Akshay Oberoi on High: It is not a preachy series

Written by Mimansa Shekhar
| New Delhi |

October 7, 2020 6:00:59 pm

High is presently streaming on MX Player. (Photo: PR Handout)

Actor Akshay Oberoi is blissful to experiment with darker characters. “Such roles stretch you as an actor. It’s a way to surprise yourself and the audience,” he says. Akshay will subsequent be seen enjoying Shiv Mathur, a drug addict in MX Original Series, High.

High is set within the gritty world of substance abuse. Also starring actors Ranvir Shorey, Shweta Basu Prasad, Mrinmayee Godbole, Nakul Bhalla, Prakash Belawadi and Kunal Naik, amongst others, it has been directed by Nikhil Rao.

In a candid chat with indianexpress.com, Akshay spoke on the timing of the discharge of High, problem in leaving his characters behind and the way internet medium provided him greater than movies.

Excerpts from the dialog:

1. You appear to be getting increasingly into the darkish house with reveals like Flesh and now, High. Why?

I look a sure means, and that’s how heavens have made me. I didn’t need folks to say that I might solely play a sure sort of function — like a good boy or a romantic hero. I wished to interrupt these stereotypes. At the top of the day, I solely care about performing. It’s additionally a option to stand out. So within the final couple of years, I’ve been attempting to show that in case you give me any function, I’ll do justice to it.

2. But when did you realise that this is the time to experiment?

I feel after I labored in Gurgaon and the way in which the movie and my work was obtained. I’ve spent half of my life within the US, I now dwell in Mumbai. So for me to get a function of a heartland Jaat man who murders his total household was fairly a stretch. Hats off to my director who noticed me in that mild. After doing that, I feel folks began trusting me with distinctive roles.

3. Coming to High, whereas enjoying a drug addict, it is advisable to observe a sure mannerism and physique language. What form of preparation did you do?

You should rely a lot on the director. But you additionally should do your analysis as a result of it’s not like I’ve used these substances. There’s a sure thoughts body that it’s important to get into, a certain quantity of data in regards to the drug, what it does to your mind, the way it adjustments you. It also needs to look genuine, as if I’m on that drug. I spoke to a lot of rehab centres who defined the territorial science behind the drug. But essentially the most difficult half was to successfully talk to the viewers, the drug that Nikhil Rao created — Magic, as a result of it does not really exist. They see it via my eyes.

4. We’ve had reveals and movies round substance abuse. What makes High completely different?

There are a hundred romantic movies about a boy assembly a lady nevertheless it’s the person story that units it aside. It’s the identical factor right here. There are many reveals, there’s Narcos, Udta Punjab. Here, the distinctive half is that we’ve created a drug. That’s actually completely different and I hope folks get satisfied.

5. Is the timing of High purely coincidental, given the present stream of issues occurring in Bollywood round drug abuse?

The crew had no concept that this is going to occur. We made the present a 12 months in the past. Nikhil wrote it two years in the past. MX Originals had all the time stated that it’s going to launch someplace round September-October 2020. That was our deadline. The issues occurring had been coincidental. We are not making the most of that. But in fact something that is talked about, will assist the present acquire extra curiosity. Whenever a subject is related in popular culture, in media, it all the time helps the movie or series popping out at the moment. I feel the identical will occur right here. But if the present is no good, it gained’t have the ability to do something for it. So High wants to face on its personal ft.

high web show akshay oberoi AKshay Oberoi performs the character of Shiv Mathur, a drug addict in MX Original Series, High. (Photo: PR Handout)

6. When tales from actual life encourage content material onscreen, a part of viewers are given to oppose it. For occasion, High might obtain a backlash for endorsing medication. Are you prepared for any such negativity?

When you rise up for a mission, you’ve to concentrate on any form of backlash. Now it simply occurs that there’s extra consideration on it. But if you watch the present, you’ll realise that via my character we try to say that medication are not going to guide you wherever in life. It’s not preachy in any respect. We try to entertain. Drug is simply the backdrop of the story. I feel fairly the alternative will occur when folks will watch it.

I’m actually pleased with this present. I don’t say that always about my work. I actually loved making it. There’s a lot of expertise within the present, and that’s nice in regards to the OTT platform. It’s not like movies, the place stakes are excessive with distribution and advertising and marketing. Here you possibly can authentically solid for the present, take the suitable folks for the job. So I’m actually excited to see how individuals are going to just accept the present.

7. When you play characters which could not resonate with you personally, what is the method like?

My spouse says you play all these darkish characters and you then come house and I can’t inform who you’re. That’s as a result of I all the time maintain my characters in my head whereas I’m capturing, to get into its pores and skin. And as a lot work goes to get into it, the identical quantity of labor it takes to get out of it. Shiv Mathur (High) or Taj (Flesh) don’t depart you that simply. So it does take a little bit of a toll.

8. Has internet been kinder to you?

I needed to wrestle to get work in movies. When I began, it was a smaller business. And I might get a movie after a number of auditions and a thousand rejections. I might do two movies and be at house for 4 months. I used to suppose these are the years I need to work and develop as an actor and it’s simply not occurring. I used to be getting fascinating movies like Laal Rang, Kaalakaandi, Pizza, Gurgaon, nevertheless it wasn’t continuous. In performing, the one time you possibly can apply and enhance is when you find yourself on a set. Thank God for the OTT. When I noticed it coming, I jumped at it. I’m so glad that through the years, nice writers and administrators have are available in, and such assorted elements are being written, and individuals are giving me a likelihood to do it. I’m having a blast proper now.

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