New Delhi, India Mikhael Kantroo, an actor and writer best known for his plays, recently made his OTT debut with Candy, a web series co-starring Ronit Roy and Richa Chadha. Kantroo’s cinematic journey has taken him from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London to the Mumbai theatre.
In an interview with Zee News Digital, he discussed his exciting web debut Candy, among other things. The following are excerpts from the conversation.
Did you face any difficulties while playing the character of Luka?
Difficulty No, I had a great script, a sensitive and capable director, and I was well-prepared for my role. This character isn’t as difficult as some of the ones I’ve played on stage, but acting for the camera is a different ball game, so I had to adapt to the cinematic language. I did a short film in 2019, so that helped with my preparation to face the camera here, though this was obviously on a larger scale.
Coming from theatre, what major differences did you find between screen acting and stage acting?
As an actor, one must undergo technical changes. One thing is certain: an actor must be truthful. The stage is concerned with projection, whereas the camera is concerned with processing. You can’t hide on stage, there’s no cinematographer to protect you, no editor to assist you, so body language is important, but it also helps when you face the camera. A good actor should be able to emote with all of his or her body parts.
What prep-work did you undergo for your character in Candy?
My director, Ashish, gave me references, but he also gave me great advice to internalise and not just look at the character’s external factors. A character’s decisions are sometimes influenced by his or her mental state. As a result, it is the thought that manifests into action.
What was the most exciting part of being on sets of Candy?
The most exciting part was to work with these beautiful people, I love the team of Candy, genuinely do.
In an earlier interview, you mentioned that doing a meaningful role is important to you. What potential did you see in Luka that made you eager to embody his character?
The potential of a character is determined by the writer; when I spoke with Debo and Agrim, I realised how much Luka meant to them. The actor is automatically more invested if the creator respects his creation. No actor can create magic on his or her own; this is a people’s profession.
You have co-written a play Do Raha which had received an overwhelmingly positive response. Are you currently writing/working on a new project?
Yes, I’m writing a film. I like the direction it’s going in. I have co-written it with Sehaj Maini & Sonali Sahni. Working with creative women is a blessing.
As an actor, what change would you like to see in the Indian entertainment industry?
Writers and creators must be given more creative freedom. There is a lot of creative young talent in this country, and the next decade will be memorable.
Can your fans expect to see you in more OTT shows?
First and foremost, I do not believe in fans, let us call them STARS; I shine because they have bestowed their light of love on me. In the future, I hope to play characters who are deserving of their generosity.