Naveen Kasturia is popularly know for his character as Naveen Bansal in the TVF series, Pitchers. However, Naveen started his career in the entertainment industry as an assistant director to renowned filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, and the Oscar-winning director, Danis Tanovic in the international film, Tigers. He is currently seen in the MX Player horror series, Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai starring Swara Bhasker. In an interaction with the Cinema Journal, Naveen, who calls himself an accidental actor, opens up about venturing into the horror space, working with Swara, and more. Excerpts from the interview:
How different is Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai from other horror shows?
More than the idea, it’s the treatment that matters. I don’t think this genre has been explored a lot, so, in that sense the show brings in freshness and newness. The treatment of the show is very interesting, and the casting is fresh too. It has a funny script.
What led to the delay in the release of the show?
It’s a production call — what their [producers] deal and plan for the show is. It’s a blessing in disguise that the show is streaming on an OTT platform. It’s a quirky story that people will enjoy watching.
What do you enjoy more: Acting or directing?
I was trying to be a director and thus tried my hands at being an assistant director (AD) merely because it helps one learn all the nuances of filmmaking. As an AD I did everything — managed the clapper board, handled the crowd in the background [for a scene for the film Shanghai, during it’s Latur shoot]. Direction gives valuable lessons in acting. And, I’m also learning acting while facing the camera as an actor. I get to interact more with my director, as an actor. So, I enjoy acting more since it less of a responsibility, and is more adventurous as we get to work with different people. We have the advantage of the team who put in their heart and soul while making any project.
Having working with stalwarts in filmmaking like Dibakar Banerjee and Danis Tanović, how would you describe their working style?
Dibakar Banerjee was more prepared in comparison to International director Danis Tanović. Dibakar Banerjee was very organised. His plans are in place ahead of every shoot; he improvises too. Danis is not so organised; he is the opposite of what Dibakar is. Danis, while directing Tigers, might have know what he wanted, but we weren’t aware about it. It is very difficult to direct without knowing the language, but he did direct it well. Danis had to depend on others on the set, like translators, etc. But, Dibakar is an one man Army.
What next after this?
I have two more web shows, one of which is titled Runaway Lugai on will release on MX Player.