The talented actor, Kunaal Roy Kapoor spoke to us about his role in Sony Liv’s new show, Sandwiched Forever, working with Aahana Kumra and lots more!
In a world of crime and murder-thrillers, it is hard to find a comedy show that is relatable and fictional at the same time. Luckily, Sandwiched Forever on SonyLiv is one such show. A story of a modern-day couple sandwiched between their parents is every couple, to be honest. We chatted with the actor and the lead of the show, Kunaal Roy Kapoor on his experience of shooting in the new normal and what made him become a part of it.
Here’s how our conversation with Kunaal Roy Kapoor went…
How was working for Sandwiched Forever? How will you describe your character?
“It was quite an experience trying to create a comedy show in the middle of a pandemic; I think there can be no greater contrast than trying to do comedy while a lot of problems are going around in the world. So that contrast was difficult to deal with but it did bring the whole crew close together because everybody became like a close-knit family and I think that given everyone has a theatre background, the actors and everyone else, it’s made a wonderful working environment to suggestions, to the team making things fun and to doing blocking etc. For the working environment, we were almost locked into that one studio for a month and a half and trying to make the show, so it was a very fruitful experience and I feel that I’d love to repeat you know because of the camaraderie and the whole crew that was their during this difficult time to pull together and put a show but besides that, I hope that you feel it is funny and enduring and something that people will enjoy.”
What made you pick the show?
“Well, I picked it because the format was something that nobody was trying, nobody has tried it in the traditional way of making a sitcom, and I think that this was the first time when someone said that we’re doing it the way they do sitcoms everywhere else in the world or abroad where you have rehearsal and then you shoot with a multicam setup and finish shooting the full episode almost in a day and the whole thing becomes about the rehearsal process, like reading fine tuning, blocking camera blocking, so it would become a very interesting rehearsal process and that’s something that coming from a theatrical background also, it’s something that i’m also comfortable with and i haven’t got the chance to do it in so many years because of being busy with films and ott shows and other stuff, I haven’t had the opportunity to do theatre that much and this was a wonderful blend between theatre and television and film where the skill sets that you have as a person who belongs to age who can really use over here so that’s why i found it very appealing because it was a combination of things that i’ve done in the past and of course the characters that were created were very very interesting because each one of these characters, there are 6 characters who are the primary characters of the show as you’ve seen the trailer, there are two parents and the couple, they’re all kind of leads of the show and each one of them has their own quirks and characteristics that become endearing to an audience and that’s another reason why i was attracted to the show was because of the way in which they had thought out these characters.”
How was working in this new normal?
“Yes, it was very different. Firstly this format itself was a different experience and on top of that you have the experience of shooting like your make up is being done by someone in a PPE kit and you’re wearing a mask through most of the day and while you’re shooting, you take of the mask, you have to sanitise every prop, every costume has to go through UV sanitisation, you can’t have too many people on the set at the same time, people are distributed amongst a set, while eating also you have to maintain a distance if you are eating in a cafe so all of this mounts because you’re ultimately trying to make something entertaining, you’re trying to do something creative and we have all these unfortunate restrictions that keep people apart, and you know i think that the main thing about human nature is that we work best when we collaborate, all of our successes in life have been through collaborations, through interaction, through sharing information and virus has made like the main thing that we do in collaborations, it has made us not collaborate, so that becomes difficult and that is where i felt it is difficult in this new normal. Sometimes you can’t see a person’s face you don’t know their expressions, I’m not saying the actor but even a makeup person or a sound person or a DOP, you can only see their eyes so the communication is poor, all of this mounts and all of this plays in your head and in the middle of that you have to create something funny and entertaining and light. So, it does have its challenges and I hope that this new normal is not the normal forever, I hope it becomes the old normal in the next year and we can go back to our old normal very soon because there is no way to live this.”
How was it working with Aahana for the first time?
