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August 30, 2017

Actor Sukant Goel On Why He Takes Humour Seriously

Text by Zaral Shah

“In theatre, it’s not about money, so at the end, what we have is each other and our friendship”

As a dead man walking, his latest role, the titular one in Rage Productions’ Anand Express — a stage adaptation of Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray — has brought him many accolades. The actor interestingly plays many roles in real life, for he is a chemical engineer, an avid musician and a wildlife enthusiast — his love for the big cats evident in how his face lights up while talking about them. Sukant Goel dons many hats even within the world of theatre — he is co-director with Gagan Dev Riar of the Hindi-Punjabi play Ishq Aaha that opened in 2015, and heads Theatre on the Rocks and Mirchi Lights.

Sukant always dreamt of curtain calls and encores and acting has been a goal for him since he can remember. “The performing arts were always something that I was attracted to, and kept participating in all my life, so it was a natural progression. My breakthrough moment was being a part of Dubeyji’s (Satyadev Dubey) workshop. My first performance on stage was Section 377 in 2010. I clearly remember the moment when the lights came on and I uttered my first word, ‘today’. I don’t think I can ever forget that.”

The 32-year-old terms himself a ‘generally proud guy’ and while his most noticeable stint on the big screen was playing Sidharth Malhotra’s friend Wasim in Dharma Productions’ Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) last year, he finds theatre to be more fulfilling as a medium. “All put together, we’re one family and we connect on a different level. Because in theatre it’s not about money, so at the end, what we have is each other and our friendship. Theatre is more engaging, it’s an addiction,” he shares.

Part of an ongoing web series The Better Half for the YouTube channel Shitty Ideas Trending, Sukant says, “A character works best for me if I can relate to it. The ones you can portray well are the ones you connect to. I have to draw from my experiences; I cannot bring the characters ‘out’ from someone else’s.”

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