Piyush Kumar plays one of the pivotal characters, Jassi, in Amazon Prime’s latest release Main Monica which has been written and produced by Ranjeet Chitrakaar, Amber Wasi and Paromita Ganguly and presented by Arre.
“I am so thankful to Ranjeet Chitrakaar, Amber Wasi and Paromita Ganguly, the amazing writer/producer team of Main Monica, for believing that I could play this part. This is a relationship that was born in 2018 and I’m sure it will only grow in the years to come,” he continues, “I play a Sardar taxi driver, head over heels in love with Monica, unaware of her real identity. Through the series, we see how he gets sucked into and maneuvers around the complexities involving Monica, the cops and the mafia.”
Piyush is from Bihar, and therefore he had to first and foremost consider and understand the sensibilities attached to portraying a Sikh character, something he was attempting here for the first time.
“I did thorough research to create his backstory, worked on his diction, and even when I was not shooting. I was constantly working on developing Jassi’s body language and gestures. My prep was based on real people and watching documentaries was also part of it too, besides applying some of Meisner’s techniques to explore the depths of Jassi’s world,” he adds.
There is a particular scene in the series that required Piyush to portray an emotional breakdown. Sharing about the incident, he says, “Generally, due to multiple angles, an actor uses glycerine to maintain continuity but just after a couple of takes, my tears flowed naturally and perhaps for the first time I felt my character’s vulnerability so closely. After the director said ‘cut’, we both looked at each other acknowledging that we created a magical moment right there.”
The thriller-comedy genre is quite popular with audiences. Probably one of the reasons why, apart from a good story and performances, Main Monica is enjoying positive feedback.
“The USP is the story itself & how each character’s journey unfolds with respect to that of Monica’s. And Anand Bhaskar’s music embellishes the show perfectly. Most of my friends couldn’t recognize me, which to me is a big compliment because I enjoy the transformation. The most humbling feeling is when I get messages on social media from people telling me they want to watch more of Jassi, and would love a show with Jassi as the main character. Being able to build a curiosity in people’s minds about a fictional character is an actor’s greatest joy, I feel,” he sounds happy.
Praising the reach and versatility of OTT, Piyush adds, “The fact that I got the opportunity to audition for a character that’s a crucial part of the screenplay is a testament to the fact that OTT is a platform to showcase a common man’s story through a cinematic lens. I see this growing richer in terms of variety & accessibility to the masses. Personally, I am driven to push my limits even further as an actor and explore deeper,” he adds.
One thing that Piyush practices on an everyday basis is to just ‘listen’ to people, their thoughts even on the most mundane things, and learn from it. “In this process, I am constantly discovering and re-discovering human behaviour, this helps me better my craft. Besides, I always look out for feedback from friends and family and keep myself open to modifying my approach,” he shares.
So what’s his dream role? “I have put in my 100% to every role…I have played and that feeling gives me the greatest joy.” Each of the characters I have played in the past have been my dream roles as I strongly believe that they were meant for me. I can confidently say that all the characters I will play in the future will also be the same,” he adds.