“It’s strange that this is my first time working with Aahana because we’ve both been doing theatre, I was doing theatre before and I stopped. She was then working in theatre, strangely we never got to work together on stage and we never got to do a show together. She is a fabulous actress and she’s generally cast in a lot of serious roles, a lot of strong characters who are stern and all of that, Sandwiched Forever I feel is a wonderful sort of change from all of that and she has got such wonderful comic timing and understanding and all of that. It was a pleasure working with her and then of course I’ve worked in the past with Rakesh Ji and again he’s like a powerhouse sort of a performer and without doing anything, without moving his face, his timings, with a slightest tilt of a face he can make you laugh. He’s fabulous, and then of course Atul Ji has been a 360, well not a 360 but a 180 where he’s been cast in so many serious roles and so many characters who have been like strong dramatic characters and here you see him in a completely different avtaar, like a completely crazy comic avatar. I think it’s so wonderful and liberating to see actors you’ve seen in the past, play characters that you never expect from them and that’s why with Aahana and Atul Ji you get to see them in a completely new light and with Divya Ji, I think she’s had such a long career in television and film and she’s done every genre I think, even her timing and her presence also. So, for me it was great to be working with Divya ji who’s had so much theatre experience too. So, it was a wealth of experience from people who spent their lives acting and coming together and making a show, so for me it was like a dream come true to work with such wonderfully talented people.”
What are your expectations from the show? How do you anticipate the response of the audience to Sandwiched Forever?
“I think the situation is very relatable wherein you are stuck with your parents, you’re stuck between your husband and your mother, you’re stuck between your wife and your mother in law, you’re stuck between your father in law and your father. You’re stuck between all these dynamics played out and I think that is something that everyone who’s been in any familial situation has experienced.
My expectation from the show… I think because it’s got that common connect with everyone, it’s a question of whether the characters click or not, if you start finding these characters quirky, funny and endearing then people will enjoy the show. So, it’s a question of seeing that the people buy into these kinds of characters who are slightly quirky, slightly crazy. I do feel that there is a lack of pure comedy on the OTT platforms, a lot of the platforms have a lot of drama, and they have a lot of crime-related stuff, a lot of thrillers. So many genres are clicked on the OTT platforms but pure unabashed comedy is a genre that not many platforms have to offer and I think that’s why I feel that people will watch this as a pure comedy, there’s no deep learning, it’s just light and hopefully a fun comedy show for everyone.”
Here’s how Kunaal Roy Kapoor responded to our round of Never Have I Ever:-
Never Have I Ever messaged my parent that was meant for the partner
“Well, my relationships go back to before messaging and before mobile phones. So, we’ve done the phone call once where my current wife had called up thinking that it’s me but it was my father and she started saying all sorts of filmy stuff to my father and my father knew her but couldn’t believe that this is the same person. The next day he told me that somebody had called pretending to be her but it wasn’t her, it was somebody else because he couldn’t believe that she could say such things but it was her only.”
Never Have I Ever, spoke to my partner’s parents thinking they were on the phone
“Ya, this has happened. Even I’ve also done it with my mother-in-law and my wife because they have a similar sort of voice in the way they said, “Hello”. So I’ve also said all sorts of things to my current wife’s mother and she’s like, “one second, I’ll just put her on the phone.” So yes, that has happened.”
Never have I ever been caught by my parents while talking to my girlfriend
“So, again when we were growing up, we had a phone which was in one designated area, it wasn’t a cordless phone, it was just in one spot, so then you had to sneak out of your room in the middle of the night to get to the phone. Also, it’s not like today wherever you are, you have a phone in your pocket, that time there was a telephone table, you had to go through the table and then hide under that table or find a table to make your phone call. So, I’ve been caught in the middle of the night on the phone and I remember, even when people were travelling and they used to use a phone and that massive phone bill would come at the end of the month.“
Never have I ever thought of what if my parents will come n while making out with someone
“Oh man! Yes, that thought has occurred, that’s why I don’t live with my parents anymore because I don’t want those thoughts anymore, but that is the problem of the show only, that’s why Sameer Shastri constantly lives with that fear, that when will his mother walk in.
Well right now the situation is different, I’m a father now so I’m not worried about my mother walking in, I’m rather worried about my child walking in which is slightly different but still as embarrassing.”
Never have I ever given a fake compliment to my partner to make them feel good
“Never, never. I’ve never given a fake compliment; all my compliments have been genuine.”