Not an easy ride

Prakhar Singh, who plays a cab driver, says the role has taught him a few lessons about life and acting.
With co-star Apoorva Arora
With co-star Apoorva Arora

From theatres to movies, and now OTT, actor Prakhar Singh is taking it to the next level with his latest show, Family Aaj Kal, set in Delhi. Apoorva Arora, Sonali Sachdev, the late Nitesh Pandey, Aakarshan Singh, and Masood Akhtar are his co-actors.

Besides his vast theatre experience, Prakhar has, over the past five years, traversed different acting mediums in the industry. The show, streaming on SonyLIV, explores the dynamics within a typical Indian family and tackles issues such as unemployment and societal challenges, prompting thoughtful reflection alongside entertainment.

Excerpts from a conversation with TMS:

The show explores the challenges faced by the middle class. Will it appeal to the modern Indian family?

The story revolves around two lovers who belong to different classes. It shows middle-class challenges and how people have to struggle to make ends meet even if they are educated. Unemployment is one of the most important concerns in our country. A lot of educated, qualified people have to take up odd jobs. The show also portrays the struggle of breaking class barriers, a reality that many face. By throwing light on the life of cab drivers like Gaurav, it encourages viewers to see beyond professions.

Why do you think Delhi was the best-suited location for the show?

Most of the people from the team belonged to Delhi and it was a suitable location as it is a metropolitan city, where people from different backgrounds migrate and struggle to make a living.

Tell us about your role in the show.

I have worked with director Parikshit Joshi, and the team before as well. I use cabs quite often and have come across such interesting cabbies. They have limited opportunities. Gaurav (my character) becomes a cab driver to support his family.

We have all had at least one cab encounter that we will never forget...

When I played the role, I realised that cab drivers are also human. Sometimes when we are running late, we tend to be rude to them. Recently, I had to attend a workshop, and my cab had a flat tyre but since I was playing the cab driver’s character in the show I understood my cabbie’s situation, otherwise, I may have acted differently.

What was your chemistry with Apoorva like?

Working with Apoorva Arora as Meher was a joy and our natural on-screen chemistry blossomed through dedicated preparation.

Starting with theatre and TV, and now moving to OTT, what made you shift mediums and how has it helped you?

I started in theatre, did street and stage plays, and I have also done radio work. Ultimately it all boils down to acting. You are playing a character, only the technicalities differ in every medium.

On OTT, most of the actors are fresh faces. Is that a trend?

Earlier, we didn’t have enough opportunities, but even after online platforms have come up, talented actors are still waiting for their opportunity. For release in movie theatres, one has to think about factors such as market, recovery, and the business aspect of filmmaking. OTT, however, does come with immense opportunities for freshers.

What would you like to pass on to those who want to enter the field?

I would say this industry is not organised the way other fields are where you start somewhere and gradually keep climbing up the ladder. That’s not the case here. It is not just about talent, you have to keep working on your craft. You have to keep improving and be a better version of yourself every day. Actors should have the mindset of being a creator.

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The New Indian Express