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Mohit Raina: Wanted to do a romantic show for a long time

Updated on: 18 July,2023 07:10 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Mohit Raina, who is a fan of slice-of-life romantic stories, on finally adding one to his résumé with Ishq-E-Nadaan

Mohit Raina: Wanted to do a romantic show for a long time

Mohit Raina

Don’t go by the roles he does on screen. Off screen, Mohit Raina is a fan of romantic dramas, and counts Life in a Metro (2007) among the finest love stories made in Bollywood. So, when Ishq-E-Nadaan was offered to him, the actor jumped at the opportunity of adding a romantic film to his resume. In conversation with mid-day, Raina talks about how the JioCinema offering’s simple yet heartfelt story appealed to the romantic in him.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Was it a conscious decision to do a romantic drama?
I wanted to do a romantic show for a long time. When I started working in television, I was never approached for romantic shows. In digital entertainment, I only did one series that had tinges of romance. I was waiting for something like Ishq-E-Nadaan. It’s a beautiful, light-hearted love story that talks about human relationships. Any actor would have grabbed this opportunity.

How did the script come to you?
When Avishek [Ghosh, director] narrated the script to me, in my head, I was on board already. Almost 15 minutes into it, I was thinking about how I would arrange my dates and was doing [mental] calculations because I loved the script.

Over time, has any love story—be it in movies or web series—resonated with you?
For me, Life in a... Metro [2007] was one such movie. I liked the concept of [telling stories of] people in one city and how their stories connected despite being from different walks of life. After that, many people tried to emulate it, but it wasn’t accepted. I wanted to do something like that for a long time. Now, Anurag Basu is coming with a sequel to it.

At a time when love is all about right and left swipes, do you think people connect with old-school romance?
I don’t think it is possible today. Now, you know everything about the other person by looking at their social media profile. But back in the day, you’d wait for the person to go out, then see what flavour of ice-cream they are having. Obviously life is all about change. That was old-school charm, but I don’t think today’s generation understands that.

What is the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
I got married last year. For my wife’s [Aditi Sharma] birthday, I collected all the photographs that showed our journey—how we met and started going out—and made a collage. I put it on the walls with decorations to surprise her. She was under the impression that we might only go out for dinner. So, this took her by surprise.

Tell us your love story?
We met through a common friend. There were no balloons or flowers, nothing lavish. My wife is definitely more romantic than me.

Why haven’t we seen you doing more work?
I prefer doing less but quality work, which makes my soul happy. I want to satisfy the hunger of the actor inside me. If I wanted, I could do a lot more work and earn more money, which is what everyone has been advising me to do, but I don’t see myself doing that. If I take on a role for the sake of it or do something that I don’t want to do, it will show. I won’t be able to do justice to it.

Do you feel you are typecast?
There is scope for more diversity. Sometimes, the scripts coming my way are [similar]. I would like to experiment more, which is not happening.

What’s next on your plate?
I have completed the second season of Mumbai Diaries. We shot it last year.

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