Arunoday Singh on losing roles to more famous actors: ‘They make the project more viable, there’s nothing wrong with it’

Published on Mar 18, 2022 07:06 AM IST
  • Arunoday Singh says he doesn't care about the box office and all that matters for him is that he gets to act. 
Arunoday Singh in a still from Apharan 2. 
Arunoday Singh in a still from Apharan 2. 
ByRuchi Kaushal

Arunoday Singh is one of those Bollywood actors who come under the spotlight only when gearing up for a new release. He claims to be completely unbothered by the box office or the number of views on his work. All that matters for the actor is that he gets to act. And if the project turns out to be a success or a lead role, that’s just the icing on the cake. He is now back with the second season of web series, Apharan. Titled Apharan 2, the show marks his return as a not-so-fortunate cop who has a lot to deal with.

Ahead of its release, Arunoday spoke to Hindustan Times about the show and why he mostly ends up playing negative or funny characters. The actor also rubbished the insider-outsider debate as pointless and said there is nothing wrong if a role goes to a more famous actor than him. Excerpts from the interview:

You have a dialogue in Apharan 2 ‘Khudko jis Deewar ka Amitabh Bachchan samajhte aaye hain, aaj pata laga, ki hum to uske Sashi Kapoor bhi nahi they’. What do you think of yourself in real life?

Honestly, that dialogue is unfair is because Shashi Kapoor himself is a freaking legend. The only way I get that dialogue make sense is that Amitabh Bachchan is tall, Shashi Kapoor wasn’t and I am tall. Otherwise, I think they both are equally amazing. As far as for myself, I am trying very hard just to be I don’t know where. Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor, that’s whole another level.

You have been mostly appearing in web series these days.

I don’t choose it that way. I choose the work I get and it’s just a coincidence where it happens to release.

You have worked with some of the biggest directors, why haven’t you appeared in any films after Blackmail (2018). Do you have a message for the filmmakers?

You have to ask directors and producers about that. That’s not something I control. I want to be in everything. My message is 'I am amazing, audition me, you lazy bums. You have no clue what you are missing’.

Do you think you are not getting the roles you deserve and there is still a lot that should come to you despite your impressive graph?

No, I think you do the work you do and you live the life you are supposed to live. You do the best you can. You shouldn’t worry about what you deserve and don’t deserve. There are a lot of things that people deserve and don’t get. My career could be going much worse, I am okay where I am. I don’t think about it that way. I am just blessed to be working. I am working enough that I am a lead in a show that I really like. I think I am doing pretty well.

You seem to have a penchant for comedy, so much so that you add a pinch of humour to your negative roles as well. Is this a conscious effort?

No, I do the best I can in terms of choosing the work I get offered. If I want to be offered more comedy roles, I would find a good one to do. But I don’t get offered a lot of comedy, I get a lot of negative roles. So if I want to keep working, I have to choose the best I can.

In Mohenjo Daro, I wasn’t trying to be funny. How a character or story appears, it’s your business. For me, the character is dead serious. Even if it’s funny to you, it’s a real situation for a character. They are not laughing.

What is Arunoday Singh like behind the camera?

I read, sketch, write, travel, serf. These days, I am mostly travelling solo.

Have you ever faced any difficulty being an outsider?

Some things about it have been difficult, some things have been better. It’s a pointless debate. I think it’s unnecessary to think that way. It doesn’t help you get work. If you are constantly thinking, ‘I am not getting work because I am not connected’, it may be true or may not be true. It doesn’t change the fact that you have to go find work. And if it’s easier for somebody else than it is for you, that is how life is. It’s nothing you can worry about past a point. You just have to do the best you can.

So, you haven’t lost a role that eventually went to a bigger name or a well-connected person?

Of course, I have. And it went to them because they deserved it. They are bigger stars and they make the project more viable. They give the project a bigger length. Of course, that’s how it works. That’s my point. That’s the natural way of the industry. If you are famous, whether because you are a better actor or because your parents are famous, that naturally makes you more famous. There is nothing wrong with it.

What if that project turns out to be a flop?

A lot of things I've done haven't done so well. Who cares? I get paid to act and the fact that I am still acting is amazing for me. I don’t care if it flops, it is still fun for me.

So you are not affected by the box office?

No. I have been here long enough that this thing doesn’t bother me anymore. I am just happy to be working, that’s all that I give a damn about.

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