Darsheel journeys from screen to stage

In this interview, the Taare Zameen Par actor says his view of performing arts and acting has evolved from the 2007 film to Safary’s current play, Two Adorable Losers.
A scene from Two Adorable Losers; Darsheel (inset)
A scene from Two Adorable Losers; Darsheel (inset)

Chennai

You were discovered by Amol Gupte while attending a dance workshop. Is it safe to say that you have always been inclined to the performing arts?
I definitely think so because I’ve never really had an inclination towards academics although I gave it a lot of importance — I scored above 80 per cent in both Class 10 and 12.  
How did this play come across your way? Were you nervous about accepting it?
I was not nervous because my perception about the performing arts has evolved over time. The thing is, I’ve begun choosing more story-based scripts. I was offered this play by Out Of The Box Productions, and it has an amazing story. The concept is new and I was given a chance to get into theatre, hence I immediately accepted it.
Tell us about your character in Two Adorable Losers. 
I play the character Akshay – he is a third year student pursuing psychology. He is weak in statistics and that is the only aspect in which I could connect with the character because I’m weak with numbers too. As a character, the person is really shy and a little stressed in life so it took me back to my student days when I used to be in a similar situation. I’ve done almost three shows now and have become attached to Akshay.
Was transitioning from film to theatre tough? Did you undergo any acting workshops or classes to become a stage actor?
I took a lot of training from Akshay Pattnaik who’s my co-actor in the play, and from the director Murtuza Kutianawala. I had to go to Juhu every day for classes and he taught me the basics, after which I came to know that Two Adorable Losers is not just any normal stage play. This made me pretty nervous during my first show but I eventually got the hang of it. It’s all about practice and being sincere about your work. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I didn’t feel the strain between shifting from the screen to the stage because if you’re an actor, you’ve just got it in you to perform on the stage, in a train or on the road.
Describe your rapport with co-star Abhishek Pattnaik.
We’re really close friends since there’s not a huge age difference between us. The good thing is that he’s open to and offers a lot of suggestions. He’s been doing theatres for eight years now and has his basics really sorted. Whenever I see him play Jolly — the name of his character in this play — I get inspired by him and think to myself that I’d like to be a theater actor just like him. We’ve travelled nearly all over India in the past one year, so we’ve made a lot of memories and have had fun together.
Did you ever have a teacher in school/college you looked up to or were close with?
I had a lot of teachers who I was close to; they really supported me in every way possible, understood my problems and helped me with it. 
The play will be staged on January 27, 7 pm, at Sir Mutha Venkatasubbiah Auditorium, Chetpet. Tickets can be availed on bookmyshow.com.

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