In a candid interview with Manya Vadehra, Ahsaas Channa (actor) talks about acting in movies, television, and digital web shows. From Jugaadistan to shooting for Hostel days season 3, she gives us some worth noting down “deets” from her upcoming projects. She is a passionate actor and believer.
Ahsaas Channa was born and brought up in Mumbai. She started her career as a child actor in films such as Vaastu Shastra and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, where she stepped into male roles. “I was three years old and I was a very active child. Anytime there was any scene playing on TV, I used to remember all the lines, and for a three-year-old to remember all the lines was kind of weird and it catches a lot of eyes. So, my mom noticed this, and she realized that I might do well if I start acting and she put me for auditions. I had auditioned for Vaastu Shastra, which was my first film, and for the part, they had wanted a boy because the whole film was about this boy, but they really liked my audition. So, the director requested my mom, you know, if it’s okay for me to play a boy. And at first, my mom was not very (convinced) and she had many reservations but eventually said that I was too young and she saw no problems” says Ahsaas. The film performed exceedingly well and Ahsaas was given several opportunities including advertisements. Ahsaas added “I think when I was around seven years old, my mom realized that this is it, this should stop, and I should start acting like a girl. That’s when I did Phoonk. This was my debut film as a girl.”
In her acting journey, Ahsaas received several television roles such as Oye Jassie (Disney) and MTV Fanaah. “Television was great. It was a whole different experience. Honestly, I never wanted to do TV as much but at that time, I did not want to leave acting because I was studying, and a lot of things were there. So, I always made sure I did cameos on TV shows, or a Disney show that doesn’t take much time, just like a few months where they shoot all the episodes together. So, I tried to do that as much. Even in Fanaah, I had a cameo with a lead role. I think TV really teaches you a lot as an actor because there’s a lot happening. I think doing TV is the best if you don’t go to an acting school. So, I got to learn a lot from TV. I got to understand axis and lighting, professionalism, and all these things” says Ahsaas as she explains how television acting played an important and significant role in her career span.
Digitally run web shows have become a new and revolutionary trend in today’s world. It has brought about novel concepts, story angles, and acting methodologies. When asked for an opinion about OTT and its difference from films and television, here is what Ahsaas had to say- “I’ve realized that there is literally no difference because everybody is doing the same thing everywhere, be it on TV or on OTT. We are all trying to tell a story and acting and becoming characters. The only difference, maybe, would be the time period; how long it takes us to shoot a web series or a TV series. I think TV takes longer, it binds you for a year or more and web series is like a month or two months at max.
As it is rightly said, behind every successful person, is an inspiring story or person. For Ahsaas Channa, it is her mother. “She’s the reason I’m an actor today. She’s taught me everything. I never went to an acting school, she groomed me and worked on my craft with me. She’s also an actress and I’ve seen her act and work hard. So, she’s always been my inspiration.”
While talking about her experience, Ahsaas also reveals some positives and negatives of being in the spotlight in show business. “One thing that we always need to look out for is that there are a lot of people running in the same race. They are trying to achieve exactly what you are achieving. So, the moment you lose yourself and become a little lazy, you can be taken for granted and somebody else is going to overtake. For an actor, I think there are many good things. My favourite thing is that I get to do things that I wouldn’t be able to do in real life, for example, I’ve never ever studied medical. But through Kota Factory, I was a medical student. So, an actor gets to do different kinds of things that they wouldn’t do in real life. Play different characters, be in different situations and get different kinds of experiences. I’ve never been to a hostel, but I’ve done two shows that are based on hostels. I got to live the hostel life through these shows. So, I think this is the best part of being an actor.”
Ahsaas “goes with the flow” when it comes to preparing for a role. She says “I read the script a lot of times before I’m on the floor. Also, I read scenes with the writers and the directors and get their feedback”. Ahsaas does not follow a particular method to prepare for a role. She explains by giving an example- “In Jugaadistan, I’m a journalism student. I don’t know anything about journalism. I just started watching a lot of interviews, I read a bit about journalism and journalists. But that’s all. That’s the max I do. I feel like if I prepare too much then things become very mechanical.”
Throwing light into her upcoming projects, here’s what she has to say about them- “Jugaadistan is set in the college universe. The universe that I’ve already explored. But it’s still very different because we’ve tried to explore a very dark side of college and university. While it is a lot of fun, we are still exploring friendships, relationships, jugaads, and a college fest in the show. There’s a brilliant ensemble here as well and everybody has a story of their own. I’ve always wanted to work with Akarsh Khurana and when I got an offer for this, this was the first thing that caught my eye, that Akarsh is directing the show.” Ahsaas also gave details about Hostel Days season and two more upcoming projects.
Ahsaas Channa is a hard worker and believes that one should not take things for granted but keep working, believe in oneself and make the most out of the opportunities one gets in life.
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