There are actors who are stars and superstars but seldom it happens that someone outside politics, entertainment and sports commands a celebrity status. Ranveer Brar is one such exception.
A chef who has capitalised on a carefully cultivated television and digital persona, including two season as judge on MasterChef India, Brar has now taken “a leap of faith” and will shortly be seen playing a gay chef opposite ‘Scam 1992’ star Prateek Gandhi in the ‘Mumbai’ chapter of the Amazon Prime Video series ‘Modern Love’.
The segment, directed by the much-acclaimed Hansal Mehta, is titled ‘Baai’ and it is all about unconditional love. Interestingly, Brar’s character, like the chef, is also from Lucknow and is named Rajveer.
It is one thing to be a television chef, but being an actor is an altogether different story. Ranveer, who makes his acting debut with ‘Baai’, spoke to IANS about his creative journey, and about the merging boundaries of acting and cooking and love in modern times.
Sharing what influenced him to take the plunge into acting, the Institute of Hotel Management, Lucknow, alumnus said, “I just felt that there were a lot of similarities between acting and the art of cooking. Cooking is about expressing yourself on a plate. Similarly, acting is about expressing yourself in front of the audience through a different medium. And like acting, cooking involves a lot of performance.”
Brar mentioned that doing theatre courses came handy for him as someone who was embarking on a new journey of acting for the camera. “Hence, I took a leap of faith,” said Brar, who has hauled coals for his first ustad in Lucknow and also launched a swish open-air Spanish restaurant at The Claridges in New Delhi.
“I had done a few theatre courses a few years ago so I had an idea of this space and the leap of faith didn’t come from the space of trying out something new, but it was more about bridging the gap between these two art forms,” Brar added.
Talking about how he viewed the digital space as an avenue for an artiste, Brar said, “I worked with television for seven long years before I made the switch to the digital medium. What I realised about the digital medium was that it’s more personal, it allows me to be myself and I think that is something you cannot take away.”
He makes a compelling argument about what bridges the gap between acting and cooking. “They say that each of your fingers is a ‘rasa’ — sweet, sour, tangy, bitter and spicy — and the collection of ‘rasas’ is called a ‘rasoi’ (kitchen). The ‘rasas’ are always in us, sometimes we use our hands to express them as in the art of making food, sometimes we use our face to express them as in the art of acting, ‘navras aakhir hain toh hamare andar hi na (after all, the navrasas are inside us, aren’t they?).”
On love in our times, Brar doesn’t have a very rose-tinted view. “Love in modern times is unfortunately an ‘express’ emotion. It is fleeting like a lot of things in modern times — minus the pain, the time and the effort. Like how short-form content, short-form love is taking over our lives.”