Rising as a screenwriter, Gautam Mehra is known for his work in Teen Thay Bhai, Bittoo Boss, and Roohi. But this time, the brilliant writer came live on the screen with Chutzpah and won the hearts of all his fans. Along with that, his co-star Kshitij Chauhan too, who started as a model and appeared in various TVCs of Lays, Samsung, and Spotify, made a record-breaking entry to the industry with the series.
Chutzpah has finally been released and Sony Liv’s jaw-dropping entertainer is driving the audience crazy. The new-age web series based on the influence of the internet in our lives is backed by Maddock Films. The cast also includes Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Tanya Maniktala, and Elnaaz Norouzi in pivotal roles.
In an exclusive interview with us, Kshitij Chauhan and Gautam Mehra talk about Chutzpah, their experience, on-screen characters, and much more!
How special was working in Chutzpah for you?
Kshitij: For me, it was very special. It is a big break for me and your first work is always close to your heart. The entire team was very supportive and I learned a lot. In short, it was fantastic.
Gaurav: Working for Chutzpah was amazing! This was the first time I got the opportunity to play a wonderful character. Backed by an amazing production house and for a platform like Sony Live, it was a dream come true for me.
The character you play, Prateek has been shown as a typical bad boy. Was it challenging for you to blend into his personality?
Kshitij: I actually got this a lot from the ADs and the costume designers. They were telling Simar Sir that I am the complete opposite of Prateek. But for every character, there is a process to blend into his personality. It’s not that you will always get a role matching your personality.
You have been a writer for amazing projects like Teen Thay Bhai and Roohi. Since you have a taste of both worlds, what would you say is your personal favorite.
Gaurav: Onscreen. You know writing can sometimes be a very lonely journey. But being on camera is a lot of fun. I have acted several times on stage but this was the first time I got the opportunity to showcase my talent on camera. Plus acting also caters to the extroverted side of my personality.
When you read the script, what is that one thing that made you feel “Yes I want to take this offer”?
Gautam: As actors, we get only one scene to read and perform. So when I read the scene I was like who has written this script, it’s so unique. Honestly, I have never seen something like this before.
Kshitij: It’s pretty much the same for me. On paper itself, it was so beautiful. I also knew that the directors Mrigdeep Singh Lamba and Simarpreet Singh as well as Maddock Films are big names in the industry. So considering the team associated with it, I knew this show was going to turn out amazing!
So will you say that acting was your main dream and writing was a part of that journey?
Gaurav: In the theatre background that I come from, we learn everything. My first film as a writer was Teen Thay Bhai and it was then when I met Mrigh and my writing career took off. But acting was always there. I have auditioned for hundreds of roles and this was the first time I got the opportunity to showcase my acting skills.
You started your career with modeling. So when and how did this transition to acting happen?
Kshitij: Honestly, I was always attracted to acting and I wanted to model to be my gateway to the industry. After engineering, I moved to Bombay with a friend and that’s when I first learned that acting was a craft, and had many facets to it. So, on one hand, I was learning the skill and on the other hand, I was going for auditions. When I finally started understanding how beautiful it is, I fell in love with it.
What would you say was your hardest rejection?
Kshitij: I don’t take rejections to heart. No actor is suitable for playing every character written out there. There is a process of researching, learning, and transforming yourself into the role. But if I don’t get a part, I take it as constructive feedback and believe that it was not meant for me.
What is your favorite thing about your on-screen character Kevin?
Gautam: His energy. He has this infectious energy that is very encapsulating. That’s my favorite thing about him.
Since this was your first big break. What were the thoughts in your mind when you first faced the camera?
Kshitij: I did theatre for quite a few years and also did a few ads. So I had the basic knowledge and confidence. But again, the first days always make you feel a little nervous and edgy. But the entire team was very encouraging and they never made me feel like the new guy. Plus, in this field, I anyway had to shake off my fears to put my best foot forward.
What was your favorite memory from the show?
Gautam: Each and every moment was a wow for me. I got to play an amazing character for the first time, I got to act in front of the camera, so it was very special to me. Plus the entire crew was so helpful, they got everything done seamlessly.
Kshitij: As I said, it was my first big break so every moment, every day, every scene, and even this time, post the release, is very special to me. You always remember your firsts. Plus as Gautam said, we had an amazing team. Simar sir and Mrigh sir were always guiding me. Every day there was wonderful.