Adarsh Gourav is having a bit of a moment. The young actor’s impressive performance as Balram in Netflix’s The White Tiger is making waves the world over. Aside from being nominated for Best Male Lead at the Film Independent Spirit Awards with actors like Riz Ahmed and Chadwick Boseman, his performance has also been tweeted about by everyone from Cardi B to Kerry Washington.
Yet, while The White Tiger is being widely considered his breakout performance, the young actor has steadily built a diverse and impressive body of work across genre and formats. Here’s looking back at his most defining roles over the years.
My Name Is Khan (2010)
In one of his earliest roles, the young actor played the teenage version of Shah Rukh Khan’s Rizwan Khan. Adarsh played Rizwan in his growing years when he started being recognised by those around him as a child prodigy who could fix any broken appliance.
Adarsh starred with Radhika Apte in Anurag Kashyap‘s segment of Madly, an anthology featuring innovative stories of love from across the the world. Adarsh played a teenager besotted by the lonely housewife next door. The short follows the close bond the two develop, and the grave consequences that follow.
In his first tryst with a darker character, Adarsh’s plays the unsettlingly entitled Mohit, one of the boys who sexually assaults the daughter of Sridevi’s character in Mom. What follows is a carefully calculated quest for revenge as Sridevi’s character takes down her daughter’s assailants one by one. After poisoning and eventually killing one of the assailants, she frames Mohit for the murder.
His only other lead role in a feature film before The White Tiger, was in Rukh. The affecting drama follows a distraught son’s journey to reconnect with his father (played by Manoj Bajpayee) after he passes away. Under the guise of a murder mystery, Rukh was a drama that entirely rested on Adarsh’s impressive performance as a boy searching for answers.
Die Trying (2018)
In the earliest years of Amazon Prime Video in India when every stand up comic was given a streaming show, Adarsh showcased the early indications of his impressive comedic chops in Kenny Sebastian’s comedy Die Trying. The series follows a bunch of slackers in a band trying to make it in the world of music. In an otherwise forgettable comedy, Adarsh stood out as hapless band manager and disturbingly loyal drifter Jason.
In Deepa Mehta’s Netflix series Leila about an all too familiar dystopian future, Adarsh plays the deeply unlikeable Naz Chaudhary, brother-in-law of lead character Shalini (Huma Qureshi) and the sole cause of all her woes. After her husband is killed and her daughter taken away for being a ‘mixed blood’, Naz blames Shalini for everything and reports her to the authorities.
Hostel Daze (2019)
Adarsh’s most recent role before The White Tiger was in the winning TVF comedy Hostel Daze on Amazon Prime Video. The series is about a group of first years, led by the affable Ankit (Adarsh), navigating the unique experiences of hostel life. Adarsh does well in the laugh-out-loud comedy, bringing to life the journey of an awkward teen who gradually finds his people and himself.