Asmita and I are not dating. The day I fall in love, I will announce it to the whole world!
A fan of Hrithik Roshan and Shah Rukh Khan, Pearl V Puri left a cushy life in Agra to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. After getting a break with Phir Bhi Na Maane…Badtameez Dil life seemed rosy for him before the show went off-air abruptly. However, fans gave them a second chance and now it’s now a web-series on Hotstar. Needless to say, Pearl is elated. In a candid interview, he talks about his struggle, dreams and rumoured affair with co-star Asmita Sood.
How has been the experience so far in the TV industry? You have got a great reception.
So far…so good I have learnt a lot and enjoyed myself. My team is my very supportive and work has been fun. Yes, the kind of love I got, I don’t know if I deserve that much or not. I am overwhelmed and thankful.
After Badtameez Dil went off air, you must have been disheartened…
We are getting 3.5 million hits per day and no one expected this. The day the show went off air, the makers were flooded with requests to bring Abeer (Pearl) and Meher (Asmita Sood) back. We were very upset but the web-series has revived our spirits. I just could not believe it. I don’t understand the TRP calculations but I now know that if your fans love you, nothing can shake you up. I feel this concept of watching shows on mobiles or Tabs will pick up gradually in India. It is already popular in the US and Australia.
Coming from a smaller city like Agra, how was your first day in Mumbai?
I felt like the new boy who enters a new school. When he gets inside the class, he’s embarrassed as he feels out of place and knows people are looking at him. But the city has treated me well. There was this initial phase of struggle but I believe that it is a journey towards achieving sometime worthwhile.
You dad is reportedly dead against your choice of career…is it true?
Yes, my mom supports me but he is totally against it. We have a well-established family business back home and he wants me to take care of it. Knowing that travelling is a hassle in Mumbai, mom gifted me a car on my birthday. She was there at the start to set me up. Things have improved after Badtameez Dil but dad is still to agree on it.
There are quite a few rockstars on TV. Being a debutante, did you not fear the comparisons?
Insecurity was never there. I always have the attitude of a runner. When an athlete runs, he just looks at the post, not at his competitors. They are all actors doing their job.
Have you put your inputs in the character of Abeer?
Yes, the writers and CVs wrote the part but I want a part of me in Abeer. I have transformed him and people don’t have issues as he has been liked. I can relate to Abeer as I am passionate about music like he is. I have been writing and composing music since eighth standard. It is a part of my life. I haven’t sung so far on the show but would love to do it if the fans ask me to.
How is Asmita as a co-star? She has some experience while you’re a newbie. Did that cause clashes?
Not at all, she is a sweetheart. Asmita is very co-operative we support each other as much as we can. Working for long hours can be frustrating at times. At times, I tell her see now you’re reacting as Asmita, not Meher and vice versa. Our off-screen friendship translates in our chemistry.
There are reports of Asmita and you dating. Apparently, she has given up on non-vegetarian food because of you.
She is still a non-vegetarian for sure. As clichéd as it sounds, we are just good friends. People like us onscreen, we complement each other well and get these vibes. We can’t stop them from talking. The day I start seeing someone, I will announce it to the whole world. I am a committed guy and don’t believe in flings.
Did the rumours affect your family back in Agra?
No. Dad is least into reading newspapers, particularly entertainment pages. He is least concerned about such gossip. He is over 60 with an established business. He hates the idea of me struggling in a city like Mumbai. All he wants is that I should get back and manage the business so that he can go on a world tour (smiles). He wants to relax.
How do you like to unwind?
I love travelling and long drives. On my off days, I just set off with my car and some good music. I miss my mom and crave for her haath ka khana. I miss her terribly, now that it’s been over a year since I saw her.
Who are your favourite actors?
Hrithik Roshan is a complete package. I also admire Shah Rukh Khan and Bachchansaab (Amitabh Bachchan). They have had long careers with some big failures yet they have kept their chin up and survived. I love their consistency when it comes to their performances.
What kind of woman would you want to date?
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She should be very caring. I am a caring guy but at times, I can’t manage myself (laughs). The girl should be considerate towards others. Selfish people put me off completely. I remember my acting teacher, Anupam Sir (Anupam Kher) telling me that being a good human being is the key to becoming a good actor as only a good person can understand emotions, and in turn, portray them. Lastly, I am quite romantic. Even if I have to give a rose to a girl, I will make an event out of it (laughs out loud). I will take her somewhere get down on my knees and give it to her. So, a girl who is too practical and unromantic might find me filmi (laughs).