Reliving age-old romance

Spanning across the 60s and 70s, Alt Balaji's latest web series 'It Happened In Calcutta' showcases the love saga between Ronobir and Kusum amid the 1965 war, cholera epidemic and political unrest.

In an exclusive interview with Millennium Post, actor Karan Kundra, protagonist of the show, talks about how Ekta Kapoor gave him the liberties to bring authenticity to the character and more. Excerpts from the interview:

You have been shooting for two Alt Balaji shows simultaneously. How difficult is it to play two different characters at a time?

Shuffling between Ritwik ('Dil Hi Toh Hai') and Ronobir ('It Happened In Calcutta') was bit of a task but whenever I get into a character I do my own research to add authenticity to it. For the character of Ronobir, whose life was based in 60s, I researched about the lifestyle, the outfit trends, kind of music of that time and much more. Besides, I had to research about how people used to stay in touch, hangout or communicate with each other as the political scenario was very different at that time.

Is there anything similar between you and Ronobir?

All the characters I play are the extensions that I create out of myself and Ekta Kapoor has always given me the liberty

to bring in my stuff so that I keep the character as relatable and real as possible. Ronobir is a casanova, go-getter and

topper. He is that kind of person whose priorities are set; he has a career in his mind and is very ruthless and unapologetic about whatever he does. He is the kind of person you would want to hate, but his charm and personality won't let you hate him.

Your retro look in the show is catching a lot of attention. Did you take any inspiration from the celebrities of bygone era?

The look is not recreated from any particular person as so many things were happening including 1965 war, peace revolution, cholera, sports, films, politics, etc so we took references from everything happening around that time. Apart from that a lot of research was done for this show and as far as the look is concerned, not only me but every character was given equal amount of importance.

You had made your television debut with Ekta Kapoor's show 'Kitni Mohabbat Hai' and after a decade you have once again collaborated with her for your digital debut. Is there any particular reason behind choosing her show?

Ekta has been very lucky for me since I started my journey in this industry. I used to live in Punjab when 'Kitni Mohabbat Hai' happened, which eventually changed my life. She saw me in Facebook and launched me in this industry through her show. She has always been there guiding me and making sure that I grow and evolve in this industry. Even today, she trust me with big project like 'It Happened in Calcutta'. More than luck, it was Ekta's support and faith me that helped me create a niche in the industry.

Do you think 'Kitni Mohabbat Hai' should be recreated for an OTT platform?

Actually, 'Kitni Mohabbat Hai' was the combination of Ekta ma'am's writing, her vision, me and Kritika. That chemistry really worked and it became one of the most popular shows of Indian Television, so much so that people remember it even after ten years.

As far as the recreation is concerned, Kritika and me have grown and the formats of the shows have evolved over the years. So, if all of us plan to come together, it will be for something really interesting – for us as well as the audience.

Actors nowadays are looking for offbeat stories. What is your criteria of choosing a project?

There are various factors like scale of the project, demand of the consumers etc that needs to be taken into consideration. There are different kinds of projects happening around. Interesting scripts are being written. Some actors might choose to take a risk and experiment with something out of the box, others would prefer playing safe. As for me, I feel it is time to take up the challenge and show my potential to the world.

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