‘This is the first year when I’m not filming a comedy’: Kunal Kemmu
With his boy-next-door appeal and comic timing, Kunal Kemmu has become synonymous with comedy films. But the 35-year-old is all set to change that image this year as he has a slew of projects in which he will be seen in intense roles, starting with the recently-released Kalank. In a candid chat, he talks about making the shift from comedy, foraying into the digital arena with Abhay and bonding with brother-in-law Saif Ali Khan.
Tell us about your roles in your upcoming projects this year.
I play a dark character in Mohit Suri’s Malang. It’s an ensemble piece that also stars Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani and Anil Kapoor. Then I have a comedy, which is directed by ad filmmaker Rajesh Krishnan. Even though that’s a story that may not be unique in a lot of ways, it has been told in an interesting way. It’s extremely funny and I can’t wait for its teaser to be launched. As for Go Goa Gone 2, I don’t know when it will go on floors, but everybody involved intends to start it as soon as possible.
Recently, you also made your web debut with Abhay in which you play an investigative officer. It was a new genre as well as a new platform for you…
I am a huge consumer of shows that are streamed on OTT platforms. I loved the space that Abhay was set in as I like detective shows. When I actually went on to the set, I couldn’t make out whether I was acting in a film or a web series. It has exactly the same feel. All the technicians involved have worked in cinema. It gives you immense satisfaction as you get to play a part in depth and have more screen time to explore the character as opposed to a film. Moreover, this is the first time I am playing a cop. I’ve diverse roles in Kalank, Malang and Abhay, so I’m attempting different things this year. It has been an interesting 2019 so far.
Any learnings from your web experience that you feel will come in handy in your cinematic journey?
As an actor, you just do your job. You enact a role and take leads from the director. But in a web series, you sit with the writer, director and give inputs about the character that you are essaying. As the series progresses, you get a better idea of how your part will shape up. Also, the web is primarily a writer’s medium. In a digital series, you have eight to nine episodes and it’s tough to retain the audience’s interest for so long.
Has it been a conscious attempt on your part to explore other genres now because previously we have seen you in a lot of comic roles?
Karan Johar offered me Abdul’s role in Kalank. A few months later, Mohit narrated the part in Malang and I loved that character. And then earlier this year, I was approached for Abhay and I liked the idea because in every episode, I had to investigate a new crime. Moreover, it was set in the heartland. It’s sheer coincidence that I was offered these intensecharacters. This is the first year when I am not filming a comedy.