Actor Barun Sobti says in an industry thriving on “surface-level” writing, serial killer drama “Asur” came as a breath of fresh air and he is happy to have played an emotionally complex role in the show. The actor, one of the top stars in Indian television with his role of Arnav Singh Raizada in hit romantic drama “Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?” and movies likes “Main Aur Mr Riight” and “Tu Hai Mera Sunday” to his credit, said it was interesting to play the role of a man divided between his family and his job.
“The preludes of the show were very well written and that really interested me. I have seen the shortcomings in our industry and it is usually the lack of research and surface-level writing. “Usually, what our writers do is that they write themselves into a corner. So when the big hide they created comes, it ultimately fizzles out in the end,” the actor told PTI in an interview.
Sobti plays the role of Nikhil Nair, a forensic-expert-turned-teacher, who along with his former mentor Dhananjay Rajpoot (Arshad Warsi), gets involved in a cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer. The thriller series, which premiered on Voot Select in March this year, became a success with critics praising the performances of Sobti, Warsi, Sharib Hashmi, Ridhi Dogra and Anupriya Goenka.
The 35-year-old actor said that he liked the script so much that he was even ready to play the role of the antagonist. “I would have taken any part that was offered to me because I really wanted to be on this show… Initially, I didn’t know that the story is about two protagonists and one antagonist, and I was actually guessing at one point of time that it’s the antagonist part that I’m being offered. I eventually got to know that I play Nikhil Nair, a forensic expert.”
Sobti said he was impressed by creator Gaurav Shukla’s brilliant writing and the way he dealt with the psychology of a criminal. “This show was well-written and the psychology was well understood. There was a reason why a criminal became a criminal. “So after I read the script, I knew that I don’t need to much to prepare for my character as I have a very keen interest in understanding the psychology of criminals, serial killers, and I read a lot about that kind of stuff.”
With “Asur”, Sobti said he was glad to get a chance to do go beyond his romantic image. “As an actor, when you come in in the industry, the first thing you do is to find your feet and pursue different kind of things. This was a really different character and really difficult to portray emotionally.” Critics have praised “Asur” for blending the genres of suspense, mythology, and murder mystery. Its success among the viewers is also something that Sobti was not anticipating. The series is directed by Oni Sen.
“I was really happy with the reaction that we got. I wasn’t expecting this much. Even my co-stars were not expecting this reaction. The promotions and everything was not big because the lockdown but the word-of-mouth was very strong for the show and it made me very, very happy.”
The show, written by Shukla, Niren Bhatt and Abhijeet Khuman, ended on a cliffhanger. Asked about the second season, Sobti seemed cautiously optimistic. “Hopefully, there will be,” he said.