Our recent chat with Karan Wahi gave us an insight into his character in Hotstar Specials’ Hundred, his latest charity to help the underprivileged during the lockdown and lots more! Take a look.
Karan Wahi is one actor who has been a part of Television shows for a long time now and has also hosted a number of Reality shows along with appearances in Bollywood movies. Karan is back on the OTT platform with this third outing after Bar Code and Sacred Games. Contrary to his previous roles, Karan will be seen as a Rap artist who is trying to make it big turned police informant, Manohar Dahiya aka Maddy. With his emotions playing an integral part of the show (not to forget the interesting headset tattoo around his neck), Maddy makes for an interesting character. We had a chance to get into a candid chat with Karan Wahi and here’s what he shared about the show and his life in lockdown.
Take a look at our interaction with Karan Wahi:
How are you dealing with the quarantine?
“I’m at home and I am doing well here. There are days where I feel like getting out of the house but overall, I’ve done well and I’m proud of myself. I have been patient enough.”
What are you doing to keep yourself occupied? Like everyone is into Masterchef these days, is there anything that you’ve tried?
“I personally have a problem with people who are going all out about their cooking and showing the world what to cook. Because someone who actually wants food is only left with watching the videos of such people. So, I’ve been doing a lot of things. I have been gymming and I paint generally. Now my canvases got over so I didn’t know what to do. I play a few things on my guitar because I have never practiced too much. Then I tried reading. So, there’s a lot of things that I am doing and there is nothing specific. Honestly, half my day passes by in cleaning my house.”
Coming to your latest project, Hundred, can you tell us about your character on the show?
“I was very hesitant because of this quarantine as I didn’t know when and how things would get done regarding editing, releasing and all. But to my surprise, the team of Hundred was at it and they were editing, calling me for dubs, getting the work done during this time. I’ve gotten a great response on playing this boy called “Manohar Dahiya”. He is called Maddy and is a Rapper. What I like about the character is that he is a struggler in Mumbai who wants to make it big. His dreams and his efforts are at a hundred but not his talent. I think a lot of people will relate to Maddy because we also have seen it in our industry of supply always being more than the demand. The little difference that gets one famous and the story of the rest is always untold. He is one guy who has not lost faith in his dreams. He loves Saumya and is left hurt in the end but his love for her doesn’t die. I got a really nice compliment from someone saying, “We cry when we die and we laugh when we last”. So, I think that is about Maddy.”
Can you relate to Maddy’s characteristics?
“No way! I’m completely different from what Maddy is. I’m super lazy whereas he is so vibrant, charming, has multi-coloured hair and is a tattoo lover. He somewhat reminds me of a friend who is a Jatt. It is a very well written show for me as well as for the people who can relate to it. There are two leads in this show which is about women but even if a small character who has a 2-minute role in it, makes his place important. One of my favourite moments of the show is when someone comes and calls out saying, “Oh! You’re a Haryanvi guy” and he’s been talking to me in Haryanvi and then he goes saying, “I thought you’re from Punjab”. That’s what I love about it as it reflects the flexibility in someone who changes his accent spontaneously to fit in the conversation. It’s so real that he only does it to get his work sorted which reflects that he can do anything for his work. Overall, I love the show not only because I’m a part of it but also it’s a break from all the thrillers and tight gripping shows. People will now get to see an action-comedy that is shot really well. It’s a light-hearted show that will make laugh, cry and question yourself. The best part about it is you can sit and home and watch it with your family.”
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How was it like working with your co-actors?
“I didn’t shoot with the entire cast and crew but It was fun since I didn’t know any of them. I primarily shot with Lara, Rinku and a few shots with Sudhanshu. I just had one scene with Sudhanshu. It was such a different experience because the directors and producers are new, I’ve never worked with them. I was a little hesitant in the beginning because Lara has that aura around her and it’s quite intimidating if you don’t know her. But she’s so much fun to work with and she’s also a great actor. And Rinku makes me embarrassed about the fact that she is just 18 and how talented she is. I met her for the first time during my rehearsals just laughing on the fact that I told her, “When you act it seems like you’re just talking but when I act, it’s acting”. I felt like I should learn from her. The best part that one can learn from her is the person that she is and how she carries herself. There’s a resonating beauty in her work.”
Was there any special prep for the role?
“There was a prep and I am glad. I want to thank my producer and my writer because when I auditioned for the show, I got selected and they called for a meeting, the character was the same, the script was the same. There’s no place he is actually playing with it in the video in the show. You get to know about it later on. If you watched the show, he is not saying “My name is Manohar Dahiya” though I shot this scene it got edited. So, it never really there. Also, he is a Haryanvi Boy and he is amongst people who are very chilled and secured. He still has that innate talking sense. Even after 16 years of me being in Bombay, people still figure out I’m from out from Delhi when I talk in Hindi. So, it’s about tones. I told him, I really like the idea and also they were open to discussions. I was also shooting for Dance India Dance with Raftaar paaji. So, I sat down with him and asked to help me. He gave me some really bad one-liners and rap which is rhyming but isn’t great. Then I’d call him and tell him to teach him. I’d hear him say. So, it was great because I’ve rarely gotten an opportunity to do something like this. When you see the poster that is actually on the show, it is quite different from what I look in a different poster, I’m a rider with a tattoo of a red headphone around my neck. So these are different times of prep. In the headphone poster, I actually have that headphone that I got it during the prep one time and asked them if they wanted to use it. They got it tattooed around my neck. That’s how the prep went. I’m very glad that everyone on the show was extremely in it together for every character. I’m grateful to be a part of this show. It makes a show so much bigger when fans come in saying they like the characters in the show.”
We’ve heard that the money that you’re earning during quarantine has also been used for donation. Can you tell us the thought behind that?
“I did it because we keep asking people to help those in need. Also generally, once if people put in for donation, they stop it there. They think the work is done, though there might be reasons for not donating further. So, I thought to start something. I keep doing promotional activities for any amount and donate it to NGOs. I personally know a friend who runs an NGO and I’ve seen where all the money goes so I tend to donate it such NGOs where the money is not mishandled. I believe in the saying, “before you secure someone’s tomorrow, secure someone’s today”. It is another way of saying don’t hoard.”
Here’s how Karan Wahi replied to our Quick five:
What’s your favourite corner in your house?
“Outside, right next to my bed. It’s my balcony.”
Which is the first place you’ll visit after it’s declared safe to go out?
“I think people visit my house, so it’s my friends who will be coming over.”
What’s the first junk food you’ll eat after this?
“Burger (If I don’t turn into a vegetarian)”
If you could pick one character from the cast of Hundred to be in quarantine with, who would it be?
“I’d choose Sudhanshu’s character with me.”
New habits or hobbies that you’re trying to inculcate?
“Learning to be patient and meditating more. I’ve also learnt to be more content. I hope all of us realize the value of a blue sky. I’m enjoying the birds and the sky these days.”
Watch Karan Wahi on Hotstar Specials’ Hundred, now streaming!