Arjun Kanungo made his mark as a singer-songwriter, and now the 30-year-old is all excited to show his mettle as an actor — that too in a Salman Khan biggie. Arjun might be seen in the Bollywood famous person’s Eid launch of the yr, “Radhe”. “I am still nervous,” he laughs, and provides: “The film is done I am still nervous. It was much more difficult than I imagined it to be, and I remember I was very nervous on the first day. Even thinking about it makes me nervous right now. But I have to say Salman (Khan) sir and (director) Prabhudeva sir were very encouraging. They helped me a lot. Everyone has been complimenting me, but I am nervous.”
The jitters are pure since, as Kanungo factors out, “there’s this whole pre-conceived notion that singers don’t make good actors”. “I am nervous to see how the audience will react and if they will support my acting career. I want to see if the audience will get over that bias,” he tells IANS.
It’s not like Kanungo determined to pursue acting after turning into a preferred singer-songwriter. “Acting has always been on the cards, but because of music, it had taken a backseat,” he says speaking a couple of year-long acting course he took on the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, roughly seven years again.
“Around 2012-13, I was very frustrated with my music, in the sense I felt like it was taking me nowhere. So I decided to take a break and learn acting. I was there for a year, till 2014, and they are famous for method acting. It was a pretty intense course, but I loved learning and being a part of it,” he says.
“When I came back to India, I was doing what every other aspiring actor does — make a list of casting directors, and then start approaching them for work. But, right around that time, a few of my covers on YouTube had done really well and I was approached by Sony Music to sign with them as an artiste. At that time, I jumped on to it because being signed by such a big label was a huge opportunity,” he provides.
So, aside from a handful of quick movies and apperances in music movies of his songs, Kanungo wasn’t in a position to show his value as an actor.
Then in 2019, he bought a name that may change his life.
“It was Salman sir who called me and wanted me to act. He called me to his house in the middle of the night, and I remember Prabhu sir was there. It was just an incredible feeling to be there and work on a project like this with such big names attached to it,” he says.
Now, even supposing the movie bought delayed by virtually a yr and a half due to the pandemic, which Kanungo admits “was extremely frustrating”, he hopes that the delay is definitely worth the wait.
“I am excited to see it on a big screen, and really excited to know how the audience reacts. The entire experience was hectic, but I really enjoyed being a part of it,” he says hoping, fairly clearly, that the movie opens up him alternatives as an actor.
“I am definitely going to pursue acting with focus now. I don’t think in today’s day and age it is going to be difficult to balance a career in music and acting. I think, there are plenty of examples, like Diljit (Dosanjh), who has proven that it can be done. At the end of the day, everything is challenging, but that does not mean it cannot be done. If you need to do something, you will always find a way,” he indicators off.