Actor Sumeet Vyas on playing a dark character in Dark 7 White, and the growth of the digital medium.
A pleasantly different character, a new look and a script that dwells deep into every character are what convinced Sumeet Vyas to be a part of ALTBalaji and ZEE5’s new series Dark 7 White.
In this interview, Sumeet, who is known for his happy-go-lucky roles, talks about playing a dark character in Dark 7 White, and the growth of the digital medium.
Your character Yudhveer Singh is very different from everything you have played until now. What was the first reaction to the character?
I was pleasantly surprised that they considered me for this part since this is something I always wanted to try. I was very keen to push the envelope, so I was happy that they chose me for the part. Also, director Sattwik Mohanty had a specific look in his head for the character as he wanted to show the transformation over the years from a college student to a politician.
Weren’t you apprehensive about how Yudhveer looks?
I was apprehensive, especially with the wig because I haven’t kept my hair this long. I didn’t know how it would come together. I just didn’t want to look like an idiot. But then we tried a couple of things, and they looked convincing. My only concern was that it should look real. Because if the audience will think of it as fake, even for a minute, then the charm of it is gone. So we paid a lot of attention to that aspect.
Yudhveer is your first dark character. How was it playing him? Did it take a toll, or is it fun to play someone who you are not?
Both. It was fun to play someone who I am not. Having said that, it does take a toll because it goes into certain areas which are really dark and twisted. The tougher part is when you walk out of the set, reach home and you still are messed up in your head. You think about things you don’t want to think about.
The trailer featured some intimate scenes. How convinced were you about those scenes?
It’s all about aesthetics. It’s all about why do you want to show that. Is that a part of the narrative? Is it moving the story forward in any way? If it is, then it doesn’t feel awkward because the energy is right and the reason behind it is right. But if it is done for effect, then it feels uncomfortable, both to watch and perform. So, I always am very clear why are we doing it, how much are we going to show and if any relationship or character dynamics is coming out of it.
Recently, we have seen many web shows which have dealt with themes of power play, crime, murder, politics. What makes Dark 7 White different?
It’s a murder mystery which is adapted from a novel, so it has got this thriller novel sort of quality. It’s a suspense drama where you keep guessing till the end as to who is the murderer. So that hook is really nice, and then you dwell into the lives of characters who are affected because of this one person and his actions.
You said you shot for Dark 7 White just after the lockdown. Were you ready to be on a set with so many people around?
I think everyone was apprehensive and a bit scared to be on the sets. But after a few days, people got the hang of it. We actors had it easy since we only had to do our scenes and go back to our vanity vans. But the support staff was really struggling. Some people were doing heavy-duty physical work, and they had to wear a mask and PPE kit, so their life was really tough. I think we don’t have any right to complain.
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You are among the first few who got success on the digital medium. Do you think the true potential of the medium is being properly utilised by the entertainment industry?
I think so. People are exploiting and exploring this medium to the fullest. Some great and some really bad content is coming out of it. But that is part and parcel of the job. However, this is the medium which encourages new people and people who are established, at the same level. This is what is the spark of this medium.
And, what is your take on censorship of content on the digital medium?
As long as there is certification, it is fine. But when people say we are going to censor something and we are going to decide what is good for you to watch, that I think is very uncomfortable. It is extremely undemocratic. You are no one to decide what content will have what impact on me. Once you are an adult, you are free to choose what you want and don’t want to watch.
You have a new role to play personally. How do you plan to balance work and spending time with your son Ved?
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That is a tough job. When I was shooting for this show, Ekta and Ved had gone to Ekta’s mother’s home. So, it was slightly easier for me to come back home after the shoot because I was not worried about Ved. But now that he is back, I am scared to go to crowded places. But eventually, you have to learn to live with it.
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