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Exclusive! YouTuber Harsh Beniwal talks about 'getting closer to his dreams'

Beniwal will be seen sharing the screen with Ritvik Sahore, Saloni Gaur, Salonie Patel, Abhinav Sharma and Srishti Ganguli Rindani in the upcoming MX Player series Campus Diaries, created by Prem Mistry and Abhishek Yadav. The series will be out on January 7.

Akhila Damodaran
Dec 28, 2021
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Harsh Beniwal/Instagram

Harsh Beniwal has become a household name after his YouTube videos soon started going viral. He has 14 million followers on his channel and now, they can't wait to see him in his new avatar as a troublemaker in college in the upcoming MX Player series Campus Diaries. Beniwal plays the role of Sudheer Bhaiya in the campus drama, created by Prem Mistry and Abhishek Yadav. In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, the actor, comedian and YouTuber talks about his role in the series, his inspirations and his process of making YouTube videos.

Beniwal says he is very excited as the release of his series Campus Diaries is nearing. "I am very excited. So are my friends and YouTube followers. As an actor, I would get to do something different and I am looking forward to seeing people's reactions," he says. Beniwal has been receiving messages and wishes ever since the trailer of the series was released. 

The trailer shows him playing the role of Sudheer Bhaiya, who seems to be a troublemaker in college. Speaking more about his character, he says, "You can say that he is a troublemaker. I always wanted to play a character like this and I am glad to have received the opportunity to do so. The role is of a Hariyanvi Jat. I am a Jat and Hariyanvi and hence, I felt good to do the role. My Harayana audience will get to see me play this character who always stands by his friends. He never says 'No' to them and always helps out just like Haryanvi people. I too have some close typical Haryanvi Jat friends who would do anything for friends. Even if they are unable to help, they say 'tu tension na le, main hoon'." But he adds they are also the ones who create trouble and have fun. 

Beniwal went down the memory lane, recollecting his fond memories and how he too was a troublemaker in college. "We were a notorious group of three to four friends. We would do a lot of mischief. Our teachers would already know that we are the reason behind them. We would sleep during the class and our teachers would call us to sit on the benches in the front. When they ask if we would like to study or get out, we would just get out of the class," he says adding that he does not remember much now. "Bahut time ho gaya college chod kar. I now only remember memories of Campus Diaries and can tell you about that," he says and giggles.

Beniwal will be sharing the screen with Ritvik Sahore, Saloni Gaur, Salonie Patel, Abhinav Sharma and Srishti Ganguli Rindani in the upcoming MX Player series. He says it was a fun learning experience working on the project. "I learned a lot from my co-actors, director and writer. I felt I was growing as an actor," he says.

Beniwal dropped out of college as he was not interested in studies and couldn't concentrate. He says he had started making YouTube videos then and wanted to just focus on that. "I wanted to choose one and I chose YouTube," he says. He adds that he brainstorms with his team of writers to ensure that his content does not offend anyone and intentionally tries to stay away from sensitive subjects to try and avoid any controversy. "When you target a large audience, it becomes a responsibility and every content creator should realise that," he says. Beniwal later got a break with Student of the Year 2, alongside Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday and Tara Sutaria. That is when, he says, he wrote 'Getting closer to my dreams' on his Instagram profile. "Acting is my dream and this is just my first step towards it," he says adding that he always wanted to get into acting but tried it for the first time in college during an audition for theatre. "I got on a stage for the first time and reenacted a three-minute monologue from the film Haider. People loved it. They gave me a standing ovation and that's when I realised I can do it," he says. 

But it was not an easy journey to transition from YouTube videos to films and series. "When I did the film for the first time, it was different and I got to learn a lot. I didn't know who the DOP is or what a production team is as I used to make short YouTube videos with a small group of my people. When I walked into those big sets, it was overwhelming and I didn't understand how and what to do initially. There are many people there to tell you and teach you things. I learned over time and started applying them to my videos as well but of course, you can't expect them to like that of high budget films," he says.    

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Harsh Beniwal/Instagram

Beniwal looks up to actors like Rajkummar Rao, Nawazuddin Siddique and Pankaj Tripathi and wishes to work with director Luv Ranjan. "I like his content and would like to work with him. I'd like to achieve something like him," he says adding that though comedy is fun and he enjoys doing them, he would like to be called an actor and not a comedian. "I like comedy but it is not that I want to do comedy only. If you watch Campus Diaries, you will see it has more than just comedy. There is romance, drama and a lot more. I do more comedy videos for YouTube because how much more can one show in 30 to 40-minute videos. But in the series, which has 12 episodes, you will get to see more emotions. I would like to call myself an actor than a comedian," he says and signs off.

MX player series Campus Diaries releases on January 7, 2022.

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