Keshav Uppal is an actor who has appeared in films such as Dear Zindagi, Amazon Prime’s Love Me, Hear Me, and ALT Balaji’s FU…OK?, Lionsgate Play’s first original Indian production, Hiccups and Hookups, and is now filming for MX Player’s show A Cold Mess, starring Barun Sobti and Ridhi Dogra.
How is covid and life treating you?
It’s been good, starting from first lockdown, things have changed drastically for me and the world as well. I got a lot closer to my family, got to know the value of many things, which we used to take for granted. So, learning lessons like these have been beneficial, overall. Apart, from that, it was good for my mental health, I got a break from everything. Not just me, everyone was going through a lot, but staying home and spending time with family was like a healing procedure. So, first lock down helped me grow as a person, I had a lot of free time to experiment with different things such as writing. There were pros and cons, but there were many changes. And since then, many things have changed for me as a person and as an actor as well.
As there is struggle in everyone’s journey, especially in the beginning phase, So, would you like to share something from when you were starting out?
For me, the first thing was to learn how to struggle. I didn’t know what to do after film school. Whistling woods was a protected environment, it was like a bubble where we used to get the scripts from student directors, and we just had to act. But, after graduating, I received a reality check that things work differently outside. No one will come directly to you holding a script, you must go and give auditions. Understanding audition process, where to go, whom to meet, where to send headshots, how to make contacts, I didn’t even know where Aram Nagar was, I knew nothing. So, understanding all that took a big chunk of time. Many days it even felt great because it was always something new happening, but that was a tough thing to crack into. And after a year or two, when things got clear to me, everything started getting better for me. Some days, it gets overwhelming, but it also feels get when you get acknowledged for your performance, so there are two sides of everything.
During that time did you feel like quitting or switching to a different career?
Never, since as a kid, I only had one goal, that I want to come to Mumbai and become an actor. I have been acting since the age of 5, participating in school plays and all. So, this was it, and I am a stubborn person, once I decide on something, I see it all the way through, you must use force to make me do otherwise. Everyone must face problems in their respective careers, mine are different, I won’t be acknowledged by my relatives but that’s okay.
Would you like to tell us something about your upcoming series?
It’s gonna be a very fun show. The shoot was amazing, and the script was really good. It was a really entertaining script, it’s got drama, it’s got comedy, it’s got all sorts of emotions. It would be fun to watch. There isn’t one typical story, it consists of many different stories and characters. So, when the whole thing comes together it would be entertaining to watch. We enjoyed hearing the script and the shoot as well. So, I hope audience would also love it. The shoot completed last week only, and it should be released around February or March.
Would you like to tell us a bit about your character?
I am playing a very quirky character named ‘Abhay’. He is Karan’s (played by Barun) friend. I did a lot of things; I am not exactly a good person in the show; you will see once the show is out.
How is this character ‘Abhay’, different from the ones which you have played before?
Yes, it is. I have played some generic characters before ‘Hiccups & Hookups’. In that show I played a gay character, which was different for me. And in this I play a playboy kind of a character, again, which is new to me. You might have seen this kind of character in some other show, but I hope I have bought originality to it, So, lets see.
Was there any kind of challenge while preparing or playing this character?
Initially, I was not sure that how much space would I get to play this character. But the director was really good and so were the co-actors, so I had a lot of space to perform at my own pace. So, it was a learning experience more than a challenging one.
If got a chance, which director and actor, you would like to work with in future?
I would love to work with my idol, Shah Rukh Khan. I grew up watching him and I am big fan till date. So, I would like to work with him because I know even a single project with him, no matter how small, would be a great learning experience for me.
And director, either Zoya Akhtar or Shashank Khaitan.
What are you plans for the upcoming year?
In upcoming year, first there is the release of ‘A Cold Mess’. Then I am doing another web show, can’t talk about it that much, but I am shooting for it in either January end or February first week. I am playing a negative character in that, so that is new to me, and I have always wanted to play a negative part since as a kid. And of course, I am going to keep working on myself, that’s a lifelong process. And I hope I land a big film this year.
Is there any kind of resolution which you would like to fulfil?
Not really, because every time a take a resolution, I forget it after a week or two. So, I have made rule to be happy, because as long as you are happy everything around you goes well too. So, I have kept it simple and nothing more complex.