Ankur Rathee: I'd like to do comedy films
We talk to the actor about his work as he wraps up shooting for Undekhi season 2
American-Indian actor Ankur Rathee, who got noticed as office intern Arjun Nair in Four More shots Please!, has an infectious sense of candour about him. The young artiste, who also acted in Taish, The Tashkent Files and Thappad, rocked his part as Daman, in the riveting series Undekhi and has now impressed all with his act as the unscrupulous builder Arvind Mekha in City of Dreams 2. We talk to the actor about his work as he wraps up shooting for Undekhi season 2.
You were great in the role of Arjun Mehka in City of Dreams.
It’s a challenge to play a character the audience is supposed to despise in the beginning, but eventually, empathise with. No matter how inhumane a character’s actions seem, it’s our job as actors to find the humanity within them. In the case of Arvind, however, there were many scenes in which that proved hard to do given his obnoxious nature. However, when confronted with unexpected love, it’s amazing the transformations people undergo.
How was it working with Nagesh Kukunoor?
He’s a gem, kind and understanding of his actors’ creative processes. His set feels like an idea factory, bubbling with new twists and turns inspired by an intuitive impulse or creative thought.
You just filmed for Undekhi 2. How will Daman‘s character shape out? Will he still be defensive about his family and father?
It’s the perennial conflict the Indian son grapples with — loyalty to family versus loyalty to the spouse. Who has a greater claim to Daman? Papaji or Teji? Can a son ever truly turn his back on his blood without resenting his partner? Can he side with his wife without alienating his family? Or perhaps the greater concern: What about his voice and his belief system? His wants and desires?
What kind of roles are you looking out for?
There’s a goofy side to my personality that most of my scripts haven’t utilised yet. I think I’d like to be a part of the comedy genre next.
Any dream Bollywood directors you want to act for?
I’m working for one now actually. I can’t say who, but it’s going to be a very ‘Bollywood’ film, with a capital B. I’m looking forward to it.
Any female actors you wish to work with?
Alia Bhatt and Anushka Sharma.
I can’t take names, but I have upcoming series for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Voot. I’ve also got three films in the works currently.
Your fashion choices?
I like dressing up, like the whole nine yards — tuxedo, bow tie, dress shoes, etc. But Mumbai’s social scene unfortunately mainly caters to dressing down. There seems to be some unspoken correlation between being popular and dressing casually at events.
Things you always carry?
My self-esteem and my conversations with God