'I want a script which makes me say, wow'

Anchoring an act

My girlfriend in NIFT, Delhi sensed my passion, inspiration and motivation for acting. It was only because of her that I could come to Bombay (sic),” confesses Gaurav Chopra.

A name that TV viewers today relate with the character of (no-so-rowdy) Mr Rathore in the daily soap Uttaran.

Off late, he has been in the news for becoming the host for the next season of Big Switch - the reality show.

As Metrolife talks to him about his tryst with acting and work in television, the actor admits to being a little nervous about controlling spoilt brats in the upcoming show.

An above average student at studies who was equally adept at extra-curricular activities, Gaurav bagged the ninth position in National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)’s entrance exam, “NIFT was one of the entrances that I appeared for after my XII and the first taste of moving towards stardom, started from there. People travelled kilometers to ask me ‘how did I clear the entrance’,” shares Gaurav. But the same success became a hindrance when it came to his dream of acting.

“It was very difficult as a young man to explain to people that I was serious about acting, especially since I used to get good marks. It was very embarrassing for me to say, ‘Mein hero banna chahta hun’, in those days.

I don’t know if Delhi has changed now!” Today, a known name on TV, Gaurav has had a number of highs including his most coveted appearance in the Hollywood flick Blood Diamond, “To me, my musical stage play Bombay Crush cannot be isolated from Blood Diamond for it was Bombay Crush that got me this role.

It was 2006 and since then I have grown not only as a person but also as an actor," he shares and adds, "I am a little spoilt now. I want somebody to give me a script that makes me say, ‘Wow’!”Ask him if his ‘spoilt’ self will match up to the contestants whom he will confront in his show and the actor confesses, “I was very scared initially.

The opportunity to host was challenging but I was also sceptical as to what will I do if these kids who don't listen to their parents and teachers, don't agree with me either? So I decided to make my role inspirational and act as a ‘Big Brother’.

I will motivate them to take up the tasks but will also correct them and even cane them, if the need arises!”So behind his tough looks is a soft-heart that does get nervous. “I was petrified, when I was offered Rangdari (his debut film) at the thought of shouldering the whole film! But the challenge of playing a Muslim gangster in UP, who gets entangled in his journey, made me say ‘yes’.

I changed my look and lost weight. But to be honest, I still get butterflies in my stomach,” he says with a smile.But what this Delhi boy misses the most is, “The leisure that Delhi provides. The fast pace of Mumbai gets into your psyche unlike Delhi which still allows you a sense of relaxation. At heart, I will always be a Delhi boy!”

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