Akhil Iyer is elated with his first film, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
He may not hail from a filmy family or even have a godfather in the industry but Bangalore boy, Akhil Iyer’s passion for being an actor will now see him in his first ever Bollywood flick, ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’, directed by Arif Ali and produced by Illuminati Films and Eros. The movie stars newcomers, Armaan Jain and Deeksha Seth with A.R. Rahman as music director.
An engineer by training, Akhil divulges: “As clichéd as it may sound, I’ve wanted to be an actor ever since I was a young boy. Along the way cricket and chemistry took over but when I got to college, the actor in me made a comeback and there I was making a fool of myself, winning awards and having a great time doing it all.”
Giving a sneak peek into the film, he discloses: “It is essentially a romantic comedy and is about youngsters and the mistakes they often make and learn from such as rebelling against one’s parents. The film touches upon the need to make right choices in life as every decision one makes comes with its own set of consequences. Today’s generation of youngsters would much rather make mistakes and learn from them as is seen in the film. Also, the music is obviously terrific.”
About his role and the challenges that came with it, he says: “I play Mahesh, ‘the guy who doesn’t get the girl!’ He’s just an average, middle class guy who is new to Mumbai and its ways. He’s ambitious and tries to fit into a world he’s never been exposed to before. He’s very unlike me so getting into the character was an exciting challenge. Since Mahesh is an average Joe, I observed and talked to people I know who I felt are a lot like him. I had to dress in a way that isn’t quite like me and even had to sport a moustache!”
Akhil’s relationship with the director and his co-stars has only gotten stronger over the past few months. “Armaan has no airs and graces. We’re friends even off the sets. He’s so energetic and is always curious to learn. Most of my scenes are with Deeksha who is a thorough professional and who goes out of her way to help. It is such a pleasant surprise how nice people have been to me in the industry despite my being a newcomer from the South,” he says.
Ask him if he was sceptical about working with a debutant director and with actors who like him were also making inroads into Bollywood and he responds: “I did think about it but I knew this was a good start when I looked at the script and of course the production house. When I started working with Arif, his professionalism allayed any fear I initially had.”
Before getting into filmdom, Akhil was largely involved in theatre and has worked with stalwarts like Arundhati Raja, Prakash Belawadi and Sharanya Ramprakash on productions such as ‘Nice Faces of Being’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs’. He was also dabbling in modelling at the time and featured in print and telly commercials.
Looking ahead, there are a couple of Tamil films he’s been part of which are currently in post-production. In Nijama Nizala’, directed by P.V Srinivasan, he plays the lead while in ‘Iruvar Ondranal’ by Anbu. G, he is the second lead.
“I’m going to wait for my first Hindi film to release to gauge how to proceed from here. I want to be involved in both these film industries,” he wraps up.