For the 39th edition of Friendly Fridays, we have with us actor Vikram Kochhar who potrays the role of Rajneesh Walia in the upcoming Starplus Show – “Sumit Sambhal Lega“.
This light hearted comedy is the official adaptation of Warner Bros’ Everbody Loves Raymond.
A National School of Drama( NSD) graduate, Kochhar has come a long way from being a part of Zangoora – Bollywood’s first musical ever to appearing in Raho Umarless Cadbury Gems commercial to finally playing the supporting actor in prime time Starplus series.
Vikram Kochhar has been an active theatre artist working in plays like ‘Salt and Pepper’ with Mandira Bedi and Darshan Jariwalla. Simultaneously he has been making his presence felt in the commercials’ world with Kellogg’s, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Tata Sky, Streax TVCs among others.
With Sumit Sambhal Lega, Kochhar marks his debut in the Hindi Soap Circuit. Claiming to have no secrets and regrets, Vikram likes spending time with friends. He is always up for fun and quirky activities along with pushing himself with each new endeavor.
Snippets of the tête-à-tête for you-
Team ED: Almost everyone has watched ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. Even you must have. So how was it acting in the official adaptation of such a popular show and stepping into the shoes of Brad Garrett?
Vikram Kochhar: I have been enjoying a lot playing the character of Rajneesh Walia. It is a lifetime opportunity to play the role of Robert from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. Nevertheless it has come along with its own set of challenges. In the beginning I was constantly compared to Brad Garrett. Though I had some similarities to Brad in looks, but physically we are very different. Brad is 6’8″ and I am 5’8″ tall. Also neither do I have a heavy voice like him. In fact I had to train hard to modulate my voice to a heavy one, with which I have played the character, throughout the series.
Team ED: As Rajneesh you are jealous of Sumit but at the same time as his elder brother you are caring. How does this translate into your real life?
Vikram Kochhar: It does not. First, I am the youngest in my family. Secondly, I have been known for my carelessness by everyone in my family, school and college. Thus exploring the dimensions of Rajneesh in my personality, has been a great experience. I feel it has changed me in real life as well.
Team ED: One word for each Walia Member.
Sumit – Diplomacy;
Team ED: What’s your view on the comedy scene in India?
Vikram Kochhar: Primarily, our comedy is loud and self explanatory. While making anything comical in India, Directors and Producers lack trust in their audiences. However, on the other hand we have discovered the art of Stand-up comedy, in the last 2 decades. The scene is constantly changing and becoming more subtle but at very slow pace.
Team ED: What has been the maximum number of takes you have done for a particular shoot?
Vikram Kochhar: 26 or 27 or 32… Never counted as such, but I always try and make it better by every take. For an actor like me, more the number of takes, better the result (at least, that’s what I aim for).
Team ED: What would you have been if not an actor?
Vikram Kochhar: Probably a director or a casting director or I might even have been an engineer.
Team ED: As the camera goes off, is Vikram into rehearsing for the next shoot or joining in the crew masti?
Vikram Kochhar: Both. It depends on the situation. If there is time, crew masti gets the priority.
Team ED: A phrase that describes you the best.
Vikram Kochhar: “Mast ram masti mein, aag lagey basti mein”
Team ED: If we were to sneak into your browsing history, what would we find?
Vikram Kochhar: The new gadgets that have come in market, how to remain fit and loose weight along with PR agencies and Sumit Sambhal Lega.
Team ED: Given the chance to travel, where would you go and with whom?
Vikram: All alone to Gilgit – Baltistan.
Team ED: What will we find Vikram doing when free?
Vikram Kochhar: Reading a play or watching a film with friends.
Team ED: The biggest regret you wish you could amend.
Vikram Kochhar: None, as I believe its never too late.
Team ED: So this is a Rapid Fire Vikram, let’s see how well you perform here…
Bigg Boss or Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa – Nach Baliye (laughs)… Bigg Boss
AIB or East India Comedy – I haven’t seen any one of them
Night owl or Morning Person – I enjoy being both. But more of a morning person
Books or Gadgets – Books
Bombay or Delhi – Delhi
Gajar ka halwa or Blue Berry Cheese Cake – Gajar ka halwa
Theatre or Silver Screen – Theatre
Invisibility or Flight – Flight
High School Nick Name – Kochikoo
Fear – Myself
Team ED: And finally, any signing off words to the ED Readers.
Vikram Kochhar: In my life I have faced a lot of failures, but it’s only due to them that I have been able to find myself and have been doing what I love the most. Every time I failed, I have eagerly looked for a solution and found it. Today, I am content at my heart and also successful in the eyes of both who wished for me and who looked down on me.
Team ED: Thank you so much for your time and this wonderful conversation. We wish you luck for your upcoming projects!
(Interview conceptualized by Vageesha Bainwala)
Here’s the link to the promo of Sumit Sambhal Lega. Don’t forget it to watch it from Monday, 31st August at 10 pm on Starplus.