A journey that spans from Infosys to the Television Screens, actor Rohit Choudhary has done it all and has yet to conquer further. A professional pretender- a career path different from what all actors pursue, his unique aesthetics have propelled him as a successful TV performer. Take a look at what Rohit has to say about his career choice, art and how fatherhood has changed him.
Questions and answers
We have heard that you were working in Infosys before stepping into the industry as an actor. How did acting happen to you, and how difficult was it to switch?
After engineering, it’s a culture for the students to get placed and so I did the same. After working for some time, I took a sabbatical for three months and did an acting course. That is when it struck me that this is what I wanted to do, so I extended my sabbatical, and from then there was no coming back. I did not look back since then and kept working and growing as an actor.
You have spent your childhood in Rajasthan, which is one of the most beautiful places in India, can you tell us your best childhood memory?
I do have a lot of childhood memories, but I am not sure which amongst them can be termed as a favorite. I was in a hostel, for two years I was in Jhunjhunu, after that I was in Birla Senior Secondary School. In the 10th grade, I remember scoring 89 percent, which was a big thing at the time. My parents were amazed as they were not hoping that I would score well. So yes, that is the fondest memory of my childhood, as I had made my parents proud.
Having worked in so many TV shows like “Draupadi,” and “Qayamat ki Raat,” what’s the most important lesson that the small screen has taught you?
TV has taught me a lot of things. Everyday we have to perform and read scripts and shoot consistently. We are expected to be quick and on toes every time so you know to prepare yourself in whatever few minutes you have before the shoot. I have learned time management by working on TV, and I feel that has helped me a lot on the professional as well as personal front.
Rumors are mandatory for actors. What is the funniest rumor you have heard about yourself?
I don’t remember any funny humor as such, but I remember while working in Naagin, I was linked with my co-actor, Surbhi. I was married, and everybody knew that, so the humor did not last long.
Playing an LGBTQ character always requires handsome courage. You have played Naamvar, the rugged husband in ‘Gandibaat,’ we’d love to hear your experience.
That was my first experience playing an LBGTQ character, and it was very tough. When I got the part, I asked them what the character was, and they told me that no one before wanted to play the character, maybe because of the stigma surrounding LGBTQI characters. The makers said to me, ‘Rohit, we need your support for this.’Even Ekta Kapoor was very nervous as it was the first time that they were casting such a role. I wanted to experiment with my roles and be ready for all the challenges that come my way.Every day, we used to shoot for 20 hours, and on the last day we were shooting continuously for 24 hours. When the shoot was over, my friends were like, “Why are you so much into the role?” I was kind of enjoying it!
You have acted in the movie Padmavat. Can you tell me about how it was playing Iktiyaar?
So this story is interesting. When I was shooting for my show, I used to cross the Padmavat set whenever we entered the film city. Their set was on the right, and mine was 5 minutes away from it. It was a huge set, and I felt like going in as I always wanted to see the rest of the set. A few days later, coincidently, I got a call, and they had called me to play a role along with Jim Sarbh, so I went for auditions. I was like, why not take this opportunity as I always wanted to work with Ranveer and Deepika. On the set, they changed my character, and my screen-time got extended. I was delighted, and that’s how I was filmed, and I played Ikhtiyaar.
What is the biggest perk of working on the small screen?
So far, I would say I’ve done so many characters and so many shows, around like 15 characters, and that is the biggest perk. Getting to play a lot of characters and roles and sometimes even within the show the role changes. So it’s the biggest advantage- to get to play so many roles.
Who is your role model when it comes to acting. Who do you look up to?
There is no specific role model for me and I take everything from every actor out there. Every actor has a distinctive style of working. I try to grasp and learn from every one of them, but I mostly admire Amrish Puri, Paresh Rawal and Anupam Kher.
What is your favorite past-time in quarantine, and how are you spending self-isolation?
It is going very great, but I’m missing sets, acting, and my co-actors. Apart from that, I do yoga and I get a lot of time to meditate. I’m reading an autobiography. In the evening, I play cricket and do my home workout. I’m taking care of myself and my health and I watch a lot of movies. So, my days are going well and you won’t believe it, but for me, I don’t know how so many days have gone by. I’ve had a lot of fun being so super productive.
Can you tell us a bit about your fitness regime this lockdown period and a few hacks that personally help you stay fit, mentally and physically?
There are a lot of meditation and yoga videos on YouTube. I do a lot of yoga, which is an exercise for the mind. I eat healthily and exercise daily. Your thoughts are driven by what you eat. Most of you all don’t believe it, but it is true and it also affects our physics. So always remove 30 minutes of your time for work out and that is the least you can do for your body. Because of the lockdown, everyone is getting a lot of extra time; even people who used to give work excuses have enough time to work out now.
What is a fashion trend that you hate?
Everybody has their own choices, so I respect that. I don’t hate anything because if anyone is doing anything, it’s their choice. I accept people the way they are. So there isn’t any trend that I hate.
What grooming advice have you received and would like to share?
Every man will look well-groomed if he takes care of his haircut and beard. If these two things are fine, you will always look well-groomed and presentable.
If you were asked to define life in a word, what would that be?
This is something that I’m still looking out for. I don’t know how to describe life in a word. I’m still searching for it.
In what ways has your life changed after the arrival of the baby girl?
It has been three years, and these years are the happiest moments of my life. She is adorable!
Right now, I am always focusing on what she can learn from me every day. She is the reason why my quarantine is going well, as she’s always there to keep me happy and busy.