Nakuul Mehta: No more searching for validation from people in the industry
There was a time when actor Nakuul Mehta was looking for validation from people in industry, and he would say yes to most projects. But now, he has learnt the art of saying no comfortably, and he considers that his greatest strength.
“My fodder as an artiste comes from the life I live outside. I don’t know if many people in the industry get it because people are in a hurry or rush to work and hustle,” confesses the actor.
Mehta became a household name with his small screen debut show, Pyaar Ka Dard Hai Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara in 2012, and followed it up with Ishqbaaaz and a hosting gig. He was also see in a web show, Never Kiss Your best Friend, last year.
But, he has not been consistent with his on-screen outings. “That’s because I’m out in the real world collecting experience to get better in the craft. I always took long breaks. Because that’s when I live, understand, get curious, learn, and come back with more life experience.”
The 38-year-old continues, “What has changed is that 10 years ago, I would say a lot more yes. Because you are waiting for validation from people, peers and industry. Today, my greatest challenge is to be able to say no more comfortably. Because a lot of things are thrown at you, including money and opportunity,” admits the actor, who is back on the small screen with a mature love story, Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2.
With time, he has become “wiser, calmer and choosy” about the projects he wants to take on. Will the project make me happy and will it add value for me and everyone involved — he asks himself before picking any project.
“With that understanding, I also look at the business of art differently. It is no more about how many people will like you, or the awards you get. It is about bringing value to your immediate collaborators… So, it has gone away from validation from outside to being able to value everyone around me,” says the father of one.
Asked how comfortable he is while saying no to someone from the industry, and Mehta says, “That has become my greatest strength. As an artiste, I say no to many things comfortably. I think that also takes away the pressure of hustle for me and makes me really do things which I am joyful about. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. Like, I always wanted to collaborate with Ekta Kapoor, and with my current show, it seemed the right opportunity to do it. That’s why I said yes. But if something is not right, I wouldn’t care where it came from, and just turn it away.”