Pearl V Puri, a well-known face on Indian television, makes his silver screen debut with this week’s release Yaariyan 2, directed by Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru. As the title aptly suggests, the film is a spiritual sequel to the 2014 hit Yaariyan.
Easter Eye recently met Pearl at T-Series’ office in Mumbai and spoke to him at length about Yaariyan 2, why he chose this to be his debut film, his experience of working with Divya Khosla Kumar, and much more. The actor also opened up about his television background.
The trailer and all the songs of Yaariyan 2 received tremendous response from the audiences. Do you feel half of the battle is already won?
No, I don’t think that because the battle is still on and it’s not a battle basically, it’s a process where day in and day out we are just praying everything goes right, nothing goes wrong. People should like what we are doing and what we have done in the film. So, it’s like I am nervous also, I am happy also and I am contemplating. I just want it to work anyhow. It’s my debut film and I have given my blood and sweat to it. I want everybody to love it and give a good response.
How did you bag the part?
Vinay Sapru sir, who is my director, called me and said, ‘Son, I have a script for you. I want you to hear it once’. Radhika Rao narrated the film. When she was narrating, I didn’t know which character I was going to be playing. When she was narrating, I fell in love with the character I am right now playing. I was praying that I get that character because it has a lot of shades basically to portray, a lot of emotions to portray. There is a journey to it. I love characters who are not very simple. Basically, as an actor you want to perform, you want to portray as much as you can in different ways. So that’s what I did and when they were narrating only, I was in my mind sure that this was it. This is what I wanted. Then definitely I said yes and we started off.
How has the entire process of working in this film been?
See, it was fun in between action and cut. Apart from that, it was not at all fun. It was stressful, and hectic because everybody wanted to prove themselves. So, we were stressed in not literal sense, but we were working hard on ourselves. We were working on our characters and we were trying to make it the best, as good as possible.
When you were approached did you have any idea that this is going to be Yaariyan 2?
No. At that time, the name was not decided. But I was really happy with the name because Yaariyan is already a brand and it has a youth vibe too and the film right now, which we have done is very youthful. So, the name matches with the content and it is not about friends, it is about cousins who are best friends. So somewhere it is related. Somewhere it depicts the essence of it.
There are many films on friendship but this seems to be different. This is friendship among cousins. Was it exciting for you?
Yes, it is exciting because it is different. I think nobody has touched this particular part as of now. I don’t remember and I don’t even know how many films we have already seen and made in Bollywood. But this is something which is still not touched, very difficult to catch, very difficult to choose. So, I have been blessed, to, you know, have got this film because it is a very different emotion for everybody, and something which everybody will connect with, I feel. Everybody has cousins, everybody has friends, everybody has siblings, everybody will connect with it and it’s just not that, there is also a different side of it where in Bajrang, the character, they call me Baju. So Bajrang has a lot of different emotions apart from this also. He goes through a love relationship; he goes through a heartbreak also. So, this is his journey and I feel everybody for that matter will connect with the film somehow. They will feel that oh this has happened with me too.
So before you came on board you had already worked with Divya Khosla Kumar, did that make the entire process a lot more fun?
Yeah definitely. Divya is a sweetheart, a very good costar. Good to work with, and a very dedicated and hardworking actor. As a costar, what do you want? You want the other one to be a good performer so that you get a good give-and-take while performing. So, both ways, she is very good. I again feel blessed to have got such good costars.
Now that you are doing a film, is television going to take a backseat?
See, I will always respect TV. Whatever I have got, whatever fans I have got, I have got it from television only and we should not look down upon any medium, I feel because work is work. No matter where we are doing, acting is acting. I am a very craft-oriented person, I feel if your craft is good, I also gave an example that if there is a painter who paints like really well, like Picasso and he lives in some village somewhere. Someday or the other, somebody will come and you know, identify his work and will take him internationally and will, you know, he will shine no matter how. But he will definitely shine because you can’t hide something like a craft but people generally focus on looks, it’s okay, it’s good but I believe craft is a must. Craft is something that will take you ahead. So, if being on TV or being in theatres or wherever, if you are good in your craft, every medium is the same. I used to perform, on TV, whatever shot I was giving, whatever day I was shooting, I felt this was the first and last day of my shoot, this is the first and the last shot I was giving. So, I give my 100%, I have given my 100% and I have been giving my 100% in Yaariyan 2 also and I will always do that because it is a respect for art, whatever I am doing right now. I am an actor, so I respect my art. I prefer focusing on that the most. So, looking down upon any medium is looking down upon the art, so I would say that’s not right. I have experienced certain things while coming from there, I still respect TV and I would say Mr Shah Rukh Khan is also from TV. How will you disrespect? Sushant Singh Rajput was also from TV. So, it is about what you are doing and how you are doing it.
You come from Madhya Pradesh, when did you decide you want to be an actor?
I was in 10th standard when I started dating a girl. She used to love Shah Rukh Khan and she wanted me to become an actor. I was not made for it, my father wanted me to become a businessman like him, then after 12th when I asked my father, he was not agreeing with the fact that I had actually chosen this profession as a career, he didn’t want me to go. Then I ran away from Agra. We shifted to Agra when I was in 6th standard and then I Agra I was studying till 12th in Agra and then I ran away thinking that I would become an actor. You remember the story of actors in films where they run far away from their homes, it’s the same story. After coming here, she was still there in my life but after 9 years something happened and we are not together now but I still thank her, and I still bless her. I have no hard feelings for her, no matter what happens, she should be happy in her life.