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The lead actors of the new ALTBalaji web series Hum – I’m Because Of Us, Kushal Tandon and Karishma Sharma talk to Team Box Office India about their upcoming show and their interesting characters in it

Box Office India (BOI): The trailer of Hum is out. What is the response you are getting?

Kushal Tandon (KT): It’s good, yaar. It’s, like, two days and it has almost crossed 1 million views and it’s overwhelming.

Karishma Sharma (KS): I think people are really liking it and they are really curious to know what is going to happen in the series because, when you see the trailer, you are, like, oh my God! Now what?

KT: It has everything. It has youth, it has emotions, it has drama, it has values. It’s, like, a family can watch the show, sisters can watch the show, young guys and girls can watch the show, and we are happy with the response we have got.

BOI: The trailer of the show does not divulge much. Can you take us through the story?

KS: The story of Hum is about three sisters who come from a small town to Bombay and how their lives change. All three are completely different, as you see in the trailer. Devina is the sweet one; Isha, who I am playing, is a gold digger. She is overambitious and gets whatever she wants; and the third one is still young and still figuring it out. We come to Bombay and when we meet Kushal’s character, there are things that happen in the city. We wish to come to Bombay… and they say you should be careful what you wish for because it might just come true. And if it comes true, are you happy with it or are you going to regret what you wished for? I think that is the whole story.

KT: It is a very ‘in’ thing, like how small-town people come to Bombay, and they have ambitions, they have dreams. So, these people come from a small town and how all three sisters have different priorities, and how they meet this guy who is a complete charmer. He is high on ethics, high on morals, high on love, work, and people look up to him and they come to get trained by him.

KS: I think we have seen this story on TV many times, but TV has a lot of restrictions on what you can show. So I think web is a better platform in many ways.

KT: We have shot the intimate scenes very aesthetically. I have said ‘no’ to erotic films many times as I want to do something I can sit with my mom and dad and watch. I can watch this series with them and they will completely love it.

KS: Its something everybody can watch and enjoy.

BOI: When the script came to you, what was your first reaction?

KS: I was shooting for Ragini MMS: Returns. I remember, it was December 15, the last day of the shoot, and I was really excited because I was going to take a break and go somewhere for like 15 days but then I got a call saying that Ekta Kapoor really wanted me to play this character. I was, like, okay but first I was sad because I wanted to take the holiday. Then I heard the story and the character had a lot of ups and downs and I thought Ragini, as a character, was very bold and she was a strong girl but honestly there were not a lot of emotions that Ragini had as an actor. But Isha has a lot of layers to her personality and there are so many emotions in the web series. So I think I learnt so much as an actor being in the show. That’s why I chose to be in the web series. I thought it would help me as an actor.

KT: I had just finished Beyhadh at that time and I got a call from Ekta ma’am, who told me, ‘You are the first choice and I want you to play this.’ I was thrilled because I would be doing my debut in a web series with the queen herself. So it was nice. Sometimes, people say they get intimidated by me but I was the one who was intimidated the first time I met Ekta Kapoor because she was narrating a story and she narrated it so well. While narrating, she enacted each and every character. She could be an actress herself!

KS: She knows her characters so well and every layer of her characters. That really helps us as actors.

BOI: When you read these characters, do you figure out the nuances and layers they should have and add them yourselves?

KT:  My character Rahul and I are very similar. They have ethics, they have values, and thats why they must have chosen me. It was very easy for me to play that character. I didn’t have to do much work; I used to turn up and just start with my role.

KS: It was a little different for me. Since Ragini is very ambitious and bold, that came easy but this character wasn’t really like me. There was a time when I struggled to relate to my character. But it was fun because it was challenging.

How was the dynamic on the set with everybody?

KT: Whenever I was not on the set, everyone was bored.

KS: I am a very serious actor.

KT: We got along very well from day one, and the three of us are like best buddies.

KS: We have great chemistry on screen and off screen.

BOI: How have you broken the difference between TV and digital with Hum?

KS: TV obviously limits you but it is very natural on the web. Unlike TV, the web has no filters. There is a character called Pummy and, to add that little edge to her character, she has a cigarette. In Hum, there are scenes between both of us that show that we are together but, I think, other than that, there is nothing as such. I think that’s what is different. I am sure you have watched Sacred Games and how the web is an altogether different platform.

BOI: Since there are no barriers in a web series, do you think it helps you, as an actor?

KT: Not really, because whether in TV or in a web series, I will always do what I have to. There is no limitation because if you tell me to smoke, I will smoke and if you tell me not to, I won’t. I don’t think there is any difference when it comes to acting.

KS: I feel more like myself when doing a web series because you can be more natural, because I have done very typical roles and web has given me characters I can relate to. I get freedom and space to put my craft out there on the web.

KT: I am like water, I dissolve in anything     

BOI: What are your upcoming projects?

KT: I am about to sign something very soon. I am venturing into different things. I am going to open a restaurant. It is going to be one of the best in Bandra. It is going to launch next month. I will take a month’s break for that. Then I might sign something which starts shooting in the first week of September.

KS: I am doing Comedy Circus next. It is going to be out in August. Hotel Milan is going to be out on September 14. It is my first film. I am really excited.

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