‘Web is breaking the images we have created on screen’

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 22 January 2018

 ...says Karan V Grover, who is playing a musician in Vikram Bhatt and Viu’s latest web series, Spotlight 2

 ...says Karan V Grover, who is playing a musician in Vikram Bhatt and Viu’s latest web series, Spotlight 2

Vikram Bhatt and Viu, the premium video-on-demand service, recently announced the second season of the web series Spotlight. Spotlight 2 stars Karan V Grover, who plays a young, flamboyant and talented musician. He has seen both sides of the spectrum, success and failure. The web series directed by Sidhant Sachdev, will go live on Viu app from January 26.

We ask Karan, who is promoting the series, if he followed any particular musician while researching on the subject and the actor replies that he has never been a rock music fan.
“But when something like this came up, when you have to play a guy who is a rock musician and one of the coolest singers one can ever be, you have to follow the legends. You have to look up to a Johnny Cash and Led Zeppelin because these guys created fire on stage. I also did some research on their life, what went wrong, why did they do so much of drugs, how they ruined their personal life, etc. We all know Johnny Cash but no one knew why he went mad when he performed live on stage,” he says.

The actor says that since he himself does not do music, perform live on stage or is into drugs, it was necessary to understand the intricate details about their life and so he did a lot of research. “It was a new research for me, because I was not exposed to it. I haven’t even done theatre before. So it was important for me to understand why drugs push you to such an extreme, why doing drugs brings out the genius in you.”

Known for shows like Punar Vivah - Ek Nayi Umeed and Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant, Karan says that he also took music lessons so that he looks real on screen. “I took keyboard and guitar lessons so that my face and hands are in sync. I took 45 -50 days of lessons. I used to take all the notes from Siddhant and the musicians beforehand and share them with my music teacher. This would help me understand how the musicians would play particular notes.”

It was reported that Karan was part of a music class which had only kids and he was the only adult student there. Karan laughs and says, “It was one of funniest incidents. One day, my teacher asked me to come on a Saturday. When I entered the room, I saw it was full of kids in the age group of 12-14 years. I suddenly felt like a senior citizen. My teacher told me that I would have to learn from them because they played better than me.”     

The series is said to be inspired by the life of rapper and singer Honey Singh but Karan maintains that it’s not true. “If you study musicians, who have been in the news for alcohol or drugs, you will realise there are many similarities in their lives. The story is not inspired by anyone in particular,” he says, adding, “even the songs, which have been produced by Vikram sir and Viu, have no similarity with Honey Singh’s music. They are more on the lines of Arijit Singh’s songs — soulful and romantic,” he clarifies.

Did he notice any difference in the style of working in the two mediums — TV and web? “Fundamentally, there’s no difference because the camera angles are the same. You have to remember the dialogues. The biggest difference I believe is that you don’t need to have your characters perfect and idealistic in web series. In television and some films, our protagonists are near perfect and there are hardly any flaws in them. They are usually the perfect bahu, perfect beta but in real life no one is perfect. Then there is the issue of censorship because you cannot show drugs or alcoholism on television,” he points out.

According to Karan, this is the reason why more and more mainstream actors like Vivek Oberoi, Saif Ali Khan, R Madhavan, Rana Daggubati are working in web series. “They can work freely and need not fit into a particular image. Web is breaking the images we have created on screen and that’s working for all,” he says before signing off.

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