After being in showbiz for 15 years and having done 18 TV shows, Gaurav Khanna confesses that it is his role as Anuj in Anupama that has brought him most love and appreciation. In an exclusive chat with BT, the calm and composed Gaurav, similar to his character onscreen, shares how good things come and go, but one needs to keep working and stay grounded. Excerpts:
You’ve been in this industry for more than a decade. There is a perception that although you acted in several shows, it took you longer to connect with viewers…
When I was chosen for Anupama, I was apprehensive because I was joining a show midway and I’ve always preferred to work in a show from the beginning. But since it was a talented ensemble cast, I agreed. I had no idea how Anuj would be received by audiences and did not know whether my character would come this far. It is my experience of working in this medium that helped me bag this role. Nobody becomes famous with their first show, even Leonardo DiCaprio had to work in many films before bagging an Oscar. I did several shows and just because they didn’t work, doesn’t mean that I wasn’t good or that the script wasn’t nice. I am not a trained actor, but have learnt things on my journey. Even now, I know the extent of my character for next six or seven episodes, the rest depends on viewership, the producer, makers and script.
Do you feel Anupama’s Anuj is too good to be true?
The show is about hope. A woman who has been sidelined and subdued for 25 years suddenly finds hope in a man who is ready to give her the best! Today, I meet so many people who say that my son, brother or husband is somewhat like Anuj. I am not in a position to comment whether he is too good to be true, but whatever you see of the character is organic and it has emerged because of people’s reactions over social media. One should believe that good people exist otherwise there would be no fairy tales. In the past, TV has seen male leads mostly being angry or action-oriented or following a set pattern, but here, I feel my character is quite relatable. Yes, he seems to be very patient, but after a long time, audiences have seen a mature, emotionally stable, well-read and well-spoken guy, who respects women.
Are you similar to your character Anuj in real life?
Yes, quite a bit. I come from a corporate background, I’m well-read, I’ve grown up around a lot of women in my family and I respect women. And just like in the show, how Anuj listens to his companion, I, too, listen to my wife Akanksha (Chamola) at home.
Your wife Akanksha and you are quite open when it comes to expressing your feelings for each other on social media…
I don’t see a problem in romancing my wife on social media because I love her a lot. If I am showing love for my wife, I believe it is an expression and I am completely fine with PDA. Secondly, I can never say no to my wife. If she wants me to do something, I will help her and even if I am not comfortable, I will still do it. My wife understands my profession because she is also an actor and is not bothered with the buzz around my character.
You’ve been working in the TV industry for a long time. Do you want to explore other mediums?
I’ve worked in 18 shows till date and I love the small screen. Today, whatever I am, is because of TV. I am a production-friendly guy and working for long hours doesn’t bother me because at the end of the day, I am only thinking about my scenes and how to perform them well. I have not tried other stuff because I never had the time. I just focus on my work and move from one project to the other. I believe success is like a cycle and good things come and go, but one needs to stay grounded and work hard. I don’t plan my life, it could be a web show after some time or a film, I haven’t given it a serious thought.