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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Mukul Chadda on comparisons with original The Office: ‘I don’t feel the pressure of trying to be someone else’

Mukul Chadda, who plays Jagdeep Chadda in The Office, has said that the writers have already tweaked the original characters and incorporated situations that are quite rooted in Delhi.

tv Updated: Oct 17, 2019 15:55 IST
Ruchi Kaushal
Ruchi Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Mukul Chadda plays the boss, Jagdeep Chadda, in The Office.
Mukul Chadda plays the boss, Jagdeep Chadda, in The Office.

Mukul Chadda plays an overfriendly boss in the web series, The Office and feels it’s rooted in Delhi, despite the show being an adaptation of the British series and its American offshoot. The actor has returned with the second season on Hotstar and says that his character has evolved more than it was in season 1.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Mukul spoke about how the second season is quite different from the first one and how his character is neither a copy of the original nor he deliberately tries to make it look different. Mukul plays the role made famous by Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell in the successful show’s British and American versions..

Excerpts from the interview:

Are you satisfied with the response to season 2?

I got feedback from people and it was overwhelmingly wonderful. People have been coming up and saying ‘We want season 3’. It’s been quite a journey from the kind of mood it was before the launch of season 1.

What’s new this season?

It’s continuation of the same story: same office, same people. However, there are things you must be looking forward to in the new season. Mallika Dua has come in a new character -- Kitty Kataria, and has done a phenomenal job. Whenever you will see her on screen, you will burst out laughing.

The start of season was all about establishing the office, establishing the characters and only at the end we started going deeper into the story lines of the characters. That’s happened to a much greater extent in season 2. My own character has so many features that I want to explore. So many different scenarios were thrown in which I reveal a lot about my personality in a different way. That was lovely for me to do it. There was an enhancement in all the characters – you see more of them in the second season. In the first season there was only one romantic track, this time we go full on crazy, there are possibly five romantic tracks featuring different people who are in different stages of blossoming love. It’s a madhouse.

Do you think your character needs to be different from what we have seen in the American or the British version?

All the characters are very rooted personalities. The writers have already tweaked the original characters. The actors have also brought their own flavour to it. I don’t have any concern like I want to be different from Ricky Gervais or Steve Carell; we are focussed on developing the character of Jagdeep Chadda. It has changed and evolved over time. Steve had already changed the character from what it was in the British original. And our character is adapted from that but it is pretty Indian. It is very well rooted in Faridabad. I think a lot of stuff he says or does, if you reverse translate it in English, it will not make any sense. That tells you that it is very much an Indian character. Lot of people must have met people who are a lot like Jagdeep Chadda. I don’t feel the pressure of trying to be someone else. It’s not like we have made a copy of what Ricky or Steve did. I just ignore those comparisons and look at Jagdeep Chadda as a character by itself.

Are there some significant changes where the audience get to watch something they don’t expect?

We have shot the whole thing together. The second season was also shot last year. There was no scope for feedback.

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Do you also contribute in the script or lend your own jokes?

I am not that fun, I am a very, very serious person. That’s a joke by the way. The primary writing was done by the writers. We do tweak it and make changes on occasions, especially when we understood our characters better.

The competition in the comedy genre is rising by the day? Have you watched a web show lately?

I liked all seasons of Tripling -- all the characters were very funny. I also watched Mind The Malhotras. I think the reverse is true – there aren’t many comedy shows out there. There is more of drama and thriller.

Is the third season in pipeline?

I have no idea, you will have to ask the writers.

Author tweets @ruchik87

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