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Verve Trendsetters
June 02, 2016

Actor Aman Mehra Talks About His Craft

Text by Huzan Tata. Photographs by Tejal Pandey (Mumbai), Ankush Maria (Delhi). Styling by Shweta Navandar. Make-Up by Inglot (Mumbai And Delhi)

On resisting being stereotyped and playing non-conformist characters on screen and stage

Role models
My grandfather (film doyen F C Mehra) and his partner in crime, Shammi Kapoor. I’ve had the privilege of calling both dadaji.

Three actors you admire
Shah Rukh Khan and Christian Bale. And Priyanka Chopra for balancing her commitments between both Hollywood and Bollywood.

Acting for the first time was
An exhilarating experience. It was thrilling to step into a world of limitless possibilities, where I could be any number of characters or personalities. My first stage performance was a hilarious high school rendition of Bunty Aur Babli (the film by Shaad Ali) where I played a rather comical Bunty.

Your most cherished performance
Rockstar, where I played rapper Eminem. I had to emulate his body language, vocal inflections and go through a pretty crazy hair, make-up and wardrobe transformation. I felt a strange sense of loss to abruptly let go of that persona once the final performance was over.

Dream directors
Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Yash Chopra, Steven Spielberg.

Favourite movies
Chamatkar and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. And then American Psycho, Shutter Island, Whiplash.

Upcoming projects
I just promoted a chai brand for Tea India and completed a short film based on a Stephen King adaptation that is being screened in LA this winter.

Film or stage?
On stage, I get a boost from playing off the audience’s reactions. Film is tricky — you almost never shoot in consecutive order, so it is a true test of your artistic skills; sometimes you’re filming a death scene, before you’ve even filmed the opening scene. I love both genres passionately.

Stage fright is
Fuel.

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