‘I am a cinema person’
Actor Avinash Tiwari talks about working with Karan Johar in Ghost Stories, OTT platforms, and his desire to do the kind of work that reaches out to more people
He made his debut with the 2018 tragic love story Laila Majnu, but it was Netflix Original Ghost Stories that’s got everyone talking about Avinash Tiwari. The actor and Mrunal Thakur starred in the story directed by Karan Johar. The actor says, “Karan is a very hands-on director but he doesn’t believe in too much preparation. He would come to the shoot, describe the scene to the artist and let them do it the way they wanted to. It was unique because I was used to preparing for my roles and scenes. While working with Karan, there is spontaneity to the performance.”
He adds that Karan is very cool, relaxed and kept singing songs on the set. “In fact, we used to sing together. I used to sing something, he would join in and vice versa,”he adds.
Ghost Stories is an anthology of four stories directed by Karan, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee.
Avinash will be next seen in another web film – Bulbul, a Netflix Original produced by Anushka Shetty. “It is directed by writer Anvita Dutt. I will be yet again seen with my Laila Majnu co-star Tripti Dimri. I don’t how to describe the film, but it’s a period family drama with elements of horror. If the film turns out the way it should, it’s something we haven’t seen before. I am looking forward to it,” says the actor who likes watching thrillers and horror, but is currently hooked on to non-fiction series.
Avinash believes that OTT platforms have brought an end to the ‘fear of the Friday’. “Usually what happens with films is that even when it’s a nice project, if people are not watching it, theatres will remove the film. But with OTT platforms, if the film is good, it will find its audience, and slowly and steadily, it will grow. So, this gives a slight amount of comfort to everyone who is part of the film. That’s why different kinds of films can be made and makers can experiment with ideas. Cinema can be made better,” he says.
When asked want kind of a person he is, Avinash says, “I am a cinema person and I want the audience to come and watch my film on the big screen leaving behind other stuff. Those three hours are for me.”
At the same time, he adds, no one can complain about the OTT platforms as the platform has resulted in a surge of work. “Lots of writers and actors are getting work and thankfully a lot of content is being made. Everyone is pushing the boundaries,” says the actor whose next big screen outing is Parineeti Chopra-starrer The Girl on the Train. The film is an adaptation of a book by the same name and has already been made in Hollywood. “It’s a fantastic film and stars Kirti Kulhari and Aditi Rao Hydari.
The rights of the book are with DreamWorks Production which is producing the film with Reliance. Technically, it’s my first Hollywood production (laughs). In fact, I have told my mother that I am doing a Hollywood film. I hope we will do justice to it,” he says.
Avinash shares that the Hindi film is a completely different adaptation. “We have Indianised the story,” he says.
Ask him if he is happy with the work he is getting post Laila Majnu, for which he was appreciated and he says, “I won’t complain. I am getting various kinds of stuff which will show my versatility as an actor. But at the same time, I feel that I need to focus on getting parts which reach out to more audience because that’s what an actor desires and hopefully it will happen soon.”