Not wanting to get typecast, actor Abhinandan, seen as Rohan in Sasural Simar Ka and Manav in Thapki Pyar Ki, practices great caution while characters he essays on screen. Soon to be seen in a negative role in India Wali Maa, this actor from Punjab has stayed true to his roots. While the brashness in his character has toned down a bit, the love for chole bhature has remained intact!
How did you enter the field of acting?
Destiny! I wanted to become a cricketer, but a severe injury closed the doors on that dream. After recovery, I took up body building and while training in Delhi, started modelling. Next was a TV show in my lap and it’s been five years now!
Is it the negative shades that you have embraced?
Yes! Playing Saajan in Krishna Chali London fetched me more roles, but I did not wish to be typecast as just an actor who could bring about laughs. The wait has been worth it. In the show Gudan, I am portraying Aarav Jindal, a parallel negative lead role while India Waali Maa is a brand new show in which I will be essaying the role of Sagar, a character with grey shades.
What’s been your learning during the lockdown?
Not to take things for granted. I was fortunate that my family came to live with me when everything normal became out of reach. I meditated and enjoyed nature.
What makes you a true Punjabi?
My love for food! I was born in Bathinda – the city of lakes and my maternal grandmother lived in Gidderbaha. In fact, there they still know me as cricketer Abhi. Having moved to Mumbai, I have toned down my typical brashness, but love for food continues. If you notice, I have transformed for my roles and easily gain or lose weight. But I can eat anytime and whatever I wish. My dad was in the Army so throughout childhood, we had to board trains and cholle bhature at New Delhi Railway Station were my favourite. I love cholle bhature! I also spent considerable time in Chandigarh pursuing education and cricket. I miss the calm vibe of the city.
Has there been an idol in your journey?
Shah Rukh Khan all the way. Not just did he make a place for himself on his own, but he has also been gutsy. Starting early in his career with a negative role was a huge risk and he made the audience love even that. My directors have often told me that I share the same confidence in front of the camera and that means a lot to me.
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