Amazon Prime’s latest show “Made In Heaven” which debuted a few days is making headlines all over India. The show is produced and directed by the ensemble of Zoya Akhtar (fresh out of Gully Boy), Alankrita Srivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Nitya Mehra (Bar Bar Dekho) and Prashant Nair (Umrika).
The story of the show revolves around the lives of Karan Mehra (Arjun Mathur) and Tara Khanna (Sobhita Dhulipala) who are running a wedding planning agency for the high society in Delhi. The show stars Arjun Mathur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh. It also looks in depth at the personal lives of the lead characters and very vocally expresses itself on themes such as homosexuality and social acceptance, patriarchy, religion, royalty and a host of issues confronting today’s India.
Actor Arjun Mathur who plays Karan Mehra is the show’s leading star, recently caught up with Entertainment Journalist and Blogger Rahul Gupta where he talks about “Made In Heaven” , his acting career and his views on a host of subjects. Arjun has been winning rave reviews for his portrayal of a homosexual in the show. Check out their conversation exclusively on Pen News!
RG : What was it about the concept/story that you chose to work in a show like “Made In Heaven”?
AM : I think the team behind the show was what made me choose “Made In Heaven”. It was an opportunity to work with a great team of Zoya Akhtar,Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Srivastava, Reema Kagti, Prashant Nair and I loved the concept of the show which takes a look at weddings business/ families and their travails. I also liked the way the show throws light and talks at length about the LGBT community in India.
RG : Your character has multiple shades and one can see the nuance of him being a go getter and an ambitious entrepreneur? How would you describe the character of Karan Mehra?
AM: To be fair I feel that Karan Mehra is not a go getter. He is in fact someone who is firefighting situations and issues which keep cropping up in a marriage project. The main idea in his brain is to make sure that he shouldn’t lose business and he will do anything to save his business. This also includes coaching the families on their personal matters as well. I also feel that the character of Tara (Sobhita Dhulipala) is the best written in the show, given its complexities and they way she deals with it.
RG : The Delhi wedding scene has been a magnet for a number of stories such as “Band Baaja Baraat”, “Monsoon Wedding”. How is “Made in Heaven” different from it ?
AM : I think the show is vastly different from the stereotypical plots of weddings in Delhi. And I think the more the people will watch it, they will see the difference in the stories, their treatment and more. The show also looks at the dark side of the upper crust of the society as well as normal people with same measure. Although I feel that “Monsoon Wedding” does look at families in a critical way.
RG : The show focuses on the engaging/exciting/chaotic life of the swish set/elite class of people in Delhi. Do you think they run the risk of being stereotyped? If Yes, please explain Why?
AM : Hahaha. Yes, I think they run the risk of being stereotyped because of precisely the way look at their problems and come out with “their” kind of solutions to these problems.
RG : How was it working with Reema Kagti , Zoya Akhtar, Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Srivastava? How are they different from other directors/writers?
AM : I think I really love working with women directors. To be fair, I feel that it’s not much different than male directors. But one can see the sensitivity and the way women treat the subjects of their choice in films. And I really like that. It is an enriching experience.
RG : The cast which includes seasoned talent like Jim Sarbh, Kalki Koechlin, Sobhita Dhulipala and Neena Gupta. How was it working with actors with such a wide range of experience?
AM : On the set, one can’t really make a difference between theatre actors, mainstream film actors as we all are working on the same story. But yes, I had an amazing time working with the cast
RG : You have worked in feature films as well as OTT/Digital platforms, how are they different from each other from an actor’s perspective?
AM : So, the OTT/Digital is different for the writers as compared to mainstream films. As they get a chance to flesh out their characters far more than what they can do in films. For actors, it’s not much different than films.
RG : Arjun, you yourself are a Delhi boy with a bulk of your education done here. Do you think this helped and amplified in the portrayal of Karan in “Made In Heaven”?
AM : Yes it is true that I am a Delhi boy and the story of “Made In Heaven” is essentially about Delhi and the weddings organized in the city. But on a larger canvas, the story and characters of the show are universal. Since the show has been released, I am getting messages from foreigners who have never been to India on how they relate with it. I also feel because of the OTT factor and as its online, people in smaller cities will also look at the content and will relate to it. It will have far wider reach than just big cities.
RG : It’s been a journey of sorts for you as an actor. You have been acting in films/tv since 2004 as an outsider of sorts. What has been the biggest learning from your career for aspiring actors?
AM : I started as an Assistant Director in 2002 and didn’t start acting until 2007. The way I looked at building my career was to look at stuff which nobody else was doing in the first place. I have also looked at roles which suit me and have tried to make a niche as well. And I still keep looking for interesting parts.
RG : Arjun i would like to thank you for your time
AM: Thank You