Fiction or non-fiction formats, television or films — actor Karan Kundra has been straddling different worlds and by his admission, he is doing a "pretty good job". He is not hesitant in saying that he's doing "way better" and "making more money" than a lot of actors trying to earn name and fame via movies.
Karan — who after delivering the Bollywood film "1921" as solo lead earlier this year, is now coming back to television with Ekta Kapoor's forthcoming TV show "Dil Hi Toh Hai" — is glad he is being able to balance it all.
"I am doing it pretty well. I realised it very well in my career that if somebody is doing something, it doesn't mean you also have to follow that path. That makes you a follower, never a leader. I have to make my own path," the actor, who first found popularity with "Kitani Mohabbat Hai", told IANS on the set of his new show here.
He pointed out how, when he was accepted in the fiction genre, he landed a chance to host a crime show like "Gumrah".
"It was not an in-thing at that time, but I did it… People asked me, 'Why would you want to host a crime show?' But we made 'Gumrah' and we made it cool. When I started doing films, people said. 'Oh lovely, you're making films and you're successful with films, why do you want to go back to TV?' But I came back to television and did even better.
"It's the same thing now. I have given a solo hit film… My film ('1921') broke records in Pakistan… It's all because of my fiction shows as people there people watch a lot of our shows, so there it is. I am making my own path. I may sound boastful here, but I am doing a pretty good job," he added.
Karan has also steered clear from being stereotyped.
"When I got 'Mubarakan', it was a very funny sort of a character. A lot of people told me, 'Why would you want to do this? It will stereotype you. You will only get these kind of roles. You should be doing leads'. I said, 'No, it's a big film, it's Anees Bazmee's film and I should be a part of it.'
"Immediately I got '1921' and it was a lead, and a completely different role. So there's no stereotype anymore. Again, when you come to 'Dil Hi Toh Hai', a lot of people said why are you doing, but I am building my brand, and there's no better way to do it than by doing television and films together. The margins are not that bad anymore," he said.
In fact, Karan said, he chose "Dil Hi Toh Hai" — in which he essays a young and successful man — over a movie. After its telecast on TV, the show will be available on OTT platform ALTBalaji.
"I didn't find the film good enough. It all depends on the content now. You have to understand that there are so many mediums… I am doing way better than a lot of film actors I know of. I am more popular than them, I am making more money than them and I have a far better reach than them," said the 33-year-old actor.
Karan knew if he had to come back to television, it had to be something "big".
What attracted him to Sony Entertainment Television's "Dil Hi Toh Hai" was its atypical storyline, and the fact that it has a heroine who is neither crying nor asking for pity.
"Thank God there's no 'rona dhona'," he said, noting that there are efforts to make TV shows more relevant to the times now.
(The writer's trip was at the invitation of Sony Entertainment Television. Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])