Nikhil Bhambri, best known for his first-ever web series PuncchBeat, is actor-driven with an undying passion for acting. The forthcoming charm of the industry is already setting hearts on fire with his versatility. Team Storiyaan had a candid conversation with this handsome hunk, to know everything under the sun about the actor and his passion for acting
Questions and answers
Can we start by talking about the role of acting in your life? Did you always know it, or did it announce itself?
Acting is something that goes way back in my life. I did not always know that I wanted to be an actor, but it isn’t something that appeared suddenly into my life either. My very first commercial was for Boomer when I was a kid. Since I was young, it did not impact me back then, but I realized I wanted to work in front of the cameras, that is all I wanted in my life. I believe there is so much the world needs to learn, know, and be aware of, and through films, shoots, and Web Series, we can share some really authentic yet inspiring stories with our audience. I like to have a medium that can help bring about a change
You started with PuncchBeat. It starred many well-known Television personalities as well. How did the role happen to you?
PuncchBeat happened all of a sudden. So, Vikas Gupta was casting for PuncchBeat, and he had reached out to me for Aadhish’s role. He felt like who I was on Social Media and, in general, along with my personality and aura, resembled Aadish’s character. Aadish was a great character because he was so fun-loving, just like I am. So he asked me, “Would you like to do a character like that, which is not a lead?” For me, it’s not necessary to be a protagonist, and it is more about doing good roles with meaty characters and playing a role that is a star without being a lead role. That is how Aadish happened to me.
Tell us one thing you hate and love the most about acting.
Okay, I love the most about acting because I get to play different roles of different people, different personalities, it gives me a chance to do my best and showcase my versatility. A bad thing I’d say would be that this is not a company. Here, it’s not like after you are done with a certain role; your next project is ready for you to work upon. We have to put ourselves out there and prepare ourselves. That is something I consider as a small drawback.
What is the process of selecting the projects you work on?
I don’t have a process for selecting my projects or endorsements. The only thing I look for is that the script should be good enough. Also, I love to see my director’s passion and know that they are just as passionate as I am about my work.
What made you indulge in the digital space? Was it a conscious decision?
To be honest, I have always been interested in doing something new and different from the regular daily soaps. I like Web Space and digital works and films. So yes, it was a conscious decision. I believed that would show me how good or bad I am in a very short period or if I should just carry on with my life.
You recently also worked in the comedy called- Who's Your Daddy? Talk to us about your experience on set.
There was the next level of fun while doing Who’s Your Daddy because we all were new, I mean not me (laughs), as the whole crew was new to the acting phase, it was the first time for most of them. But I would like to mention Harsh Beniwal, who never did method acting because he is more of a public figure, a comedian, and a YouTuber, but it was so much fun because we all were learning new things daily and we were all together. Since that was a Comedy Show, we used to laugh and enjoy a lot on the sets, and our director, Chirag, was superb. So, overall it was a really great experience.
Can you talk about chemistry among various actors? How important is it to be at least comfortable while acting together, if the chemistry is important?
Well, I would say that chemistry amongst co-stars is really important and that an actor should know how to switch on and off. For instance, if two actors aren’t getting along because of some issues, it should not reflect on your performance. If I argued with a co-star, I wouldn’t let it show on-screen. I would be a different person. So yes, chemistry is very important, but maintaining it on-screen is more important. Your differences off-screen shouldn’t matter
What does a normal working day in your life look like?
Every day is an unexpected one for me. They are always full of surprises when I have meetings, then narrations and auditions. Sometimes I am shooting, and then I’d have nothing to do on other days, which is when I work on myself. So it’s like, either it’s my gym, shoot, and narrations or script reading, auditions and look tests. Some days I have to do all of it together, and on others, I have to work on myself all day. Likewise, during this quarantine, I have been working on myself, my voice, pitch, and dialogue delivery. An actor is never at rest, and they are always working on themselves or their job.
Are there characters you want to play that haven't ticked the list yet?
There are a lot of characters that I’d love to play. For example, I’d like to play a role like that of Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Dewaani or like Ranveer Singh in Padmavaat. I love challenging roles, for me Aadish in PuncchBeat wasn’t that challenging, because I am that crazy, fun-loving guy in real life as well. Whereas, Tidda in Who’s Your Daddy was a challenging role for me since I am not that typical Delhi boy I portrayed on screen. The reason I love challenging roles is that they help me improve my acting skills.
Everyone has their highs and lows. What is your mantra to cope with your lows?
I feel when you are at your highest point, you should make sure you don’t get over-confident. And when you are at your lowest, you should always stay positive, be grateful, and stay grounded. That is how you’ll grow.
Talk to us about quarantine. How has it affected your daily work, and how have you been coping with it?
Well to begin with, when the first version of lockdown started, I was very excited, because I got some me-time and I thought I could do so much but over the time people got very frustrated, very fed up, and got tired due to this lockdown, it started playing with their mind, and their mindsets changed completely. But I feel that as long as you remain positive, you can always stay headstrong and be smart about it. Like I have discovered so many things this lockdown, I have learned how to cook from Chinese to Japanese to Thai to Italian to Indian. I have learned an instrument, so I know how to play the guitar now. I have also been working on my diction of Hindi language, reading scripts, watching shows. I am also developing myself and working on my new talents. So, Quarantine I wouldn’t say was a complete waste, no matter how it affects your work, one should always try to make the best out of anything.
Are there more projects down the pipeline that we can look forward to?
Three new projects are coming up. Well, I can’t name them (laughs), but they are big digital platforms. As soon as this lockdown is lifted and things get back to normal, we will begin shooting. We were going to start last month, but the date has shifted to November because of the extended lockdown. And there are two more projects which I would soon be announcing on my Social media.
As an actor, is there any other artist whose work has influenced you as an artist?
I look up to two actors – Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. And they both have such different qualities that I love. Ranbir Kapoor is an industry child, but he does not have to mention that he is a Kapoor Son because he has the quality, which makes him worth being in this industry. And Ranveer Singh, I just feel that being an outsider, he has created his own space in the industry and the aura and the energy that he has, and the baggage that he comes with, he kept all that aside and worked so much. So both of them influenced me a lot positively.
Give our young and aspiring actors one golden advice you could think of.
Well, I would just say this journey is a very rough journey, full of obstacles, and you will overcome it with three qualities:
Hard work and passion
Stay true to your talent.
Who inspires you- generally in life?
In life, I look up to my Maasi, my mother’s sister, my aunt. Nikki Walia known for Shandaar and Guilty (Nextflix). She also acted in Astitva as Dr. Simran and Gharwaali Upperwali. She is an actor herself as well. She has done films like Shaandar and old daily soaps like Astitva and “Hassrate”. She is an amazing actress, and I look up to her.
1.Your Happy Place- Home.
2.First-person, you call when you’re happy- My Maasi.
3.Favorite Cuisine- Japanese
4.Favorite Film- (Oh God, very tough) Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
5.List two of your hidden talents- Squash and Cooking