He is like wine in a classy bottle, who is only getting better with age.
Karan Wahi, who baby-stepped into the TV industry with Remix as Ranveer, became a superstar overnight. His angry young man character made him a fantasy for many young women.
After twelve years and shows like Dill Mill Gayye, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge later, he's proved himself in many ways.
Juggling between dailies, this Delhite, who wanted to become a cricketer, also found his calling as a host. From Nach Baliye, Indian Idol Junior to Dance India Dance Supermoms, Karan is one of the most sought after anchors in the small screen space.
After a tacit effort in Kahani Hamari...Dil Dosti Deewanepan Ki on &TV, he is back as an anchor for Indian Idol 9 on Sony Entertainment Television.
At the launch of the show, Tellychakkar.com caught up with the actor who bared his heart in an exclusive chat.
So Karan, back to Indian Idol, emotions running high?
Of course, now the bank accounts will roll again (laughs). But honestly, it’s fun to be back. This season is going to be really different as compared to the kids' one. While judges want talent as a host, I wanted characters who would give me content. Thankfully, the show garnered not only amazing personalities but also great singers. I spent time with each one of them so that they could take me as friend and confide their emotions to me.
And how much did you manage to absorb from them?
A lot. Earlier, I had a bad habit of staring and observing people. But I stopped it after being told off by a lot of them. I believe in learning from all quarters and passing those to the next generation. That is the only way we can make it a better world.
It’s been 12 years in the industry for you, how has the journey been?
It's been great. I get nostalgic when people talk about Remix. It hits me then that it’s been so long. I feel lucky that I am among the few who survived. Hopefully, it will continue to be so.
It’s interesting to see that though you haven’t done many shows, you are still popular. What do you think has worked for you?
Now that you mention it, even I am surprised. I really believe that I connect with people, which kind of makes them connect with me better. Also, I haven’t been doing too much work so the generic idea of doing too much work hasn’t seeped in. Luckily, thanks to my genes I have kind of managed to look young and that gives me more chance to be in the game for long.
Did hosting reality shows help?
Of course! Being a part of non-fiction did help. I am lucky that people know me as Karan Wahi rather than any of my character names. That I feel is really important for any actor.
You have hosted quite a number of shows, but surprisingly not been part of many…
(Laughs) Post Jhalak, there were talks of numerous projects but sadly, none materialised.
Talking about friends, you have a close set in the industry. How do actors manage to stay buddies?
Firstly, I don’t think I have a close set but a huge circle of friends. And we have been together for so long as we are likeminded people. None of us are jealous of one another. Although it hasn’t yet hit me why people like me so much, I am grateful for it.
Your last fiction show failed. What's keeping you away from dailies?
Yes, the last show failed and I haven’t really understood what happened with it. Not many people also know about it, which is a good thing. Yes, I am all set to make a comeback with a Star Plus show by Alchemy Productions. So I will be anchoring for Sony TV, doing comedy for Colors and fiction on Star Plus.
As you mentioned your Colors' show, controversy hovered around it all along. Now that it is coming to an end, share your thoughts...
I think controversy hovers around things that are different. India is still not ready for a roast format as there are language issues. There are a lot of things that cannot be communicated in Hindi and thus to build up content we have to use subjects like color, caste or voice. Comedy is difficult and I think it was a great journey. I have learnt a lot and have also got used to taking jokes on me. CNB was a show that got me really excited as I wanted to do something different. As an actor, number games don’t attract me but the challenge to do a job to my outmost capabilities is what keeps me going.
Have you ever gone and asked for work from producers?
I have asked for work shamelessly. I think you shouldn’t have ego when it comes to work as it is you, who wants to move ahead. Whenever I had free time, I reached out to my friends in the industry.
Lastly, any regrets that keep you awake at night?
Aaah...no regrets but I do have a few wishes...I really want to get back in time and have the same ideology and maturity that I have towards work now. I wish I had it six-seven years back, things would have been really different. The twelve years have been brilliant and I think the next ten would be bigger and better.