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Exclusive! Never Kiss Your Best Friend Season 2 star Nakuul Mehta: Television will always be my first love

The upcoming season of the hit ZEE5 series also stars Karan Wahi, Sarah Jane-Dias, Jaaved Jaffri, and Nikki Walia, among other supporting actors

  • Akhila Damodaran

Last Updated: 04.30 AM, Apr 27, 2022

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Exclusive! Never Kiss Your Best Friend Season 2 star Nakuul Mehta: Television will always be my first love
Nakuul Mehta in Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2

The popular ZEE5 series, Never Kiss Your Best Friend is returning on screens with Season 2 with the story of the fan-favourite duo, Tanie and Sumer. The series has TV actor Nakuul Mehta reprising his role as Sumer with Anya Singh. The light-hearted tale of friendship, romance and love will hit your screens on April 29. 

As Season 2 of the series is nearing its release, OTTplay caught up with Nakuul to talk about the show.

The actor opened up about his character, what to expect from the upcoming season, juggling between the TV show and web series, his poems from the series Too Much Democracy and his views on censorship on OTT.

Edited excerpts below:

How was it like to be back on the sets of Never Kiss Your Best Friend?

Being back was like going back to your favorite college. For me, Never Kiss Your Best Friend is one of those shows where I probably spend the least amount of time, in comparison to all my television work that I have done. But it has been the most refreshing and wonderful time I've had. I've never really done a slice-of-life show on friendship before. It took two years to make season two because of the pandemic. And both Anya and I were itching to go back and play Tanie and Sumer. It literally felt like we started from where we left and didn't feel like so much has changed.

What can the audience expect from the upcoming season?

Season one was about friendship growing, then breaking up and eventually falling in love and, happily ever after. But season two is actually far more evolved. Both (Tanie and Sumer) have grown up, and now are in a professional space. They've also broken up and are not lovers anymore. The universe has grown bigger, it's got many new characters. So it is about them who became friends, fell in love and then lost it. Will they find friendship again? And will they find love again? Will they be together or with different partners? How will life unfold? And, when professional dreams come in between all of this, a lot of things change. So then there's a melange of a lot of different things, and I feel it is very relatable to the youth, especially to Gen Z and millennials.

Your character seems to have grown and become more mature in the new season, what can we expect about Sumer?

I think all the characters have matured. There's the long-time gap that we've shown. And now both of them are working. The show started when both were 19-20 years and now they're probably 28. So, they've seen many events in their own family, they've lost someone they love. Sumer is working towards his professional success. And never in his wildest imagination, he thinks he would come face to face with someone who he loved deeply and his truest soulmate, which is Tanie. And when that happens at a workspace, things in your personal life sort of eventually spill into your professional life. And when that happens, how do characters respond and how do they grow from those experiences, that's what the show's into.

Many TV artists say working on an OTT project is like a breath of fresh air as TV involves hours of shooting every day and it goes on for years. What are your views?

So firstly, I love television like no other medium. I think what television gives to an artist is reach to every home in every city in the world. So for me, TV is always and will always be my first love. But there is some truth in the fact that when you're doing something every day, there is bound to be monotony. And I think what a digital series gives you is a break from that and lets you explore a character say for seasons 2-4. It is short. So there's a lot more energy and focus, which you can put in and pull out, which I find very interesting. But the medium of television is slightly different. It is about habits. I enjoy the fact that people really look forward to seeing you every day. So to be honest, I enjoy the benefits of both and I think both have a special place. I feel very fortunate that I can actually do a very popular television show and at the same time, also find time to continue Never Kiss Your Best Friend. Its credit goes to both producers. So, they've been able to sort of share my time and allowed me the opportunity to dabble in both worlds.

Sakshi Tanwar was recently on the sets of Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2 and she said you and Disha Parmar have taken the show to another level. What do you have to say?

She is my most favorite actress and I look up to her. I think it's also her generosity and kindness to say this. For me, Sakshi will remain the epitome of Indian television and a superstar actress. She's wonderful. I think it's so generous of her to encourage and praise us by saying that. But in my own way, I know that the show has been very accepted and embraced by people all over. So I'm just thankful.

Your collaboration with writer Ajay for Too Much Democracy has been widely appreciated, especially your poem recitals. Could you tell us how did that happen? As an artist, considering the current socio-political situation in our country, did you hesitate initially to take it up? Did you face any challenges post it?

I'm so happy that this question is asked. As an artist, I've never categorised myself as a television actor or a theatre artist. I have dabbled in all of them. I'm an artist and I have the tools to express myself. And an artist is always a citizen of the country first. What's happening around you, your environment, your political, social environment will always affect you, the decisions you make or how you feel in life and Too Much Democracy series was built out of that. It wasn't meant to be sad, but it was meant to be our reaction to what was happening around us. This was around the time when the pandemic was at its peak and we weren't working outside. There was a lot of time for introspection. Ajay is a terrific writer and a collaborator on the series, and he deeply felt about a lot of these issues, starting from the passing away of Sushant Singh Rajput. It started off as me reciting one of his poems in the middle of the night and putting it out just on Twitter and Instagram. And I think it resonated with a lot of people. From that came another poem, another poem, and we ended up writing a lot. And we soon realised, there are a lot of people who resonate and feel that way. We found a way to channelise our anger, angst, our disappointments into art. By the end of the year, we decided to get into a studio and record this and put it out as our first Hindi poetry special. From there, we decided to put this in a book. So things really sort of escalated quickly. Never was this a plan. And I was aware of the possible implications. I lost a few campaigns on social media because of this, for being very vocal, but I feel it is a very small price to pay for standing up for what's right and what's truthful. And for me, that's always the case. It's very important to be righteous and truthful and be cognizant of what's happening around you. And only then, you can be a better artist. It felt very organic and to be honest, all the work I've done with this especially gives me a lot of pride and joy.

There's an ongoing debate on censorship on OTT as well. What do you have to say about that?

In the country we are living in, under the current leadership, there's censorship pretty much for everything but is that the right way to live your life? No, you want freedom, you want freedom of choice and we should be free to make those choices. And especially art was never meant to be sort of held in the boxes. But such are the times we're living in. What can one do? One can try to expand their own limits to the work they do, for the work they choose to do. But the truth is this is happening and it's not something, which I feel any artist would ever want for their countries.

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