Born in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Rushal Parakh is a ‘cinephile’ who has become proficient in acting by enrolling in Anupam Kher’s ‘Actor Prepares.’ He graduated from MIT-SOM College pursuing MBA and then made a striking debut in the show ‘Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya’ and later paved his way through diverse roles in shows like Tu Aashiqui.
He is a ‘fitness enthusiast’ and a ‘trained dancer,’ which explains his passion and love for pursuits such as biking, traveling, dancing, and singing. He partook in ‘Clean and Clear Fresh Face’ in 2014 and went on to star in several other video commercials. He also loves jamming his time with the guitar.
Rushal spoke about his journey with Team Storiyaan
Questions and answers
You started your journey to becoming an actor by joining 'Anupam Kher's Actor Prepares.’ How was that experience for you?
I firmly believe that every experience teaches you something. My time at Kher sir’s school was very knowledgeable for me. It taught me that everything one wishes to seek is within them and not on the outside. I will never forget Anupam Kher’s words- “Know thyself; be thyself.”
You had your breakthrough with your first commercial with DairyMilk. But your second commercial for Nova Ghee was not released. How did that make you feel? How did you move forward from there?
I think as an actor or a performer, rejection is a part of my job. This wasn’t even a rejection. My job, at the end of the day, is to perform. I was just happy with the fact that I had a job, and I did it dedicatedly. They say, mehnat kar, phal ki chinta mat kar, and I follow it religiously.
Being a cinephile, I am sure you might have watched movies that touched your heart, and you might have ended up rewatching them, which is one of those films, and why do you love it so much?
I’m a massive fan of Charlie Chaplin, and he will forever be one of the greatest actors to have ever graced the screen. His timing with comics was just impeccable, taking comedy roles to the next level. I have watched all of his movies. But when it comes to Bollywood, I love Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar & Barfi. I can strongly feel the character in the former, Jordan. I may or may not have watched these two movies more than a hundred times now.
As an actor, what kind of roles interest you? Is there any particular genre you'd like to indulge in?
I want the characters to pick me, and not the other way around because the fact that I can be whoever I want is absolute liberation.
You were a part of Clean and Clear Fresh Face 2014, how did it happen, and what was that experience like for you?
Oh, the firsts are always exceptional! I remember well; that was the first time I realized my passion for acting. On that stage, it was the first time I had dared to dream. When they asked me what I want to be?— I replied, without any hesitation, that I wanted to be an actor, in front of all the people in the audience. It was the first time I’d ever acted against an audience. And it was the first time I saw how proud my father was of me. It filled my heart! And it all happened solely because I believed in myself!
You said you used to have a stammer, and it is something that is mocked by people at times. How did you improve your speech? Is there anything you'd like to tell our audience who might be going through a similar situation?
Yeah, I used to stammer quite a lot. It was something people made fun of, and I was always laughed at because of it. They’d tell me, Pehle bolna sikh, phir acting karna. But I tried to ignore their cries. I had faith in myself when no one did, and I practiced every day. I still do. I have to keep in mind that acting is a competitive field, and I have to work on my craft consistently, continuously. Hritik Roshan also went through the same problems in the beginning, and I couldn’t help but think, if he can, then I can too! And so I believed in the possibility of improving. And to all the readers here, please learn to accept your problems first and then work on it.
You love traveling and like to learn about different cultures and new languages. Which is one culture or style you are eager to learn about, and what about it fascinates you the most?
I love traveling a lot! When I travel— going to different places, I manage to find myself. In mundane life, everything becomes chaotic. Somehow, a part of me feels lost, and it is when I meet new people, listen to their stories, take in their culture and understand their problems, I forget my problems, and I remember who I am.
You have also started reading. Is there any book that you'd like to be adapted as a film, and if so, why?
I don’t think I can mix these mediums with the same story. I love reading. That being said, I wouldn’t want a film based on it to be made. I believe that reading a story, and then watching the same story in a parallel, have different joys. Reading is a standout.
You like playing your guitar- have you ever tried developing a new tune on your own? Have you ever written any songs or do you ever plan to?
How did you get the inside scoop?! Just a few days ago, I recorded a little something when I was randomly singing. I was also playing my guitar with it. To be honest, it sounded pretty good. So I am thinking of completing the song pretty soon!
You are a parallel lead in the show "Tu Aashiqui,” how did that role come about?
The one mantra I follow in life is Work hard and leave the rest upon fate. So I kept chanting it, and with it echoing in my mind, I went for the audition of the show. I did not expect to bag this role at all. But yes, the part chose me, and before I knew it, it was mine!
You are also a fitness freak, any tips on how to stay focused on this quarantine and now stray away from a fitness regime?
This is just the beginning! This is going to be a long journey. One has to be mentally fit first. Then only one can achieve their desired physical fitness. So a little bit of yoga and some home-workouts may help you do that.
Are there any upcoming projects that you are working on and we can look forward to?
Before the pandemic broke out, I had a lot of shoots lined-up. One of those shoots was for a film. But now things are a little unstable. So I am just waiting to see how things turn out.
Does this excessive social media life wear you out? Do you desire alone time?
Alright, this is a crucial question! Especially for people who are just ‘watchers’ and ‘not creators.’ We, as content creators, spend more time in creating content. Posting takes a few mins. Whereas, people who just watch content on their scroll. Feeding lots of unwanted information that wears them out after a while. Saying to which I love my fans, but I want them to be leaders & creators than just consumers.
If you could express your journey in a few lines, how would you describe it?
These three words alone define my journey very well. And that is also what I’d like to tell others- Dream for it. Believe in yourself and give your 100% to achieve it.
Talk to us about your YouTube channel and your acclaimed video "How to come out to Indian Parents?"?
This video arose from the repeated requests for advice on coming out that I would receive. I felt that there were very few to almost no videos on the internet in a local language with an understanding of our culture, which was detailed in the same way as the anxious emails I was receiving.
Who inspires you in general life?
I am very inspired by vulnerable people. I try very hard to include them in my close circles. Besides this, I have found myself attracted to feminist people and people who are not cynical about the power of love and kindness. This informs my life a lot.
1. A film you wished had a sequel- Barfi
2. Your favorite biopic- Gandhi
3. A word that describes your personality- Creative
4.Success to you eans- Falling eight times and getting back up the 9th time.
5. Your guilty pleasure- Rasmalai on cheat Days.