Kunal Pandit: Actors are chosen based on their Instagram following

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Actor Kunal Pandit, who was formerly known as Shardul Pandit, talks about the changes in the industry, how bagging a role has changed and what he wants to do next.

After Kuldeepak, what did you do in the break?
After Kuldeepak, I did a show called Box Cricket League on MTV as an anchor and commentator. I have hosted a show called TPL on Sony Liv. I have also done Siddhi Vinayak on &tv.

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What is the kind of role you are looking for?
I am looking for leading roles whether positive or negative. I want to do substantial work and roles which will stay etched in people memories.

Are you open for negative roles? If yes why? If no why?
I am open for negative roles. Yes, why not. I am an actor. When Akshay Kumar can play a negative role in Robot 2.0, Shahrukh can play a negative role in BAAZIGAR and Ranveer can play a negative in Padmavat, then why can't a TV actor play a negative role?

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What changes do you find in the industry over the years?
The changes in the industry are so many. Earlier, people used to look for actors. Like at the time of Hiten Tejwani, Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, they were approached for their skill. But now, people look for Instagram models as actors. They look at their Instagram following rather than how they act.

Don't you feel you're going back to your original name would take time in acceptance as already there are too many Kunals in the industry?
I don't feel that going back to Kunal is confusing as there are not too many Kunals in the industry. There are so many Karans in the industry. If a Karan can make it, then 3-4 Kunal can do that as well.

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You have done the theatre finally. How is the response?
The response for my theatre debut was amazing. Many friends like Ankita, Sriti Jha, Shaleen Bhanot, Kirti Nagpure, Mrunal Thakur, Mrunal Jain, Ankit Taneja loved me on the stage. On television, you act with 20,000 cuts but in theatre, it is just the lights that guide you. The response was really good and I am very happy about it.

How easy or difficult is it to get work on TV?
It's very difficult to find work on television. Earlier, when I got my first show, I auditioned and they liked it and I got the role. But now, there are coordinators, agents, the channel people, Instagram…So many things, so many variables. You are not just looking for an actor, you are looking at some may things. So yes, the industry is changing and the good actors are finding work on the web and other platforms as well. Right now, I have been reinventing myself and trying many new things such as BCL, TPL, theatre. A good actor will always survive.

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