Netflix India recently premiered their fresh new reality series ‘IRL: In Real Love’. The show is an experiment aiming to find out which is the best way for dating in our current times, online or offline? In order for the experiment to be answered, we saw interesting and fresh faces enter the show with the hope to find real love. We managed to catch up with Pratham Sharma, who made his entry into the show as an online connection. We chatted about the show, his future projects and also a little about his journey and lifestyle!
What was the process of being selected for IRL like?
I saw an open requirement by a casting agency and applied for it, after applying there were many rounds of audition that i had to go through which included filling forms, zoom calls with Raghu and Rajiv, meeting in person, there were many formalities that were also to be done even if Netflix liked me as a contestant i had to go for background checks, psychological evaluation and fitness checks if i were to fail in any one these i would not have made it to the show. So this whole process was very rigorous and time taking. Took me around 9-10 months of auditioning before I finally got selected for the show.
Rannvijay Singha and Gauahar Khan are no strangers to a reality show, what was it like to be under their guidance in IRL?
My experience with both of them was amazing, they are really sweet and great human beings.
You were really admirable as you did not just go with the flow, but also questioned things and stood up for yourself when needed. How did you find the courage to tackle those situations, for example, the incident at Taj Mahal?
I think when you are right you just know it and your gut can never lie if you would do anything wrong to someone even though u deny it, deep down inside you’ll feel that something you did was wrong. So i knew that i was right and I am not supposed to be treated like this and I need to take a stand for myself and do what I honestly feel like doing. I know my worth and I knew I am not going to let anyone treat me like that. I am nobody’s option and i came on the show because I deserved it. So I just stated the facts and was just being honest like anyone would be because I had nothing to lose, I was there only to gain and learn good things or leave and impact, so I think I did that and I am happy.
Many viewers would have been doing their research to see if you and Sifat are together now. How would you describe your relation with her to them?
Me and Sifat are not together for some reasons, I said on the show I would want to see where it goes from here and I realised things wouldn’t work out between us. So I let it be. There is no bad blood in between us, we are still friendly. I believe no one can force a relationship on anyone be it any relationship. Some things happened after the show which I didn’t entertain and I decided to part my ways peacefully.
Could you share any special moment from your time on the show which we did not get to see in the episodes?
There were many special moments in the boys’ connection house mostly we used to have a lot of fun. Our conversations were literally so much fun. But obviously you can’t show everything and we understand that, but we would have definitely loved to see more of us having fun in the house.
You share a great bond with Sahib, Dhruv and Vidushi. How did these friendships bloom post IRL?
Dhruv, me and Sahib were tight since the beginning. We share a very special bond. We have spent a lot of time together and it’s just some kind of brotherhood I can’t explain in words. Vidushi came close to us because of Sahib, we are literally so much fun together, she is very lively and lovely. So we all are like one happy family.
What are some of your biggest takeaways from the IRL experience which will help you for the rest of your career or even on a personal level?
I think my biggest takeaway is that no matter what, I should always be real and before I was going for the show a lot of people told me to do this and that and behave a certain way since it’s Netflix. I realised if I am being someone else I am losing a part of me which I want the world to see. How actually Pratham is and I just followed my heart. And I am glad and happy I did. Because camera can see everything who’s who and who’s doing what and for what reasons. I will always be myself and that’s the biggest take away. Either people will accept your or reject that doesn’t matter. What truly matters is that how comfortable you feel with yourself.
You will be starting work on a film soon; could you tell us something about it?
Yes I will start shooting for a movie starting mostly after monsoon with Soham Rockstar entertainment, I can’t disclose the name yet, but it has got an amazing cast and story, I feel so blessed and glad, things couldn’t have been better.
You are from Jaipur, how did you make the journey to Mumbai to pursue your dream? What has the journey been like so far?
There were many challenges when I first came to Mumbai to act I had no clue how should I start my journey so I just went with the flow, got cheated on many times in terms of flat hunting, auditioning and casting calls but I guess all that was necessary because without that experience I would not have known how does this place works, here you have to earn your living and everyone is doing that in many ways. I faced a lot of challenges, I didn’t know how to reach casting people at first so met a lot of fake people who would ask for money, realised if you are an artist either you take money or you work for free but definitely never pay for a role, people used to con in reference to artist card and what not, a lot of casting was done for the wrong reasons, so once I step my foot in the industry starting 6 months were the most important as I gained a lot of knowledge about how things work here, even later I struggled it was a journey, I have given many many auditions and being rejected but I believed one day and one audition would change my life so I just kept on improving my skills as an actor and moved forward and now bagged my debut on Netflix and all I can say is that it was all worth it.
Is there any particular type of role or genre you would love to do?
I believe I am comfortable with all because while doing theatre I have played all kinds of roles one can imagine. Be it romance, drama, action, negative or positive. So I would like to say I am flexible with any work that comes my way.
You are also quite a fitness freak, what would you say are the most basic things one could start doing to become fitter?
I workout 5-6 times a week, my workouts mostly consist of Strength training, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training ) and Boxing.
In strength training I follow a Push – Pull – Legs regime, I do a mix and match of strength vs HIIT for 15-20 mins in every session . I add boxing as a tool to burn extra calories and build stamina and endurance, really helps in my workouts.
Other than working out I follow a semi strict diet, I eat 1-2 cheat meals in a week, I am a vegetarian but I have curated a lot of healthy vegetarian options which are fixed for every day in specific quantities. Fitness is the way of life for me and I take it very seriously while having fun and being responsible and respectful towards my body. I don’t drink or smoke so it helps too in many ways.
Would you consider doing a reality show again? If so, which one would it be?
No as of now I am not thinking of doing any reality shows, I think people know me as Pratham and that was the most important part. Now I would want to showcase the world my acting skills and different roles I can do and characters I can play. So really excited for that.
Lastly, a message to all your fans worldwide.
I would first of all love to thank you all for showering so much love on me, I feel genuinely blessed and grateful.
I would like to say that you all have seen me as who I am in real life on a reality series, you haven’t seen me as an actor acting on camera but I assure you guys will see that soon as well, I am so excited for you all to see me act and perform on camera because that is something I love doing and I can’t wait to show it to you all.
Love and light always