Stand-up comedian Appurv Gupta on acting debut with Sudhir Mishra's Afwaah: 'I was keen to do a non-funny movie'

Stand-up comedian Appurv Gupta on acting debut with Sudhir Mishra's Afwaah: 'I was keen to do a non-funny movie'

Directed by Sudhir Mishra, the film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar in lead roles

Ria SharmaUpdated: Thursday, May 11, 2023, 06:33 PM IST
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Stand-up comedian and actor Appurv Gupta |

Stand-up comedian Appurv Gupta has made his Bollywood debut with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar's latest film Afwaah. Directed by Sudhir Mishra, Afwaah revolves around an advertising professional and a political heiress whose lives are upended by a viral social media rumour.

Despite being praised by film critics, Afwaah has failed to work at the box office. The Free Press Journal caught up with Appurv Gupta for an exclusive interview. Excerpts -

Afwaah is your debut project as an actor, how excited were you?

I wanted to do a Bollywood movie for quite some time but I always wanted to debut with a non-funny movie because people have already seen the funny side of me. I was keen to do a serious movie so that people could see a different side of me. Getting a chance to work under the direction of Sudhir Mishra sir is like a dream come true. Also, the role was very appealing to me and I was very excited.

Tell us about how the project came your way and what was the initial brief (about your character) given to you?

I got a call from Mukesh Chhabra's team for this role. They gave me a six-page script and asked me to audition. The character is very shady and self-centered. He is not selfish but simultaneously he also knows when to enter and when to exit from any deal. He is very smart when it comes to handling social media. That’s all they shared with me before the audition.

How easy or difficult is it for a stand up comedian to act in front of a camera?

I felt it would be easy to work in front of the camera as I keep performing on stage and I am not camera shy but the reality was different. Acting as per the role and director is not an easy job. In stand-up comedy, I can play the role as per my comfort zone but in acting, I have to deliver the role in such a way that it should sync with the thoughts of the writer, co-actors and director.

How was the experience while working with Sumit Vyas and director Sudhir Mishra?

Sumeet Vyas was amazing. I saw him in 2013 in Permanent Roommates and since then I am a fan of his acting. Shooting the scenes with him was a great experience. Since it's my first movie, I was very nervous but he made sure that I am comfortable while shooting with him.

Sudhir Mishra sir looks for perfection. He wants the artist to give their best shot. He knows how to take the best from an actor. I am blessed that I got a chance to begin my acting career under his direction. It is a dream for any artist to work with him. I am a fan of his work since I got to know that he is the writer of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.

You don't have any scenes with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar. But any on-set anecdotes you would like to share?

Yes, I don’t have any scenes with them in the movie but I met Bhumi at the premiere of the film and she said she liked my work. So, I'm happy about it.

Recently, stand-up comedian Anubhav Singh Bassi made his acting debut with Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar... Do you think the audience will compare your performance with his?

I don’t think so. I have seen the movie and he did a fabulous job. Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar is a rom-com and his role in the movie is as per the genre of the movie. Our movie is based on an important relevant issue: how social media can be used to make any news go viral. My role is totally different so I doubt that just because we both are comedians, people should compare our performance.

As an actor, what kind of roles are you looking out for after Afwaah?

At present, I am a little nervous and excited. I just want to see the reaction of the audience on my performance, I am waiting for their feedback. I am very much open to all the roles. If the role is important in the script and it will add value in the movie and most importantly, if I can learn something from that role then definitely I would love to do that.

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