Karan Kundrra Interview: “Whatever I’m Today, It’s All Because Of My Fans”

Mohnish Singh |Feb 29, 2020

Karan Kunddra reunites with content czarina Ekta Kapoor for a new webseries, titled “It Happened in Calcutta”. The series premieres on 29th February only on ALTBalaji and ZEE5.

Karan Kundrra is one of the most popular faces on Indian television, who has been a part of several successful shows over the years. The young and handsome star is currently in news for his latest webseries It Happened In Calcutta, which premieres on 29th February only on ALTBalaji and ZEE5.

Karan Kundrra is quite psyched up about It Happened In Calcutta as the series is set in the 60s and 70s and has a lot of layers. It also gives him an opportunity to join forces with his mentor Ekta Kapoor once again. Here’s what Karan Kundrra has to say about his character, co-star Naghma Rizwan and much more.

What is the secret behind your new look?

Well, the story of our web-show is set in two eras – the 60s and 70s. In the 60s, John Travolta, Patrick Swayze and Elvis Presley were popular fashion icons. The 60s was very groovy. So, you see that life when Kusum and Ronobir Chatterjee are in college. That has been captured very beautifully in It Happened In Calcutta. And, of course, in the 70s, there was different fashion. The life becomes a tad serious in the 70s. So, the story of our show revolves around two eras.

The team has worked really hard on creating the looks of the main characters. As you can see, I have never grown my hair this long. Bell bottoms, jackets, turtlenecks… fashion used to be very quirky back then.

I had to put off a lot of weight because otherwise I was not looking good in bell bottoms. A lot of detailing has gone into creating the looks of all the characters. There were days when there would be around 200-300 people on set and the team would work on each and every artist’s look, hair and makeup.

Not just the looks, the body language used to be very different in the 60s and 70s. Did you work on that as well?

Yes, of course. You will have to realize that there were no cell phones in the 60s. There were trunk calls, no IST. So, if you have to talk to your parents, letters were the only powerful mode of communication. It is very important that all these things are a part of your body language. Today, we live in a very fast-paced world. The story of our show is fast-paced but the characters that we play cannot be fast-paced because they belong to a certain era. There has to be that restraint. The couple would stay away from each other for six months, without talking. They used to take so much time in proposing, you know. You will get to see all of that in It Happened In Calcutta.

It Happened In Calcutta
It Happened In Calcutta is presented by ALTBalaji & ZEE5

What attracted you to be a part of this show?

When I heard the script, I was blown away by Ronobir Chatterjee’s character. It was such a diverse character for me. To play it well, I did not have to transform myself mentally only but physically also. It Happened In Calcutta is a very big show. If you have seen the trailer, you would have seen the various shades of Ronobir’s character. From a young Casanova to a serious doctor, it has various shades. He is very unapologetic in his life. If he has committed a mistake, he has done it. Like I said, Kusum’s character is very real. Similarly, Ronobir’s character is also very real. He has done a lot of mistakes in life.

So, imagining Karan Kundra in a show which has been made on such a huge scale, is set in Calcutta and has a character like Ronobir Chatterjee, is not possible for many people. It was not possible even for myself. But hats off to Ekta ma’am and Ken Ghosh, our director, that they visualized me in that character and showed their trust in me that I would be able to pull it off. It was a very difficult character to portray but, at the same time, a fun character to portray.

How much time did it take to complete the show?

We shot the show for almost nine months. We shot for it across various locations. Shooting a period drama is very difficult because you cannot show a fancy car which was not there at that time, and you cannot show the new technology either. There is so much to keep in mind when you make a period drama. So, selecting that location, taking 200-300 people there and managing the crowd, was not easy. Finding old cars and locations that matched that era was a task. It was quite a challenge shooting It Happened In Calcutta. But it was also fun, and the end result is amazing.

It Happened In Calcutta
It Happened In Calcutta reunites Karan Kunddra with Ekta Kapoor

Tell us something about your co-star Naghma Rizwan?

So, I have a lot of friends in films and television, who told me that they were auditioning for the female lead in It Happened In Calcutta. But then I got to know that someone called Naghma has been finalized for the role. I heard that Ekta ma’am really liked her and Ken sir also liked her a lot. Everyone was like, ‘She will create a lot of magic and all’.

Then I went to her Instagram profile and stalked her. I found her very beautiful. As far as her magic is concerned, that is something which I felt when I saw her on the monitor. Her screen presence is terrific. She has this ‘thehrav’ in her which many actors get after years of experience. But that is inbuilt in her and that works for her. She has this quirkiness in real life which also reflects on screen, so that is very good. Then I realized, ‘Okay, she has something in her’. When you see her on screen and when you see her in the mood of the character, her intensity is very, very strong.

What is your message to your fans who are waiting for It Happened In Calcutta?

I would just say that whatever I am today, it is all because of my fans. All the tickets that my films have sold, all the TRP that my shows have generated over the years and all the subscription that has happened, it is all because of my fans. I am just because of you. I feel overwhelmed when a producer says that sign Karan. At least, this number of people will see him. That sums it up. I would like to tell all the people who have made me who I am that we have worked really hard on It Happened In Calcutta for a year. We assure you that you will not be disappointed.

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