To play Shahid Kapoor’s cousin in Udta Punjab, Suhail Nayyar made sure he brought in several of his personal experiences.
I hail from Delhi and have been inclined towards acting since I was a child even though I was very shy. While growing up, I aspired to become a pilot but the acting bug had never left me. I thought of becoming a pilot and then trying my hand at acting but my parents suggested that I focus on one thing only. I chose to take up acting and enrolled with FTII.
Acting is a craft that takes years to learn. The more you face the camera and practice, the better it gets. While at FTII, we had the privilege to learn from the who’s who of the industry. But it is only when you actually start acting that you realise that everything depends on your own skills and capability.
After I completed the FTII course, I moved to Mumbai and realised it was not easy to bag a role here. That’s when my struggle began. I did manage a few commercials and television shows.
Bagging Udta Punjab
I had auditioned for Honey Trehan once and he remembered me from that audition. So when he was looking for a character for Udta Punjab, he auditioned me again. After few days, they called me once again. After two to three auditions with Abhishek Chaubey, I landed the role.
Working in the film
I am Punjabi and all of us kids would get very excited when a cousin of ours used to come to visit from the UK. He was a role model for us and we would model our behavior after him. So when I was doing this role, it was very easy for me to understand the character as I could instantly connect to it. I play a character who looks up to Tommy (Shahid Kapoor) as he has come down from the UK. He is a sensational star and has his own unique style.
Preparing for the role
In Punjab, we speak three kinds of dialects. My character doesn’t know much English, so I pronounce ‘UK’ as ‘Jukey’, ‘Yo Bro’ as ‘Ja Bro’ and ‘Love you too’ as ‘Lauju too’. Working on my character was not very difficult as I have met people who speak like this in Delhi. So getting the language right was not very difficult for me.