Dividing his time between acting and writing, Barun Sobti discusses facing the camera for his latest release, Asur.
Asur, which recently dropped on Voot Select, is winning praise. Barun Sobti, known as the heartthrob of Indian television, is glad that his gamble with the mythological thriller has paid off. A writer in the making, Sobti insists that he recognised the merit of the story in the first narration itself. Edited excerpts from the interview.
Mythological thrillers are rare to come by. Is that what made you greenlight Asur?
The producer [Tanveer Bookwala], who is a good friend, called and told me that he has a kick**s show. I didn't [pay heed to] it as everyone raves about their own projects. The eight-episode series talks about an era that is mythologically influenced. [At the start of the narration] I realised that the subject [serial killer] is unique, but I feared that they won't delve deep into it and will only operate at the surface. However, I was blown away with the narration of the first episode. I felt envious, and kept wondering why I couldn't write something like this.
You play a socially awkward but efficient forensic expert in the show.
My character Nikhil has a weird fetish to solve murders. In a scene, his wife tells him that he likes being around dead bodies. He is a highly intelligent person whose mind is constantly working.
Your Bollywood releases did not meet expectations. What do you think is the industry's perception of you?
I don't think anyone has a perception about me. I believe I am not [restricted to] only one industry; I [don't want to be bracketed as] film actor or television actor. I only look at the content irrespective of the medium. The industry's perception does not change anything.
Doesn't it affect the kind of offers you get?
I don't think perception does that; only reality can change that. Perceptions are usually misleading. Even if someone cast me assuming [a stereotype] and I perform inadequately, I will not get cast again. So, only my work on the set will speak for me.
When choosing projects, you seem to be steering clear of romance dramas even though your fans love to see you in them. Why?
There is no hard and fast rule. I have even written a romantic drama. That said, I am exploring other aspects of romance. I have grown up, and with time, my thought process has evolved. My experiences have proved that love is a million things and romance is not the only form of love. So, [that understanding reflects] in my shows.
You divide your time between acting and writing. How did you begin writing?
My wife [Pashmeen Manchanda] pointed out to me that I seem to have an issue with every script that comes my way. She suggested I write something that I see myself doing. Writing has been a passion since school. Back then, I used to write poems. Now, I have developed a script that a friend will be producing.
You are now a parent to a beautiful daughter, Sifat. How has the learning been?
I am spending time with my eight-month-old daughter. People say I am an obsessive parent, but then again, I love her too much.