“I get the liberty to create innumerable characters and have a unique journey and backstory for each,” says actor and content creator Khushaal Pawaar
Lockdown was a phase that was quite depressing to many, but for some, it was also a period that gave them a chance to grow. We saw many explore a new domain in their life and also attend success in them. Content creation was one place that witnessed a stream of talent with people experimenting with their platform at hand. They created their own identity in the creator community and as the audience found new options to turn to for entertainment, other creators were forced to up the game with these new entries. Actor and now a content creator, Khushaal Pawaar is one who became a household name with his Reels on Instagram.
An actor by profession, Khushaal has been part of some notable movies. He worked alongside Bollywood’s favorites in movies like Judwaa 2, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Baaghi 2, and more and left his own mark with his character portrayal. But when lockdown hit the world, his chance to act came to a halt. With little to no auditions and shoots happening, Khushaal found himself at home like the rest of the world.
Although it was a hard phase, he found an opportunity to work on his skills as an actor and turn to social media to share his ideas. Khushaal started sharing his wacky ideas, playing multiple characters, and instantly becoming everyone’s favorite on the short-video platform. He was able to put his acting background to use which helped him create all his characters for social media. From the always angry Indian man, a depressed to-be-divorcee that has now become a running gag on his page to a kid eager to learn new things but failing miserably; he plays anything and everything. It’s the close resemblance to people we usually end up seeing on Indian streets that makes his characters so likable and such a hit among the audience. We appreciate his acting skills when he manages to nail every small mannerism, expression, and accent to the T. At no point do we see him but the character itself that appears as separate people.
He sure has joined our list of favorite Indian creators, but his fans would also love to watch him more on the big screen. And they are in luck as he will be part of Netflix’s upcoming movie Plan A Plan B starring Ritesh Deshmukh and Tamannah Bhatia. We had a conversation with the actor and creator himself to know more about his journey on Instagram and more.
Here’s what he had to share:
How did your digital journey begin?
In a nutshell, I started my digital content journey so that I could act every day. As lockdown started my commercial work stopped and I had to do something to brush up my skills and to innovate then I was like this is a good medium to practice without being dependent. This was a process I didn’t know how to make a mark on social media, but eventually, I learned and kept innovating while scrolling and admiring existing content pieces.
Do you have a video that worked that you were surprised about?
Asking people what do they do for a living, was my first video that gained traction and the other one was ‘Complimenting Indians on street’. I was very surprised and even Tanmay Bhat shared the video which attracted a lot of audience. And another video was part 2 of ‘Asking people what do they do for a living’ which had different characters and that video was shared by Terrance Lewis.
As an artist what is the major positive of being on these short-video platforms compared to being on movies?
I get the liberty to create innumerable characters and have a unique journey and backstory for each. And to be honest, currently, there aren’t many opportunities where I will get to build a character for the audience to enjoy. I have fun creating characters like the divorced guy or the curious kid. In movies, I won’t have creative control to create something on this scale.
One of your most viewed videos is ‘POV of female walking on Indian streets.’ Do you think using a comic approach to talk about important issues helps grab the audience’s attention?
I wanted to show guys how obnoxious it looks when someone even teases. The idea wasn’t to make it comical or fun. And this was based on real events, I have noticed how people stare and make the girl uncomfortable for no reason and everyone around too. It wasn’t funny I was trying to hold a mirror for such people to show them how stupid they look.
All of your characters seem to have their own personality. Do you have a favorite that you love playing?
My favorite character is the curious kid, he will never grow up his curiosity will connect him to the world. I want to portray the inner child which lives among all of us. The innocence, the failure, and the loop of achieving are the reality of our life and this character depicts it very well. He is a blank slate and is very versatile to be given any shape.
What does your ideation process look like?
Being attentive! This is the process I follow, anywhere I go I have all my senses open to absorb and learn what is happening around me. Everyone has a different perspective and we can’t tell where inspiration will strike. I never note it down when I see something interesting but portraying it comes naturally. So yes observation is the key!
Who are the artists that inspire you and your work?
Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Kevin Hart, Amir khan, Govinda, Kamal Hasan, Anurag Basu are the people that inspire me though I haven’t done anything close to them I aim to do so.
Creators whose content you follow and with whom you would like to collaborate?
There is this creator who makes relatable content his name is Manoj Pariyar (bemandy11). His videos are too real and have a different feel-good vibe. And my plan is to collaborate with him on YouTube when I start posting regular content there. It’ll be fun!
Any memorable encounters with your fans that you would love to share with us?
Once I was at an ATM and the guy there yelled my name and started shivering and introduced himself as I watch your videos and I own a shop. And another time was when I was doing a Reece and I removed my mask so 3 people came around and took pictures. These memories will always be fresh, and I’ll never forget them.
Talking about movies, you will be part of Netflix’s Plan A Plan B. Can you tell us a bit about your character? What can the audience expect?
It’s a cameo not like lead, but still, I am excited about it. I have scenes with Tamannaah and that’s all I can tell right now. For bigger details, we will have to wait for the movie.
Which is your favorite character from Khushaal’s Reels? Let us know in the comments below.