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YES BOSS......
His film debut was almost faultless. Big banner, reputed director and established co-stars. But inspite of Pardes’ success luck still eluded Apurva Agnihotri. Finally the show Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi where he plays the sauve and charming Armaan Suri, has lifted his fortunes as girls all over wish they were Armaan’s secretary. A tete-a-tete with the goodlooking actor
Jassi... has happened when you were lying quite low.

Yes, the film offers were absolutely uninspiring. I think the Pardes hangover still continues because most of the roles that I was offered was of an NRI. They would come to me with visuals like ,”You will be coming down from London. The first shot is of you arriving at the airport”.. and so on. Every story sounded the same to me. As an actor I cringe from doing anything stereotypical. But Jassi... has been a suprise entry in my life. I had never really thought of television as a career option.
So how come you decided to foray into it?
I was initially confused when Tony and Deeya Singh approached me for the role of Armaan Suri in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. Television was an unknown territory for me. The approach and the scale is different, so is the working style. But when I heard the story and screenplay there was no more dilly-dallying with the decision. Anyone would have grabbed the role.

Did you watch the Columbian production to get a a feel of the character?
I watched bits of it. I wanted to play Armaan Suri my way, without any influence from other quarters. He should be my original design based on the sketch given to me. Hence I took care not to watch too much of the original show. And I must say that our directors have been amazing, guiding us and at the same time letting us innovate.

Can you identify with the character in anyway?
No. I don’t rave and rant so much in real life. I am a softspoken guy. I am also an introvert and can’t dream of chasing women with such fervour in real life. Not that I am not enjoying it on screen.(smiles)

Do you find it difficult to play someone you are not?
As an actor I should be able to excel in any role. I try and play it by the ear most of the time. I don’t believe in rehearsing too much. I don’t want to go for every shot with too many preconcieved notions. I like to leave room for improvisation. And as for playing someone I am not, I feel a good actor should be able to switch on and off from the character whenever needed. Once I am through with the shooting I don’t let Armaan Suri come home with me.

How do you cope with this whole secrecy aspect surrounding the identity of Jassi? People must be plaguing you with questions.
Yes they do....
Nothing. it doesn’t bother me(grinning all the time)

Do you think it is the curiousity value that is keeping the interest levels pumped up?
To an extent yes. But more than that the basic storyline is very appealing. It is an amazing combination of the underdog and the people with power. Deep down we all want to be a bit of both.

Why do you think Jassi is falling in love with Armaan Suri?
Well, he is probably the only person who does not judge her on the basis of how she looks. He knows her worth and intelligence. Even though he might manipulate her to suit his schemes and plans, I think she feels there is a basic thread of trust between them.

So, does Jassi get the guy in the end?
You will have to wait and see.
Have you adjusted to the working ways of television?
The long hours can be taxing. But I am getting used to it. Doing television is more like a regular job with more or less fixed working hours. Sometimes it does get monotonous. But we have so much fun on the sets that no one is ever bored. But I realise I canít get complacent. Soap opera characters are constantly evolving so I canít afford to take it easy.

Do you think you are getting noticed now, because of the popularity of the show?
Yes indeed. I have signed some films, interesting projects and I have one film which is almost complete. It is with Ahmed Khan and revolves around a group of four guys. Be it television or films, I am here to stay. So I am ready to try out anything that comes my way and is good. I am not new to the indusry. My father Gyan Dev Agnihotri was a writer. He has worked with the likes of Basu Bhattacharya. You know when he was alive I was never really keen on joining films. But after he died somehow films seemed to be the natural path to take. I wanted my debut to be in a good film and thankfully it was. But I still have a long way to go.

So, are you going to be concentrating on Jassi..., for the time being?
What I need to concentrate on , right now is sleep(grinning). I have been working almost round the clock. But seriously, yes Jassi... will always be special and she will get my full attention now(laughs). The show has given my career a new lease of life.

Source: Indian Express Newspapers