Arjun Mathur is happy to be among those instrumental in bringing about a change in India’s entertainment industry and content. “I feel lucky that I’m existing at this particular time when everything is changing so much. Right now, I feel I’m at the right place at the right time,” the actor said.
Arjun, who’s been a part of the business for over a decade has proved his versatility being part of nearly two dozen projects. These include content driven cinema like Luck by Chance, Coffee Bloom, I Am, Brij Mohan Amar Rahe and others. Arjun, however, found the much needed fandom after playing Karan Mehta in Made in Heaven (2019). He was also seen in Home Stories, The Gone Game and more recently Silence… Can You Hear It? across various OTT platforms.
Arjun, who’s currently busy shooting for the second season of Made in Heaven, says despite acting for 12-13 years, audience calls this web show “a breakthrough project” for him. “But that’s okay,” he stated during an Instagram live session with The Indian Express.
Arjun, who played a gay character in the Amazon Original Series, looked back at the role and if he had any inhibitions. “This was the third time I was playing a homosexual character. Maybe for a moment I might’ve thought, ‘do I want to do this for a third time. Maybe there are other actors who should have this opportunity.’ But to be honest, the second I finished reading the script, I was not going to let this go. I had to be a part of this. Once you make that decision, there’s no reservation left. Then the only intention is to do it as convincingly as you can.”
Playing Karan Mehta in Made in Heaven also got Arjun, an International Emmy award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor. Does that feat change things for him, going forward? “I never take that pressure, even after an Emmy nomination. It’s not that I think differently now. I just have to focus on staying truthful to my characters and depict their reality as authentically as I can. That’s what has brought me here, and that’s what’ll take me wherever else I have to go,” he said.
Though he refrained from revealing much, he did share how he thought his character would grow in the upcoming season. “I thought in season one, he reached one end of my character graph for a resolution or so to speak. But I was completely wrong. I’m very excited with the direction my character is taking in this season. It’s a lot more personal, deeper. It’s exciting,” he shared.
While we know his Karan Mehta went on to become a fan favourite character, has Arjun ever done a project which did he did not relate with due to ideological differences? The actor picked The Accidental Prime Minister, where he played the role of Rahul Gandhi. He said, “That’s one of the films in my filmography that I do regret. I don’t have a great explanation to this. I do know that I went through a deep conflict because I did get the feeling that the film was coming from a different place and had a propaganda attached to it, that I didn’t agree with. But I made a decision based on my own needs at that time.”
Adding how doing that film taught him how to prioritise things in life, Arjun added, “At the end of it, as an actor it is important for me to not judge my characters. I really had to have that discussion with myself about separating the work from the art, from the politics, from personal beliefs. At the end of it, it was a political drama inspired by real events, where I was getting to play a biographical part. And I decided I wanted to explore it. But it wasn’t easy. I remember being on that set and feeling not happy with the decision. At the end of it, it’s all been a learning. I learned my lesson that nothing is worth the feeling I’m having, sitting on this set right now. So, never again will I prioritise other things over what my heart is really telling me.”
Arjun is also gearing up for The Gone Game season 2, U-Special and Lord Curzon Ki Haveli.