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Hotstar’s digital series ‘Aarya’ is making waves. The Sushmita Sen led thriller, co-directed by Sandeep Modi, Ram Madhvani and Vinod Rawat, also stars Sikandar Kher, Chandrachur Singh and Namit Das. caught up with Namit for an exclusive chat about the show and more.

Congratulations! What kind of response are you getting for your role in ‘Aarya’?
Overwhelming would be an understatement at this time. I am flooded with messages all the time. People are writing to me. My Instagram is full of messages and comments. It feels good. The air around me is that of kindness. I am full of gratitude.

How difficult was it to play such a grey character like Jawahar?
It wasn’t tough. It’s wasn’t difficult, but yes, it was a challenge. With Ram (Madhvani), (Sandeep) Modi and (Vinod) Rawat, it all seemed like a cakewalk. Ram is a visionary. I am so thankful to have had worked with him. It’s all about his process that makes things look really unique.

‘Aarya’ saw two beloved actors making a comeback together – Chandrachur Singh and Sushmita Sen. How was it working with them?
They are legends. CCJi is such a lovely guy. What a gentleman! Sushmita is the queen… Miss Universe for God’s sake! She is so humble and dedicated to whatever she does. No one could have played Aarya better than her. In fact, she is Aarya!

Aarya is an official adaptation of the Dutch crime-drama Penoza. Did you watch the show to prepare yourself?
No, I made it a point not to watch it. I did not want to be influenced by the portrayal of the actor who played Jawahar.

Can you share any fun anecdote from Aarya’s shoot?
I think our after-parties during the Rajasthan schedule were the best. Also, I chose to drive all the way to Jaipur and Udaipur. I made it a point to make this a habit. If it’s close by, then I am driving. I have the liberty to travel to other places. That’s the beauty of road trips. The after-parties were so good because we had so many good singers in the team. They are not only actors but great artistes as well.

Did you have any questions about your character for director Ram Madhvani?
It was a thin line I was walking on. I needed to be in control. Never go overboard with it. It had to feel real all the time. Those were my questions constantly. It can be a situation for someone else but for Jawahar, it’s a huge problem.

You also have ‘A Suitable Boy’ coming up! How does it feel to be in a Mira Nair film?
It feels great and in such a great capacity. I play Haresh Khanna in A Suitable Boy. Life is kind. Mira is tough. But she brings out the best in you. She really taps that innermost hunger in all artistes. I am so lucky and grateful to be part of this team.

How would you describe her as a director on set?
She is so kind yet demanding. You can never lie to her. Tell her the truth always. Never want to move away from it. There are no shortcuts with her. I love that. You have to work hard. I love that too.

How did you prepare yourself to play Haresh Khanna?
I learnt how to make a shoe. I think that was integral to this part. He is a shoemaker. I needed to know what it takes to become that. I read the book. Each day when I would go on set to shoot a scene, I would read that chapter, go back to it and read what Vikram wrote in the book. Also, Vikram wrote this character keeping his father in mind. Reading his mother’s autobiography really helped in understanding the world of these characters.

How was it working with Tabu and such a big ensemble cast?
I didn’t have any scenes with her. There are so many worlds that exist in A Suitable Boy but being around her one feels so good. She is eternally beautiful as Mira rightfully describes her. Working with Ishaan (Khattar), Ram Kapoor, Rasika Duggal and everyone else was so good.

What are you working on next?
Well, we’re waiting for this lockdown to ease. Only then would anything begin. I am waiting for the release of the web show Mafia on ZEE5 on the 10th of July. It also happens to be my birthday that day. Don’t forget to wish me (laughs)!

‘Aarya’ is currently streaming on Hotstar.