After the mega success of The Kashmir Files, Darshan Kumaar is currently seen in Kookie Gulati’s latest directorial venture Dhokha Round D Corner. It also stars R. Madhavan, Aparshakti Khurana and Khushalii Kumar. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for a candid chat. Excerpts:
Dhokha Round D Corner is perhaps your most commercial film and you are headlining it too. What convinced you to sign it?
I felt its story is really good. I read it in one go without taking any break. It was so intriguing that I was only thinking about it the whole day. The script is like an onion where you keep peeling the layers of it. It’s a seat edge thriller. My acting teacher Naseer sir has always told me that an actor should be like water that can flow anywhere. I can do a commercial or an art film too.
You add a certain kind of authenticity to a project. How do you process your journey so far?
It has been a roller coaster ride since it is very tough to make a mark in the industry for an outsider like me. Mumbai is an expensive city and as actors, we have to learn the craft and additional techniques like kickboxing, dance, meditate etc. I used to survive on one biscuit and walked for around seven kilometres to give auditions. I used to carry an extra t-shirt and deodorant to give multiple auditions. Those were the days when I learned a lot. I used to do dubbing to run my livelihood.
I always tried that I should not be Darshan Kumaar on screen and I should be the character. I am focused right now and I am blessed. People loved the work I did so far that gave me so much confidence to better myself. I have done merely 6-7 films but after The Kashmir Files, I am busier than ever.
Has your life changed after The Kashmir Files?
I have around 72 scripts lying at my house. I have just finished Kaagaz 2 with Anupam Kher. My life has drastically changed and wherever I go these days, many people hug me and cry and even touch my feet. In fact, the youth studying in the universities go crazy for the character I played. Earlier, it was only about big stars but things are changing now.
Could you elaborate further?
I won’t name the producers but they insist that I keep the cheque. One of the producers sent a cheque attached along with the script but my priority is a good script and nothing else. I really wanted to work under Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s direction since he launched me in Mary Kom so he must have seen something in me.
How do you opt for roles irrespective of their length?
Whenever I read the script, I read it as an audience and then I gauge whether it’s a good script or not. Secondly, for me the director and producer are important. I only focus on my character whether it is changing something in the narrative or not. My roles in Mary Kom, Baaghi, Sarbjit are few examples. I always feel that my co-star is a better actor than me.