Gagan Arora rose to immense fame after his role in Tabbar (2021).
Last Updated: 11.54 AM, Sep 14, 2022
Last seen in The Fame Game as Madhuri Dixit's fan, Gagan Arora is now coming back as the rowdy but honest Bagga in College Romance 3. The roles being poles apart, it was tough for Gagan to imagine himself as Bagga once again. This actor hailing from Delhi, who is living his dream in Mumbai, tells us what makes College Romance 3 special, how he got back to being Bagga at last and action in the series. He also talks about Irrfan Khan and Sidhu Moosewala while paying tribute to the legends in his own way.
Excerpts from the interview:
You have grown so much since College Romance. Tabbar and The Fame Game have changed your life in a certain way. So what was it like coming back to the series which was OG for you?
It always feels great to be coming back to College Romance. It's about first love. It's my comfort space. I love all my co-actors and it's a very positive space to come back to. It actually felt really good because the last project I did was The Fame Game. From that character to coming back to College Romance was like a new territory to me.
Since they two are completely opposite characters, much like you mentioned, what did it take to snap out of The Fame Game character and come back to College Romance as Bagga?
Most of it has to do with going back to the sets. I've played this character for a couple of seasons now. So, the first thing I did was try to watch College Romance. The first thing that came to my mind is - I cannot see myself as that. I'm very critical of myself. So, I went back to Delhi for a couple of months and chilled with people who are very close to Bagga in their real lives. I went to my West Delhi friends, stayed with them for a week and then I was back. After a week in Delhi, everything changes and I got back to that character.
Tell me about your days in Delhi. How much like Bagga were you?
I'm not like Bagga at all. I don't like cussing or fighting but I've always seen these Baggas around me - while growing up, in college. There's always one in the group and that is why a lot of people connect with him because they recall their own friend seeing him. There are things I connect with him on and don't. I also would die for my friends. I also have a group pretty much like College Romance. We're really close and tight in terms of dost ke liye jaan haazir hai. In that aspects, I'm very similar to him but apart from that, he's very different.
What is it about Bagga that pulled you back into the role and the series?
He's the character ki jo dil mein hai woh zubaan pe hai. It is one of the major reasons people like to watch him because a lot of people cannot do that in real life. We can't do it with our bosses, teachers and even parents. When people see that he's so honest that he can express the way he wants to, that is what people connect with a lot and feel like if not him, they had a friend like him.
So, we know what Bagga is like. However, what is Gagan like in real life?
Oh! How do I explain myself? I'm just a middle-class boy from Delhi who once wanted to become an actor and I feel like I'm living my dream. I never thought that I would share screen space with Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan or Pavan Malhotra. I constantly feel like somebody will wake me up and it's all going to be a dream. I've worked pretty hard towards it and I tend to keep doing that. I hope things get better-and-better. As an actor, I try to do different things one-after-another. None of my work should look similar to my last one. Right now I'm just living in Mumbai and missing Dilli ka khaana.
Bagga had mentioned about Sidhu Moosewala. Unfortunately, we faced a major loss. Did you go back to the day when the scene was being discussed because he was being discussed that day on sets, after hearing the news of the singer's demise?
It was very unfortunate how things happened. All five of us were really into his music, which is how the dialogue got into the script as well. We would listen to his music so much that the directors and writers thought about introducing him into the script. He also had a great fan following. He's a really talented person and what happened was very unfortunate.
Did you contact your co-stars after hearing the news, since you guys bonded over him so much on sets?
We had a little chat about him. Everybody was in such shock. Nobody expected something like this would happen. He wasn't only a great musician but also one of the greatest human beings out there. He was a great personality who made himself out of nowhere. We had a chat about him and it took us back to the point where we used to listen to his music. At the beginning of the day, we used to play some of his songs in vanity vans. That day, we played his music for a longer time.
We saw some action in College Romance season 2. Would you say there's full-fledged action in season 3 this time?
I love doing action. Let's be honest. I have a lot of fun in action scenes and so, I would ask the directors to add action. It gives me the feeling of power and swag. It's done very differently this time. It's nothing like the first two seasons. I hope everyone enjoys it.
How much do you relate to Bagga's situation in long-distance relationship? Have you been in such a situation? How did that turn out?
I have been in a long-distance relationship for a very long time. I managed to go through it. It's very tough initially but if both the people are interested in keeping the relationship and love alive, anything is possible. It's tough to do - managing timezones and the likes. That's the best test - if you ever want to consider something in a relationship - if it is true or not - the best test is a long-distance relationship.
Do you have an idol that helped you pursue acting more passionately?
It actually keeps on changing. I look at a great performance and I want to learn what is there in that performance. When I look at them, I want to learn their craft. Thanks to that, I'll go to Pondicherry or Assam to understand a different craft of acting. If I had an idol, it would be Irrfan sir. The kind of work he did, not everyone can pull off. I would like to achieve his level of subtlety in my life and acting. It keeps on changing.
When you talk about Irrfan, is there any movie scene of his that has stayed back with you?
Maqbool has to be the one film. Any scene - the killing scene or any other. Even Piku, where he is playing with Bachchan Saab and still trying to convince him. I love his craft.
Your upcoming projects?
I'm doing a horror-comedy film right now. There's a period-drama series that I'm in talks with. Both of them are supposed to go on floors after the next month. Hopefully, we'll turn it around as soon as possible.
Any update on Tabbar 2? Is it happening?
I'm really sorry but I genuinely have no updates for you right now. I really don't know what's happening with either Tabbar or The Fame Game 2.