From debuting in the hit romantic drama series “Kitni Mohabbat Hai” to hosting one of the most popular reality crime prevention shows, “Gumrah: End of Innocence”, model and actor Karan Kundra has a come a long way, offering himself new challenges. Now making his Bollywood debut in Vikram Bhatt’s “Horror Story”, he says he also has two Punjabi releases lined up — one, scheduled for an October release is titled “Mere Yaar Kaminey” and the other for November called “Control Paaji Control”. Then, in February next year he promises us another Hindi film that he describes as a psychological thriller. “Horror Story” is due to hit the screens September 13. Excerpts from an interview with the youthful style icon:
What is your role in this film and how did you land it?
This movie is basically of international format. It’s on the lines of Hollywood horror movies like ‘I know what you did last summer’, ‘Scream’. It’s an every-second horror sort of format; there are no songs, no romance. It is a very real sort of a film where smart kids from a metro get together. I play Neil, a musician who is going to the U.S. So seven of his friends give him a farewell in a hotel which is haunted.
Basically the trend is people want to pick up actors from television. Because the television stars come with a certain amount of popularity. I got a call from Vikram sir’s office in December that said he wanted to work with me, and I said yes and this project started off.
As the host of “Gumrah”, which has an edgy concept that focuses on crimes committed by young people, do you think shows like this will channel youth to go in a positive direction?
The only difference between “Gumrah” and other crime shows is that we are not a reporting show. We don’t report a crime. We only talk about the crime for the first four-five minutes; then the remaining 25 minutes we talk about the psychology and why that crime happened, who committed the crime, what was the particular person thinking, the sufferings. We get into the psychology; we get a very good feedback. It’s not a different show, but it’s just that we hit the right sort of nerve. We are trying to generate awareness and I hope we are successful in that.
It’s a big break for you to enter films from television. How has the whole journey been like?
The journey has been great. For me it was not that I really wanted to get into the Bollywood industry. It just happened. The medium doesn’t really matter for me. I am aware I am very fortunate. For me it’s more about creative satisfaction. It’s not about the medium but the quality of work. My focus is about my work and I do it with all sincerity.
Do you think it is better for actors who want to get into films to start with television, so their acting talent gets noticed by film directors?
It all depends on how hard working you are. I am sure a lot of television actors have a lot of experience. Television as a medium is very fast. These are different schools of acting and performing. It all depends on what sort of an actor you are. Yes, the trend these days is of people getting picked up from television, because there was a difference between what TV was in previous decades and what it is today. TV today is a much bigger medium. The reach is humongous. The distance between the small screen and the big screen has become very short.
Would you forego a small budget film with a challenging script and opt for a 100 crore blockbuster with top stars?
I don’t think I would ever do that. For me the next five years is going to be about the quality of work and not about the numbers. I am not competing with the A-listers. We have to create our own niche in the industry, and that will only happen if you do the best quality of work. For me it is not the budget of the film that makes it large but the concept, script and the director.