Vyom plays a lead role in Tigmanshu Dhulia-directed Garmi on SonyLIV.
Tigmanshu Dhulia, Vyom Yadav
Last Updated: 10.11 AM, May 05, 2023
Vyom Yadav is a talented aspiring actor, who recently made his debut in a lead role in Tigmanshu Dhulia's web series, Garmi. He plays the character of a young college student, who finds himself in a huge dilemma as he gets unwillingly pulled into the political world. The relatively new actor has managed to gather attention and applause for his latest performance.
In a recent chat with OTTplay, Vyom shared his experience of working with such a renowned filmmaker and how Garmi has opened many gates for him in the industry. Excerpts:
Please tell us how you landed Garmi and how has it been working under Tigmanshu Dhulia.
I landed the role in Garmi after receiving a call from Bheem of Mukesh Chabar casting company. He asked me to send a small video with subtle acting and a UP touch, without giving me any details about the project or the director. I sent an impromptu one-minute video and later received a script for the audition. Even though I felt that the character didn't suit me, I sent the audition video, and the director, Tigmanshu Dhulia, liked it. I didn't know if I would get the role, but I got a call around November last week, and Bheem told me to block my dates and not take up any work from January. Tigmanshu sir was present with him, and they said they would connect with me soon. After waiting for a month with no communication, I finally received confirmation that I got the role.
Working under Tigmanshu Dhulia has been a great learning experience for me. In my experience working with Tigmanshu Dhulia on Garmi, I found him to be a walking talking institution when it comes to cinema. He has a wealth of experience and has seen films from all over the world, from as far back as 1920 to recent Hollywood and Bollywood releases. I believe this vast knowledge and experience is reflected in his work. I've heard on set that he owns a vast collection of movies, with six to eight or even ten-terabyte hard drives filled with films from around the globe, totalling up to 10,000 movies. Having someone of his calibre and experience sharing his knowledge with me was nothing short of a jackpot.
During a recent interview with us, Tigmanshu Sir mentioned that to make Garmi he was inspired by his first film Haasil. How retable did you find between both ventures?
The two ventures, Haasil and Garmi, were made in different formats and timelines with a 20-year gap between them. While both are based on student politics, the focus has shifted in Garmi to the obstacles faced in the race for power and fame. It would not be fair to compare the two as Haasil was a two-hour film while Garmi is a series with the first season being six hours long and consisting of nine episodes. The second season is set to come out later this year, adding another six hours of screen time. Therefore, the major difference between them is the difference in format and duration.
The show has received mixed reviews. Some liked the show, while a few were not able to connect with it. What are your thoughts on that?
In my opinion, the show has received more positive reviews than mixed reviews. Garmi is currently the second most-watched series of the week with 2.5 million views, which indicates that it is well-received by the audience. I have received a lot of appreciation and positive feedback from both critics and viewers. However, there might be a small percentage of people, especially those from tier 1 cities like Mumbai and Delhi, who couldn't connect with the show because they may not be aware that such things happen in real life. But as an actor, I believe that work becomes art when you feel it, and the reality of the show has connected well with the audience from the northern belt who have experienced such things in their lives. Overall, I am happy with the response that the show has received.
You have done some street theatre performances during your college days. How different or similar is it to shoot in front of a camera for a series?
When I was in college, I used to perform in street plays and Nukkad Nataks, which was a truly enjoyable experience. I began performing in the sixth standard and continued doing it for several years in school and college. I also did theatre during this time. Performing in street plays was a unique experience, and the energy and excitement were unmatched. It was amazing to perform in front of a live audience, connect with them, and feel their reactions to the performance. In contrast, shooting for a series in front of a camera is a different experience altogether. The setup is more controlled, and you have to repeat the same scene multiple times until the director is satisfied. However, both street plays and shooting for a series require an actor to bring a character to life, connect with the audience or viewers, and convey emotions effectively.
Performing in street plays helped me to overcome my stage fear and open up as an actor. Even though screen acting is my true love, I am still grateful for the experience of performing in street plays, and I would jump at the opportunity to do it again. While shooting, it may seem like you are performing only in front of the camera, but there are numerous people involved in the process. Thanks to my experience in street plays, I was able to adapt to the presence of the entire crew behind the camera.
How has the emergence of OTT platforms affected the opportunities available to young and aspiring actors? Do you consider yourself fortunate to be a part of this era?
Undoubtedly, the advent of OTT platforms has been a boon for emerging actors of my generation, as well as those who will come after us in the next five years. Unlike earlier times when films were the only medium of entertainment, OTT platforms have opened up several avenues for actors to showcase their talent. Web series, for instance, have become increasingly popular since 2014-15, and low-budget films are now able to make a significant impact on audiences.
Additionally, the rise of OTT platforms has allowed grassroots-level actors to be recognized for their skills, without having to rely solely on big-budget productions. With a population of over 140.76 crores, India has an abundance of talent waiting to be discovered, and the OTT platforms have helped to uncover these hidden gems. As an actor, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been a part of this era, and I hope that this trend continues to flourish for the next 100 years.
Can you provide an update on the release date for the second season of Garmi?
I'm hoping that we can announce it by the end of the year. I'm really excited about it, and I can promise you that it's going to be even better than the first season. We've received a lot of inquiries from fans of the show about when the next season will be released, and we're working hard to make it happen as soon as possible.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I feel grateful for the opportunities that have come my way post my debut. I have been receiving offers directly from directors and producers to read some exciting scripts and sign up for upcoming projects. While I do have a few films lined up, I am quite selective about the kind of roles and stories I want to be a part of. For me, it's essential to connect with the character and ensure that the audience enjoys watching me on screen. Having said that, I am confident that I will be a part of some significant projects in the near future.