intriguing that you would like to take into your real life?

Absolutely none. I wish Daman had more of a spine. I often find myself very frustrated with him. I want him to either burn it all down or take it for his own. Daman is constantly seeking the approval of others, and that's a recipe for unhappiness. In this season, it's a recipe for violence.

What message or takeaway do you hope viewers will have after watching Undekhi Season 3?

Guns are bad. Drugs are bad. Cursing is funny.

Undekhi 3 started streaming on Sony LIV on May 10. It is directed by Ashish R Shukla and also stars Harsh Chhaya, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Surya Sharma, Ayn Zoya, Aanchal Singgh, Shivangi Singh, Varun Badola.

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