Mukul Chadda talks about being a boss in The Office, says ‘every boss has atleast one peculiar characteristic’

Mukul Chadda, who plays the lead role of a humourous boss in new web series The Office, spoke to Hindustan Times about his peculiar onscreen character, the type of bosses in the world and more.
Mukul Chadda plays the lead role of Jagadeep Chadda in The Office.
Mukul Chadda plays the lead role of Jagadeep Chadda in The Office.
Updated on Jun 28, 2019 01:19 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByRuchi Kaushal

Mukul Chadda is the over-the-top friendly boss we come across in The Office trailer, adaptation of the popular American TV show with the same name. The actor plays a boss who neither minds merging his professional life into his personal one nor peeking into the private lives of his employees. Mukul spoke to Hindustan Times about how the Indian version is different from the original, the types of bosses and more. Excerpts:

What kind of boss do you play in The Office?

Mukul Chadda is a boss who thinks of himself as everybody’s best friend. No employee wants to see his boss as his best friend and he is not the best person to be someone’s best friend. He doesn’t have any boundaries between his personal and private life. He wants to be a part of everybody’s personal life. He is constantly wanting them to tell him their personal secrets, call them for dinner and go to their house for dinner. He also thinks of himself as the best joke-teller in the world, so he thinks he is very entertaining and wants to be the centre of attention all the time. That creates some very interesting moments.

 Watch: The Office trailer

To what extent is the Indian version different from the original?

This was a British show initially which was then adapted in the US. We are adapting the US version of it. A lot of things including the plotline and basic character sketches are similar. It has been Indianised to add local colour and feel to it in Indian context. Certain jokes that are funny there are not going to be funny here because they are contextual so we have to change them as per Indian culture. Some of the characteristics were unique to the US and had to be adapted to make it more Indian. It looks and feels like an Indian show. The humour is quite different.

It has been shot in a mockumentary style. There are two cameras in the office and the characters acknowledge them to be part of the setup. The cameras are actually characters, we talk to them at times. That shooting style and humour has been retained as that’s the flavour of the show.

How similar is your character to Michael Scott, who was played by Steve Carell in the original.

The basic character sketch is similar. Unlike the original, Jagadeep is a branch manager in Faridabad and there are several local aspects of him.

You share your real surname with your onscreen character Jagadeep Chadda and you even joke about it in the trailer. Have you experienced a similar situation in real life?

While growing up, there were a lot of jokes about our surname. That’s obviously going to happen when your last name is Chadda. That has happened throughout my life. Not just for me but for all my cousins, we used to have the same jokes in a boys’ school. My nickname at many places was ‘chaddi’.

Mukul Chadda with Gauahar Khan at The Office screening.
Mukul Chadda with Gauahar Khan at The Office screening.

If you become a boss in real life, what kind of a boss you will like to be?

I will definitely not be a boss like Jagadeep Chadda. I will want to keep my personal and professional life very different.

You have worked as a research analyst before you became an actor. Did you ever encounter a peculiar boss like this character?

I never got a boss like Jagadeep Chadda but yes, there were bosses who were unusual and different in a way. Most people will remember their bosses and all their pecularities. Every boss has atleast one peculiar characteristic.

Also read: Malaika Arora makes relationship with Arjun Kapoor Instagram official as she wishes ‘my crazy, insanely funny, amazing Arjun’. See pic

Have you liked any web shows recently?

I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Americans. Mirzapur is wonderful, Mind The Malhotras is also a very funny show. I also saw Hostages which is very nicely made.

You are also working on a film right now? Tell us more.

Its a very interesting project and was shot in a very different way. We shot it linearly. There are no dialogues in the film. We created dialogues on sets. There were very long takes. We felt like we are doing theatre. It is about a couple who live in Bombay and unsual events overtake their lives which affect them individually and their relationship.

Author tweets @ruchik87

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021