By Abhigna Ghosh
After the Fukrey series, Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh will be coming together once again for an epic web series, Chutzpah, that will surely jostle your funny bones. Both of them are known for their on-point comic timing and finesse acting skills. Having them onboard itself guarantees the show will be an interesting watch. The series will also feature Elnaaz Norouzi who will be seen in a brand new avatar post, Hello Charlie.
Chutzpah is bankrolled by Sony Liv and Maddock Outsider who have joined hands to present the entertainer of the year. With a brilliant cast featuring Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Elnaaz Norouzi, Tanya Maniktala, Kshitij Chaudhary, and Gautam Mehra, the series is here to take you on a fun rollercoaster ride through 7 episodes.
In an exclusive interview with us, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, and Elnaaz Norouzi opened up on their experience in Chutzpah and much more!
Now that Chutzpah has finally released, tell us how was your experience shooting for it?
Manjot: It was a little challenging for me. Because whether I had to romance or show my anger, I had to do it all with a screen, there was no co-actor and no way to understand their reaction. The entire shoot was done through screens and it was very technical. But at the same time, I also loved and learned a lot.
Elnaaz: The experience was wonderful. In the series, my character gets a makeover at every scene. Whether it was my hair or my outfit, I got to showcase different avatars with this character. And you don’t get to play a character like this every day. So, I’d say all-in-all, it was unforgettable.
Varun: I loved it, the experience was really good. Especially because Chutzpah taps on a subject that’s pretty intertwined with our daily lives and that’s the internet. I really hope that when people watch it they find it a lot relatable. It’s a family entertainer which talks about the happy and dark sides of social media.
Elnaaz, your character as a webcam girl is very different from the usual characters we get to see and from your previous roles. What were the challenges you faced getting into the skin of the character?
Elnaaz: The biggest challenge was when I was offered the role, I didn’t even know what a cam girl is. So I was provided a list of links for my research. And I had to learn everything about them, how they behave, how they choose their outfits and everything. But it was also pretty exciting. I love playing different characters, so why not a cam girl.
I read online that you were in a long-distance relationship in college. And here too, your character is in a long-distance relationship with Shikha. So would you say that your personal experience helps you improvise your equation with Shikha better?
Varun: Not really. I was in a long-distance relationship 10-12 years ago. Back then we didn’t have video calls. We connected to other people mostly on phone calls. The emotions of my experience were definitely there but for the rest of it, I looked around, at friends who are in long-distance relationships. Even our director Simar Bhai shared quite a few instances with me together we sketched it out.
In your previous roles, your character has always been an extrovert with a streak of humor. However, here your character is more shy and introverted. What would you say is more like the real you?
Manjot: I have many variations. Just how I cannot wear or wouldn’t want to wear a checkered shirt forever (pointing to his outfit), the same goes for my personality. Somedays I can be shy, somedays I can be naughty, I want to explore a lot of things. But as rightly pointed out the character of Rishi is very naïve and humble and lives in a bubble. Now his life changes forever when he meets Wild Butterfly (Elnaaz) online. Now for what happens after that and how things roll out, you’ll need to see the show.
I know that you have been brought out in Germany and you even did theatre there. So what made you come to India and choose Bollywood out of all the industries.
Elnaaz: Well, it was my childhood dream to be a Bollywood actress. So I did theatre in Germany and even did an acting course in the New York but my dream has been to work in Bollywood and find out how it works. I’m from the Iranian school of cinema and I don’t know if you have watched Iranian films but the acting there is very subtle. So yeah I moved here. Well, there’s nothing more to it, It was just a dream for me.
Varun, we all have seen you in quite a few comedy roles. Is comedy something you learned as a part of acting or does it come naturally as a part of our own personality?
Varun: I really don’t know, things just kept happening. During my theatre years, I never attempted comedy because I think it’s the toughest thing to make someone laugh. Fukrey was my first outing in that genre and when I saw that people were laughing, I felt really blessed. I also follow whatever the directors say, so think it’s their efforts as well that extracts comic requirements from me.
You worked in your first film Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye when you were just 16. And in a previous interview, you mentioned that acting wasn’t really on your mind before the film. So what made you stay in spite of all the initial challenges?
Manjot: I think it’s the audience’s love and appreciation. My life changed when I got the Filmfare Award for the role. After that, I also started getting casting calls. So I felt, I’m getting appreciated for my work and I became financially independent when I was in school. Everything was working out so there was no reason to not stay.
Wrapping up, is there anything you all would like to say to all your fans and the audience who would be watching Chutzpah?
Manjot: I just want to say that it’s a very relatable show. Its been beautifully written and made with lots of love. I’m sure you all will enjoy it.
Elnaaz: Chutzpah has 5 different and very relatable stories. And I’m very sure that everyone can connect to at least one of them. So yeah, please do watch and maybe you will find yourself there.
Varun: I think they both have said everything. But I just want to add that Chutzpah is about something that we go to bed with and wake up with, that’s the internet. And it has been beautifully shown how it influences our lives. And I am sure you will have a lot of fun.