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There are no short-cuts to success in show-biz: Rishi Verma

Monday, February 26, 2018
By Chaitanya Padukone

Macho film and TV actor Rishi Verma has emerged among the latest heartthrobs of  costume-drama TV shows. Currently cast as ‘Sumer’ in the magnum opus historical ongoing show ‘Porus’ on Sony TV,  the handsome and outspoken, yet affable Rishi spoke exclusively to The Afternoon DC.  Excerpts:

l Honestly, do you enjoy playing the ‘cowardly’ character of ‘Sumer’?
In this extravagant historical Sony TV show, I  really enjoy playing the striking fictional character of Sumer, the son of Dasyu rulers Queen Mahanandini (sultry, dusky actress Shraddha Musale) and King Dasyuraj. Maybe Sumer is an utter coward,  but he is a royal prince by birth. He mostly ends up in sticky situations and needs the help of Porus to save him. Greed is also a part of his character as he falls for Kanishka's diamond and gets stuck in Paurav Rashtra. He succumbs to torture and becomes a pawn (mohra) in the hands of Shivdutt for getting Porus to come to Paurav Rashtra. Although a coward, Sumer looks quite tough and loves to brag about his actions.

l What inspired you to become an actor?
Having completed my graduation I moved to Bhubaneswar and then to Pune for my job. Strangely, I had no interest in acting initially. But during my college days i.e. in year 2006, I participated in short movies as an actor and then did some street plays as well. From there I steadily developed a sense of passionate love for ‘on-screen’ acting.

l Was there a lot of ‘prep’ required  for your ‘Sumer’ character?
Since over a year, I have been busy with the ‘prep' for the character of Sumer. Which meant I  had  to  learn sword-fighting and also boat-rowing-riding. Since Sumer is also a ‘sea-pirate’, I had to learn all these skills. It was a pleasure working and training for the same. The home-audiences are loving the grandeur of the sets, the action and the war sequences and the magnificent depiction of history.

l Any challenging scene which you shot recently for the  ‘Porus’ show?
It was a kidnapping scene where Shivdutt was seen torturing Sumer. Shivdutt wanted Sumer to reveal the secrets about Anusuya for which he tied and harrowed him. As per the script, I had to feel the pain and react as though I was being stabbed in my chest, acid being dripped on my body, and me being tied up for long hours. The whole scene took about 10-12 hours for me to enact with me being tied up for that long. The intensity of the scene didn’t allow me to get over this experience even after a few hours of enacting it.

l Is there any romantic undercurrent for your screen-character?
As far as I know, my character Sumer, unfortunately doesn't have a romantic undercurrent in the script.

l How romantic are you in 'real-life'?
Although I am a caring and sensitive guy, I lack the demonstrative grand gestures or occasional flower bouquets. But I try and make up for them. My beautiful actress-wife (Priyanka Mehta) and I met on the sets of my debut Hindi film (‘Ishq Ke Parindey’) as the lead pair. The off-screen romance blossomed so much that we soon got married (blushes with a smile).

l Which reality TV show would you love to participate in?
Frankly, I have never given reality shows a thought. But then they are a major trend these days. If given a chance, I definitely would love to test my real calibre in reality TV shows like ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ or ‘Bigg Boss’ or  even reality dance shows.

l Any success ‘mantra’ you wish to share with aspiring TV actors?
Hmm… just two things matter the most – patience and hard work. There are no ‘short-cuts’ to success in showbiz.

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