'Growth as a person is growth as an actor'

'Growth as a person is  growth as an actor'

Though this young man has yet to find his feet on the entertainment ground, the Indian-American actor Arjun Gupta’s CV carries an impressive list of films, theatre and television shows that he has done so far.

He has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Uma Thurman (in Motherhood) and Al Pacino (in Stand Up Guys) - albeit in cameos, but he does have to his credit long stints with several popular American television shows like ABC’s Nurse Jackie and Fringe produced by Fox Studios.

Metrolife caught up with the actor, when he was in town recently, back from a shoot of Baby Sellers, which revolves around the theme of child-trafficking. Baby Sellers, a film being produced for American television sees Arjun playing a native fisherman whose baby girl gets stolen.

Born and brought up in Florida, Arjun was introduced to acting at a very young age.
“One particular year, my school’s annual Spring Musical was based on the life of an African-American boy. I was 10 but they cast me to play the lead. All I remember of that now, is my drama teacher pulling in as many colour people as he could find. But I do remember enjoying myself.

I was on stage for the first time and felt the ‘high’.”

And so, he fell in love with the performing arts much to the surprise of his Indian parents who couldn’t think of acting as a full-time profession. 

“As a kid I felt sleepy in a lot of classes and drama re­he­a­r­s­als were the only part of the day that I enjoyed. At 15 I decided to be an actor. But it was kind of difficult for my parents to understand that Arts is a viable career option. They were conce­r­n­ed when they heard, ‘I want to go in acting’!”

As destiny would have it, Arjun not only took up acting, he also enjoys juggling mediums. “I wan­ted and, want to do it all. I love theatre. If I could make the kind of money that I make in TV and films, I would do theatre most of the time.

There is no high that compares with that rush, exhilaration and immediacy of being in thea­t­re. But I also love being on TV and how they create replicas and build up immaculate sets,” shares Arjun who has been a part of popular American shows like Body of Proof Webisodes.”

Theatre and TV apart, the fact that he did his first film Motherhood with Uma Thurman compels one to ask about his experience with the renowned star. “I had trouble in hitting the mark with lights since I was straight out of theatre but Uma helped me.

And in one particular scene, when the director asked me make Uma dance, I was wondering how on earth I could do that! After all, she is Uma Thurman! But it was okay.” Well, the actress did dance and his destiny took a spin.

Arjun’s current television movies include Bridge and Tunnel and Company Town.
Though an actor, he does confess that he doesn’t “watch too many films. I observe, practice and experience life. That gives me the inspiration to act and I believe in the phrase, ‘growth as a person is growth as an actor’!” Waiting for you to evolve.

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