In conversation with Akshit Sukhija
Akshit Sukhija. Does the name sound familiar? Of course, it does. I am referring to one of the popular faces on primetime Indian television. In this interview not only do I discuss his career trajectory, but get an insight into his life which is often shadowed by the popularity of his fictional character, Raja. Asking him how he began her journey in acting, Akshit responded, “It was during 12th Standard when I decided that I wanted to be a model and that year I had my first professional shoot. After working as a model for some time, I started to develop a growing interest in acting. Soon, it became clear for me to be an actor as I had my personal goals and aspirations that I wished to fulfil.”
2019 has been a monumental year for Akshit, as he debuted in both the webspace and on television. Akshit’s TV debut, Shubharambh has been climbing the charts slowly and one of the reasons for this is the small-town appeal, particularly in terms of Akshit’s character, Raja. Hence, I asked him what inspired him to play Raja? To which he responded, “To be very honest, I would have done any show or character at that time as I was a newcomer and in need of work but fortunately the character has personally inspired me a lot and as an actor, it is challenging for me to play a character which is quite different from my personality. I was giving so many auditions for TV at that time and gave the audition for Shubharambh as well and after the audition, I somewhere had the intuition that I will be shortlisted for this role. When I finally got the role, I couldn’t believe it, but I knew it was going to change my life and it did.”
Shubharambh follows the well-known format of the Indian joint family capturing the trials and tribulations of intergenerational family dynamics. In order to translate the narrative from paper to screen, the dynamics between the cast members have to be positive to convince the audience. Hence, I asked Akshit what his dynamics have been with his co-actors. To which he responded, “We all are seriously like a family now, we have so much fun on set and have made lovely relations with each other. Although I will have to admit that my favourite is Pallavi Rao who plays my reel mom, Asha. She is very close to my heart.” I then probed Akshit, asking him his dynamic with Mahima Makhwana to which he responded, “With Mahima, initially it was very professional as we were unknown to each other but day by day after shooting with each other regularly, we got to know one another and now have become good friends.”
Despite the tough competition from rival shows, Shubharambh has been well received by the audiences. Fans are loving #RanJa. Hence, I asked Akshit what he believes made #RanJa a success? To which he responded, “The whole story, the plot, the way every actor has played their character, the execution, the direction has made the show what it is today. Shubharambh has many flavours like romance, saas-bahu drama, little comedy and the most important thing is that the whole story is realistic therefore the audiences can easily connect with the show and with the characters.
Shubharambh is produced by Shashi Sumeet Productions. Did that name set the alarm bells ringing? Shashi Sumeet Productions are known for their strong writing which brings out the best in the actors. Therefore, I asked Akshit what has been his favourite scenes to shoot till date on the show, to which he responded, “My favourite scenes have been the mannequin scene, the romantic dance on Holika Dahan, the scene when raja took the blame on himself to save her mom and the scene when Raja breaks his relationship with Rani when she tried to show the true colours of Gunwant.”
Since Shubharambh is Akshit’s debut on TV, I asked him on his take of the daily format, to which he responded “Yes I admit that it’s too hectic and you do not get much time for yourself. However, if we see this on a bigger scale, you become a part of the endless number of families and people start connecting with you as if its real life. Moreover, as an actor, I get to improve my acting skills every day as you are working almost daily. It is a privilege to be known as a TV actor.”
As my aim was to ask Akshit about his career trajectory, I asked him what kind of roles would he would like to play in the future. To which he responded, “I would like to play a strong character, someone who is a rebel, lives according to his own rules and has no fear. Since I am a big American TV series fan so there are few characters that I want to play someday- Elijah from Vampire diaries, Hank moody from Californication and Ragnarok Lothbrok from The Vikings.” Channels and PHs are you listening? If any of the above-mentioned shows get an Indian adaptation, Akshit can fit the bill.
Besides work, I asked Akshit what she enjoys doing in his free time. To this, he responded, “I watch a lot of stuff on the internet, whether it’s a series or a movie or a music video or maybe stand-up comedy. The fun fact about me is I am a secret keeper and I know so many secrets about my friends, my colleagues and at the same time I gossip as well without revealing any secret.” Well, that is interesting. May you teach us how to spill the tea without spilling it?
As my interview came to an end, I asked Akshit if he had any final messages for his fans. To this, he responded, “Whatever I say to all the fans, all the lovers, it’s not going to be enough. Nobody knew me a year back but the love that I have received from the audience through my 2 shows, I am so thankful to each and every one of them. It feels so good, so proud when you see people appreciating your work, I can’t even explain in words. Thanks a lot, and keep loving me, we have a long way to go.”
Well, there you have it that is Akshit Sukhija for you folks. From having a deep-seated passion to becoming one of the popular faces on primetime Indian television, Akshit’s journey is truly inspiring.
Keep reading Urban Asian and I shall be back with another article soon.