Star Plus’ Mahabharat has been generating a lot of buzz since it first aired on TV a few months ago. The fan following for the show is strong and the show has received praise for its depiction of the epic, the cast, and also for its performances. I had a chance to catch up with Vin Rana, who plays the role of “Nakul,” who is one of the twins (Nakul and Sahadev) born to Madri by the Ashwini Kumars blessing. Nakul is traditionally known as the most handsome of all the Pandava sons, and there is no doubt they found the perfect Nakul in Vin. Vin began work at the age of 16 as a service engineer and then broke into modeling. He owns a business in Delhi, and of course, is also now a popular television actor. Mahabharat is his television debut as an actor. Vin has been appreciated by audiences around the world for his looks as well as his believable portrayal of “Nakul.” We spoke about his career and his journey thus far in the industry. Read on below for details!
Vin: Well, I was completely new to this industry. I was a bit nervous, but was confident at the same time. I knew that I have to give my 100%! I got positive responses from the very first episode, and I am happy that people accepted me and my character! I had few opportunities, but when I got to know the level of this show, and about my character in the show, got excited and agreed to do it! You can’t compare this show to the normal daily soaps because it is a completely different thing, and is much tougher! Anyone can do easy things, and I wanted to do the toughest one!
Roopa: In Star Plus’ Mahabharat you play Nakul, who is known to be the best looking from the Pandavas. How were you selected for the role? What made you want to audition for Nakul?
Vin: They called me through some social networking site, and after my “look test” the channel wanted me to play this role. I was not ready [to say yes at] that time. I took 3 months to think, but when I was described my character from the producers, I felt I should do this.
Roopa: What did you do to prepare for your role? Have you seen the older versions of Mahabharat and/or read the book?
Vin: I attended action and acting workshops for almost a year, which were organized by the production house. I also learnt horse riding, sword fighting, etc, and used to read about Mahabharat and my character in books and the Internet. It helped me a lot.
Roopa: After BR Chopra’s Mahabharat released, every Mahabharat version made has been compared to it. Were you nervous that this version would not be accepted by audiences? What made you want to agree to be part of this epic, and are you pleased with your decision to join the cast? Why do you think this version has resonated so well with audiences?
Vin: This Mahabharat is totally different from the older ones. Nakul and Sahadev were just names in B.R. Chopra’s Mahabharat, but they have been given equal importance to all the characters in this version. When I was told about the character, I felt I should do it, and I am really happy about my decision. I feel lucky to be a part of the biggest tv show. We always wanted that our show should be popular with the youth. We are getting 80% response from the youth worldwide. I think the way they are portraying the show is totally different and that’s what’s attracting people and making the show popular worldwide.
Roopa: In the Mahabharat, the Gods gave Boons to those who prayed to them. So, if you could get a boon from a God, what would you pick? The Panadavas were born by blessings from the Gods. If you could pick any God to give you a child, whom would you pick? Would you pick the Ashwini Kumars (these were the Gods Madri picked to get her twin sons Nakul and Sahadev)? 🙂
Vin: If I would get a chance to pick a boon, I would make a wish to see the world – that’s my dream! I want this dream to come true asap!
Well, I would pick Hanumanji and ask for a child powerful like Bheem, intelligent like Sahadev, and handsome like me (*laughs*)
Roopa: What is your relationship like with the rest of the actors who play the Pandavas? Are you very close in real life too? Are you friends with the guys who play the Kauravas or with Karan?
Vin: I am quite friendly kind of person, so I am friends with everyone in my cast! But, we five are totally different and we are not less than the real brothers! We do lots of fun things together on and off set!
Roopa: This version of the Mahabharat relies a lot on CG effects. How difficult is it to shoot for a show where a lot of the set is not actually visible? How long do most of the shoots take? Which scene has been the most challenging to film and which has been your most favorite?
All the CG effects shots are being shot on croma, and sometimes you have to pretend things are around you which are not visible! It used to be difficult before, but becomes very easy now – that’s what acting is! I love all my scenes especially the humorous ones with Bheem! The action scenes are always challenging and difficult to perform! You have to perform the scenes wearing heavy costumes from which sometimes you are attached to a harness, plus, have to perform with the heavy weapon, and at the same time, it should look effort less!
Roopa: You began your career in modeling. How different do you find the world of acting, or has it been an easy transition for you? Where do you see yourself going in the world of acting?
Vin: There’s a lot of difference between modeling and acting because it’s not necessary that every good model can be a good actor. The only thing that helps you is that you become camera friendly. I don’t really know what is going to happen after this show. I just hope I get something which I deserve.
Roopa: I’ve read that you are actually an engineer. So, what made you enter the world of modeling and acting? What was your family’s reaction? What do they think of your acting on Mahabharat?
Vin: I was running my business happily, and then suddenly from social networking I got some modelling offer and started doing it! I was getting good response for my modeling also, but I used to take it as my hobby. That’s how I entered into modeling. My family is very supportive and just want me to do well in life – field doesn’t matter!
Roopa: Many television stars are being recognized in Bollywood these days. So, if you were able to transition to Bollywood, which directors would you really want to work with? Which actresses would you want to be cast opposite?
Vin: I would love to work with the directors like Anurag Kashyap and Sanjay Leela Bhansali! I would love to be cast opposite pretty faces like Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, and Deepika Padukone.
Roopa: Did you get to travel a lot as a model? Have you had a chance to visit the US? US is beginning to really accept more Indian actors. So, if you could transition to Hollywood, would you?
Vin: Being a model, I have been traveled a lot, but never been to US although I really want to visit! If I get a chance to be a part of Hollywood then would definitely love to be, ‘cause who doesn’t like to be called a Hollywood actor!!!
Roopa: Any other message for your fans or advice to those wanting to break into the industry?
Vin: I just want to thank each of my fans for the love they are showing to me! I am addicted to their love, so keep loving me like this! I am because you are. Well, I am a new comer myself, but what I have experienced from my life till now is to keep working hard you will definitely get what you deserve! You never know how close you are to your aim.