Ashish Sharma

Ashish Sharma who is scorching the screen with his lean hot look in ‘Rangrasiya’ talks about his challenging role.

You have undergone a complete transformation for your role as Rudra in Rangrasiya…
Yes. When Saurabh (Tewary, producer) was talking  to me about the serial, he made it clear that the pysche and journey of the character was very important. Usually, one prepares for the role externally, for this character I prepped inside out. Physically, I had to tone down my body. I already used to workout and was beefed up but army guys have a naturally tough look. To achieve that I started combat training and got rid of gymming. I also started cycling, swimming and going for long runs on the beach. I swapped my car with a friend who has an Enfield and rode it to get a hang of it, as the bike is an extension of the character I play.

What did you do to get into the pysche of the character?
After mentally drawing a sketch of Rudra, I started writing down notes on him — his thoughts and his routine. Sometimes, I used to write a few lines in verse too. This diary has been a great help to me, especially because I shoot multiple scenes in a day. When I have to do a particular scene, I refer to my diary to get into that mindset.

Heath Ledger used to maintain a diary when he was playing Joker in The Dark Knight. Was he the inspiration?
You could say that. However, I have done a course in acting, where I learnt several methods of acting and this was one of them. On TV when you are playing such a complex character, it helps to have a diary because you don’t get much time to prepare as compared to films.

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What is your take on Rudra?
Rudra is someone who carries a lot of baggage. He hasn’t had closure and is like a volcano ready to erupt at any time. However, because of his army training, he is calm and composed. For me it was a challenge to project that angst, the fearlessness and the desolate look in his eyes. I adapted some small gestures to convey that. The way he stands with his hands on his hips shows that he is ready to take anything heads-on, but at the same time he’s in control. Another thing I worked on was his gaze. I used to sit at the window and stare outside for hours to crack that code. My wife (actress Archana Taide) thought I was going crazy (grins). I wanted to do it because it’s important to believe in the character, to get into the depth and connect with the pain. Only then can the audience relate to you.

How much of Ashish is there in Rudra?
Like Rudra, I don’t open up to many people. I am reserved on the sets and keep to my self. That’s the reason I relate to him. However, I don’t kill people like him!

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There hasn’t been any dialogue between you and Sanaya Irani in the serial, yet one can see the chemistry between you two…
The fact that Sanaya and I didn’t know each other and met for the first time on the sets of the show has worked for the characters Paro and Rudra. They are  strangers to each other, but when they meet something happens!

However, there is a lot of violence on the show…
It’s guns and roses, so there will be violence but ultimately love will win over it.

In your debut serial Gunahon Ka Devta too you were an angry young man…
That was completely different. In Gunahon Ka Devta, I was a goon, always in a rage, a 21-year old rowdy who falls in love. Rudra, on the other hand, is angsty and burning from inside. There are several layers to him, which I have yet to explore. Another role I enjoyed doing was Ranvir in Rab Se Sona Ishq as an actor. The kind of transformation my character undergoes was interesting. Initially, he was a careless vagabond who ran away to London, later he became an obssessive lover-husband and eventually a good friend.

Any chances of you working with your wife Archana Taide?
I really hope so. Archana is a brilliant actress whose potential hasn’t been tapped. I think I will produce and direct a show for her!