Thursday, April 25
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As State v/s Ahuja celebrates its two-month anniversary, Ashmit Patel reflects on his preparation, filming experience, and BTS moments

As State v/s Ahuja celebrates its two-month anniversary, Ashmit Patel reflects on his preparation, filming experience, and BTS moments

 

Actor Ashmit Patel, who made a striking comeback to the screens with the Watcho Exclusives series State v/s Ahuja, is celebrating the success of the show. In the series, he portrayed the protagonist, Ansh Ahuja, a Bollywood actor accused of rape by his maid, Deepa Sawant (portrayed by Anurekha Bhagat). The series premiered on February 9 and has garnered rave reviews over the past two months.

As the series marks its two-month anniversary on April 9, Ashmit Patel has opened up about his hiatus from work, his experiences preparing for and filming State v/s Ahuja, behind-the-scenes moments from the sets, being away from the screens and more.

Q1. Tell us, what were you doing in these years that you were missing from the screens?

I was busy shooting a lot of stuff, which is still to see the light of day. A couple of films which haven’t been released and some other shows too. There was a show that was released in this interim two and a half year period. So, I’ve been busy with a lot of shoots, and simultaneously been busy focusing on my DJingl across India and overseas as well. I’ve been working on my music production, doing my DJ gigs and focusing on my music label Ashram Collective which we also do event and artist management. So, all of that has been keeping me busy. Also I’m now working on my merchandising for Ashram Collective. I’m also planning on starting an athleisure brand called AshFit.

Q2. How did you prepare for the character? I’m sure this is one of the series, which was a little challenging emotionally…

I’ve been through another situation, not exactly the same, but I’ve experienced some of the ups and downs that actors commonly face, such as dealing with rumours and false allegations. I’ve had my fair share of challenges in the past. So, I’ve experienced this rollercoaster of emotions that I just have to navigate through. Drawing from those experiences obviously helped. Even if one tries to overcome all those feelings and emotions, a part of them still lingers, and I still carry those memories. So, it was relatively easy for me to tap into those memories and confront whatever emotions were necessary for specific scenes that required a high level of emotional intelligence.

Q3. Is there any particular scene that stands out to you, one that has left a lasting impression?

There are actually two scenes that stand out. One scene involved my character and his wife in the show, where we have a conflict early on. It’s a delicate scene that could easily escalate into exaggerated drama, but I aimed to keep the intensity casual. When discussing the scene with Tarun, the director, I expressed my approach and hoped not to overdo it. Fortunately, we captured the essence we aimed for in the very first take, and Tarun was pleased with the result. The scene’s tempo and pitch were just right, making it quite a challenge, but both my co-star and I delivered well.
The other scene was the climax, where my character is interrogated by the police in a lengthy monologue spanning about nine and a half to ten pages. It required careful attention to detail to ensure I remembered all the points without making it sound monotonous and losing the audience’s interest. These two scenes presented the biggest challenges for me, but I believe we managed to perform them successfully.

Q4. State v/s Ahuja is a huge ensemble cast. How was the shooting experience, and what was the dynamic like between you all? How was the banter between you guys?

I must give credit to whoever handled the casting for the show because every actor, regardless of the size of their role, was perfectly suited. In a show as emotionally charged as this one, where many scenes require a high level of emotional intelligence, having actors who can capture the tone effectively is crucial. If the actors lack experience or aren’t skilled at conveying the required emotions, it can detract from the overall performance. To their credit, they did an outstanding job casting the entire show. I had the pleasure of sharing some truly amazing scenes with all my co-actors, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The shoot went incredibly smoothly. I will always remember how every day, Tarun would approach me and shake my hand after every scene, expressing disbelief and admiration, saying things like, “I can’t believe it! Where have you been hiding?” I received compliments and standing ovations on set every day for certain scenes I performed. I felt like Aamir Khan on this set, receiving such praise. It was truly an amazing experience for me.

Q5. The show itself tackles a very serious premise. Who was the one trying to lighten up everything?

Between scenes and takes, if it wasn’t a highly emotional or serious scene requiring a solemn atmosphere, there was good banter. Tarun Chopra, the director, is a youthful and cheerful individual whom I got along famously with, and my co-stars also contributed to the positive atmosphere on set. While there weren’t any elaborate pranks, there was definitely a positive vibe. Honestly, we managed to shoot the entire show within a very limited timeframe, and we actually finished everything right on schedule. Other than some minor reshoots, everything proceeded smoothly. We even had a backup day scheduled, which ended up being used, but overall, we adhered to the planned timeline. I found myself missing the set because of the overwhelmingly positive atmosphere right from the beginning. In fact, the scene between my wife and me was the first scene we shot, and it set the tone for the rest of the shoot. Starting with such a heavy scene and nailing it right away boosted our confidence and set a high standard for the rest of the shoot. I believe everyone who was part of this project had a great time.

State v/s Ahuja chronicles the turbulent odyssey of Ansh Ahuja (played by Ashmit Patel), a renowned Bollywood icon embroiled in allegations of rape by his maid, thrusting him into a realm of suspense, scrutiny, and legal theatrics. As the plot thickens, audiences are ensnared by unforeseen turns, questioning whether Ansh is genuinely culpable or if a more intricate scheme is afoot. Crafted by Suresh Thomas for Crescendo Films and Amicable Crew, the series features an outstanding ensemble cast and is exclusively accessible for streaming on Watcho.