"Realisation," says Sumeet Vyas, has often been the turning point in his career. "At every stage in my career, when I have felt that I am no longer doing anything new or that is creatively satisfying, I have looked for a paradigm shift in my profession. That is what has kept me going and kept me in the thick of things," he says.
His next release Ribbon too is perhaps the result of one of those paradigm shifts. Co-starring Kalki Koechlin and directed by Raakhee Sandilya, Ribbon traces the life of an urban couple as they go through a plethora of issues like setting up a house in Mumbai, an unexpected pregnancy, dealing with finances and professional ups and downs. "It is a realistic film. There are real situations, real people and this is the kind of cinema I am attracted to. Most of the time Kalki and I were put into a situation and made to do a scene and sometimes even improvise it on the spot."
Vyas may be a natural at acting but it wasn't such a straightforward journey for him. He was born in Rajasthan and later shifted to Mumbai with his family. In his growing up years he had no inclination to act. In fact, he was all set to become an engineer, when he realised that he did not enjoy studying. He gave up on his studies soon after his junior college and began working for an editing studio. His inclination towards acting developed when he watched his father perform on stage. He went on to work with Ekjute, Nadira Babbar's theatre group for six years, and then went on to do plays with other theatre stalwarts like Manav Kaul, Akarsh Khurana and Atul Kumar. He also did advertisements and stints on television shows to sustain himself in Mumbai. There were also small but noticeable performances in films such as English Vinglish (2012) and Aurangzeb (2013).
He then chose to take a route less travelled. On a whim, he wrote to Nidhi Bisht, one of the founders of The Viral Fever, asking her to cast him in one of their series. "I had seen the work of TVF and I had also known Nidhi as she used to handle production for a few plays." However, today Sumeet's character Mikesh Chaudhary from Permanent Roommates (2014) has become an iconic one. He tapped into the goofiness of the boy next door and his charm of wooing his girlfriend made him an internet sensation. This was followed by another web series Tripling, which he even co-wrote.
During a lull period, when he was not acting, Vyas, along with his friend Anand Tiwari took to writing short films. One such film is now all set to become a feature called Love Per Square Foot. "I was unemployed then and Anand was shooting in Goa for a film. I flew to Goa and over the period of next few weeks we wrote this entire feature film. There was no producer then but we were confident of our product," says Vyas.
It is this confidence and self-belief that has got him a long way. From being a nobody, to being one of the most coveted actors of stage, to being an internet sensation, and now romancing Kareena Kapoor Khan in the upcoming, Veere Di Wedding. If this isn't success, what is?
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