In 2012, Zee TV launched Qubool Hai, a tale of a progressive-modern Muslim girl, who encounters a chauvinist man, but later falls in love with him. After nine years, Karan Singh Grover and Surbhi Jyoti are back as Asad and Zoya. However, this time the show has got a digital makeover and will stream on ZEE5 as Qubool Hai 2.0. The 10-episode series is directed by Ankush Mohla and Glen Barretto. In an interaction with the Cinema Journal, Karan opens up about digitalised version of the show, the OTT boom, and his obsession with tattoos. Excerpts from the interview:
Has fitness become an obsession for you?
Fitness is a part of my life. It’s not just a habit, it is a lifestyle. Right from childhood I have been a fitness freak. Apart from the gym I am also into yoga, big time. I wake up at 9 am and train regularly. I have a wonderful fitness team who keeps me constantly on my toes. It mostly revolves around core, body-weight exercises, strength-building and yoga. It is more of an internal exercise than being external.
Tell us about your tattoos...
I have eight tattoos and all of them are special to me. It started when I got into college and the fascination has continued to date. I have all kinds, each, with its special significance. However, they are all a big deal for me!
As an actor, which platform do you prefer, OTT or TV?
I started with television, so, yes TV is always my thing. However, with changing times one has to update oneself, which is why I am signing a lot of web series these days. I enjoy acting and delivering in front of the camera, be it films, OTT or TV. Ultimately, it is acting at the end of the day!
Are you scared of being typecast in lover boy roles?
Love is the basis and centre of my life. Everything that I do, see, hear, feel, create, is based around love because that’s the only thing that is true. Here [in Qubool Hai 2.0] I share an amazing chemistry with Surbhi and it is reflected well on screen.
How does it feel to bring back the Qubool Hai world after almost a decade?
It is a great feeling to see a show coming back on screen, especially after you have worked so hard on it. I am also thrilled about the fact that even though my character is the same, it is a different universe now. The back story is the same, but the world around has changed so much. The earlier story was set in 2012, but the timeline now is 2021.
I am reprising the role of Asad, who is a straight forward guy with no patience for nonsense. He has obsessive compulsive disorder and demands perfection. He is also headstrong. The basics are the same. We have shot for a 10-episode series and season 3 is also on the way.
Where all did you shoot?
We shot in Serbia, and like everyone else I was surprised with the choice of the location. However, when I landed there, I realised the beauty of the place. Apart from being affordable, the place is naturally beautiful and we were all mesmerised by its stoic beauty.