His temperament is always as sunny as his name and he made his debut as an actor too with a film titled Sunshine Music Tours and Travels. Sunny Kaushal brightens a rainy, gloomy evening with his infectious humour, refreshing candour and introspective meanderings. Excerpts from an interview:
Jaggi, your character in the upcoming Shiddat, is all heart. What about you?
I wear my heart on my sleeve too. Still, Jaggi was a little difficult to understand at first because while we have complicated the notion of love in our heads, for him, it is this simple, powerful emotion you have to give your 100 per cent to.
Given our mental conditioning, when there are roadblocks in a relationship, we will try once, twice, even three times to move them, then, perhaps walk away, saying, “Okay, I tried, but it didn’t happen.” For Jaggi, though love is a commitment, he has to see it through, after that whatever has to happen, will happen. He empowered me. Today, I too would ask myself, “Did I really try? Could I have done something more?”
So, in retrospect, when you look back on a past relationship, would you say you walked away too early?
That’s an interesting question. (Thoughtfully) No, I wouldn’t say that because that would mean there is a niggling regret, which there isn’t. At that point in my life, I was honest to myself and the relationship. But as you grow, you mature and learn.
A reel-life love story that touched your heart?
It has to be Rockstar. It defied definition and was kind of in-between. You could not call it an unrequited love story because the girl (Nargis Fakhri’s Heer) does reciprocate eventually, yet the boy, (Ranbir Kapoor’s Jordan) is left alone at the end. And you are left with this weird, incomplete “what happened?” kind of feeling that leaves you questioning.
Also, Tamasha, not so much for Ranbir and Deepika’s (Padukone) love story, but the idea of following your heart to do your own thing. That was the real love story.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done when Cupid’s arrow struck?
It was not so much crazy as stupid really. I was in a relationship and it had hit turbulence. My girlfriend said we needed to give ourselves time and I agreed. I thought we would be back together in a week, at best two. But two-and-a-half months later, I was still being the supportive boyfriend, giving her the time and space that she had asked for.
My friends told me, “Bro, it’s not a break, it’s a break-up.” But I kept waiting for things to work out. Finally, I had to accept that she had moved on. Asking for a break had just been a polite way of breaking up.
When the trailer of Shiddat released, Katrina Kaif, your brother Vicky’s rumoured girlfriend, was your biggest cheerleader on Instagram, describing Radhika Madan and you as “outstanding” and asserting that she was “waiting to see more”.
It wasn’t only Katrina, we got a lot of support from the industry too. Sara (Ali Khan), Janhvi (Kapoor), Kriti (Sanon), Varun (Dhawan) and director Amar Kaushik all sent congratulatory messages. It was so heart-warming, I feel so much gratitude.
Your co-star, Radhika Madan, loves pandemic weddings and when she ties the knot, says that it will be a small, intimate affair with just 50 guests. What about you?
I’m a simple guy too and would like a small wedding. After that, we could host a big party for everyone. But if my girl wants a 10-day shaadi with band,baaja, baraat, we will do it her way.
You were studying chartered accountancy, but quit to become an assistant director and then an actor. Ever want to go back to CA?
Absolutely not. (Laughs) Bahut shiddat se maine CA chhoda hai, ab koi gham nahin. I was only studying commerce because I was good in academics, got the numbers and the grades. But after graduation, at 21 when I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I realised I did not want to be a chartered accountant and told my parents that.
After 50 years in the industry, your dad, action director Sham Kaushal, is a legend. Which of his action scenes have left you impressed?
The climax of Asoka. I remember we were watching the film in the theatre and I was mesmerised by the war of Kalinga. Today, such war sequences are common, but back then, after Mughal-e-Azam, one
had not seen such a battle royale on screen. It was unlike anything I had experienced before — all those horses and elephants, talwar chal rahi hai, armies fighting... Woah!
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