Gagan Arora is an up-and-coming star who began his acting career as Bagga in the popular web series College Romance. From assisting in the feature film Stree (2018) to his recent portrayal of a young and fun-loving boy, Goldie Kohli, in his Bollywood debut film Ujda Chaman(2019) which was widely acclaimed by experts as an exceptional performance, Gagan has come a long way. He is also a Youtube sensation and has collaborated with major Youtube brands in the past.
How did you get into acting? Who has been your inspiration?
I first got introduced to acting in college when I saw a bunch of guys performing street theatre; I got really attracted to how they were voicing their opinions and at the same time, contributing to society. I instantly wanted to be a part of it so I approached those guys and in return, they asked me to audition. I did and I got through, but it was actually later in my first year that I was introduced to stage theatre by my Dramsoc seniors and that’s when I really fell for acting. By the end of the third year, I got inclined towards direction more and went to Mumbai to study filmmaking. From there, I ended up assisting in my first feature film: Stree. Just after that, I got a call from one of my juniors from theatre who was then working at Timeliners that they were looking for actors and encouraged me to audition. I auditioned, and boom, I was back to acting. I had never planned to become an actor, so my inspiration to get into acting was just a bunch of guys voicing their opinions.
You have been in Ujda Chaman(movie) and College Romance (web series), how different was it for you, working in them?
It’s different in terms of medium, but if we talk about acting, my process is similar be it a feature film, a sketch, a web series, an advertisement, a short film or anything. Of course, you have more time to establish and arc your character in a web series as opposed to a film, but the process remains the same, you need to do justice to your character because if you aren’t honest then the audience will write you off.
How do you prepare yourself for every new character that you play, and are you a method actor? What is your first thought after reading the script?
My preparations have mostly been cerebral as I haven’t been asked to undergo a physical transformation for any of my roles as yet. After reading the script, my process mostly starts with in-depth discussions with the writer and the director, taking notes from them and trying to equate them with my life experiences, and hence churning out something as close to their vision as I can.
What are your future plans? Anything lined up as of now or any upcoming projects?
I am still in talks so I can’t disclose much. I really want to take time and make decisions by being smart and not just go by instinct.
What advice would you want to give youngsters who aspire to follow in your footsteps? How does one get into the industry, as a fresh face?
I won’t lie; it’s an extremely hard process and I still don’t think that I have made it inside the “industry”. It’s very hard for us outsiders, who don’t have any contacts to break into the industry because we don’t know the right paths, the right places, and the right people. One piece of advice that I would like to give is – Don’t come unprepared, train yourself first. Join a theatre group, if not that, then attend at least one good acting workshop. Rather than spending your money in gyms, spend it there. It’s an investment that this craft deserves.