#KetchupTalks: Raghav Sharma talks to us about joining 'Dehati Ladke' and drawing inspiration to get the "Attitude" right for Shashank

Piyush Singh
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Raghav Sharma

Content creator and actor, Raghav Sharma sheds light on his role in the much-anticipated 'Dehati Ladke'. Scroll down to read the full conversation!

You know how college dramas have become the rage, especially among young folks who are looking for something relatable? Shows that talk about the triumphs and tribulations of student life have developed their audience. Joining this long list of student-life-inspired series is the latest Amazon MiniTV series “Dehati Ladke”, another college-fun drama. The show which will be released on December 15 and it delves into the compelling journey of self-discovery, ambition, and the intricate challenges that accompany the transition from a quaint village to a bustling cityscape.

From exploring the ups and downs of newfound freedom to showing the internal dilemma of the characters, the show is expected to take us on a wild ride. One of the lead actors from the show, Raghav Sharma, sat down with us to share insights on being a part of the show. He took time to talk about his role and the unique aspects that set "Dehati Ladke" apart in the college drama genre. Raghav's perspective sheds light on the complexities the show explores, offering a glimpse into what we all eagerly await.

Also Read: Kadak Singh review: This psychological thriller is smart, sassy and intriguing!

Check out what he had to say!

How do you describe the character in Dehati Ladke? Which aspects of it resonated with you?

I’m playing Shashank, a character who struggles academically and has repeated the same class twice. When Rajat enters his life, he becomes a mentor of sorts and introduces him to what he considers "cool" college activities like smoking and drinking. Shashank is unafraid of judgment or punishment and is known for his brute honesty – if he dislikes someone, he will say it out loud without hesitation. Despite his outspoken nature, he's not a bad person. When his friends need his assistance, he goes to great lengths to help. Interestingly, Shashank's personality aligns with mine in many ways, though I differ in my level of expressiveness. While I may occasionally feign liking things I dislike, Shashank takes a more straightforward approach, refusing to pretend feelings he doesn't genuinely experience.

How did you prepare for this role? Were there any challenges that you faced with portraying this particular character?

Initially, I faced a bit of a challenge aligning my understanding of the character with what the director had in mind. Earlier, I had a different image of Shashank in my head compared to what the director wanted. However, we quickly addressed this through communication. Another interesting point worth mentioning is that I watched "Rocky Ki Rani Ki Prem Kahani" before my shoot, and fortunately, I was still in the process of adapting to my character. Observing Rocky Randhawa, I decided to draw a little inspiration from his jolly demeanor. It became one of the many characters I took inspiration from before fully grasping my character.

Apart from that, there were a few emotional scenes that proved to be quite challenging for me. Emotional scenes are tough to perform in any case, and in real life, I rarely cry, making it especially challenging for me to convey those emotions on screen. I distinctly remember sitting alone in the vanity van, turning off all the lights, and creating sad scenarios in my head to evoke those melancholic emotions. While some people can easily execute sad scenes, it was a personal challenge for me, and that's why I'm a bit proud of overcoming it.

The show is set in Lucknow. How did you prepare to embody the local dialect and cultural elements to bring authenticity to your character?

We participated in workshops where a language coach assisted us in adapting to the local dialect of Lucknow. These sessions proved immensely helpful, not only in learning the dialect but also in establishing connections with everyone on the set. Learning the dialect wasn't particularly challenging for me, given my Delhi background, which made it easier for me to find linguistic similarities. I fondly recall engaging in conversations for hours with everyone to practice it and it turned out to be quite enjoyable. These workshops and interactions also introduced us to numerous new words. 

Did you draw inspiration from your own experiences or did you rely more on the script and the director's vision to shape your character?

I began my journey in theater and nukkad natak during my school days, and the most challenging aspect of these mediums is the live interaction with the audience, often requiring on-the-spot improvisation. I find joy in improvising my characters to infuse added interest. As a comedy creator, I took every opportunity to incorporate my style of content into this show. For instance, in the trailer, you might have heard me saying the word "Attitude" in my unique accent. Surprisingly, that dialogue wasn't originally in the script; I improvised it, believing it would enhance the scene's appeal. I started doing theater to bunk my math class, and though I wasn't a pro initially, the introduction to theater concepts captivated my interest. Upon entering college, I was eager to join the Drama Society, and the experience gained over the years has undoubtedly left a significant impact on my performance.

How was the overall shooting experience for the show? Are there any memorable or challenging moments you can share from the set?

I gotta spill about this one incident. So, to play Shashank, the director wanted him to be all buff. I went on this crazy weight gain diet, stuffing myself with junk for weeks. Turns out, "bulky" meant muscular, not packing on extra pounds. Realization hit me after I'd gained an extra 10 kg! We figured it out, and it surprisingly looks good on screen. Amidst the shoots, I fondly recall the pranks we played. I remember rehearsing an emotional scene with Saamya Jainn and she unexpectedly started reading a bar menu, initially confusing me but ultimately I realized it was a prank. These pranks were our way of lifting spirits on set. I also want to highlight the openness of my team to improvisation and ideas, a rarity on sets. Our director granted us the freedom to suggest extra twists to our characters, making them even more interesting. It's uncommon to have such liberty rather than just following the script. Additionally, discovering some of my Instagram followers who love my social media content working on the same set was heartwarming, and sitting and chilling with them was truly one of the best memories. 

With the plethora of content available, which unique elements do you believe Dehati Ladke brings to the table in the college drama genre?

The coolest thing about the show is its rawness and real-life vibe. You know how college life is usually shown in films, all over the top and unrealistic? Well, Dehati Ladke dives into the world of regular college students, kids who've left home to carve out their future. The struggles they face and how they tackle tough situations – it all feels incredibly genuine. Their dilemmas and how they deal with them are relatable. The show aims to put you in the characters' shoes, letting you see things from their perspective. And trust me, there's no easy way out of the situations they find themselves in. Each character's actions are shaped by their circumstances and the show challenges you to figure out why. It's not about the most popular guy in college; it's centered around a super-average character. I'm pretty sure the show's goal is to make you see a bit of yourself in these characters, and I'm confident the theme will strike a chord with the audience.

What message or experience do you hope viewers take away from the show? 

Be yourself, no matter what. Sure, there'll be times when folks try to bring you down, but you gotta bounce back – not for others, but for yourself. Embrace who you are, and don't rely on others to constantly lift you. Sometimes, you gotta be your cheerleader. These are key takeaways we aim to share with the audience through the show.

Watch the trailer here! 

Dehati Ladke is releasing on December 15 on Amazon MiniTV

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