Abhishek Singh, the face which appeared in the latest song of the singer B Praak ‘Dil Tod Ke’ and has been garnering all the attention and praises post his stint in the music video is none other than the Deputy Commissioner posted in New Delhi, who is also a talented actor and stepped into acting with a short film, Chaar Pandrah and will soon be seen in an upcoming series titled Delhi Crime 2 that will be streaming on Netflix. We got this chance to speak to him and know the reel life and real life of IAS turner Actor Abhishek Singh and here’s everything he had to say…
Read the detailed interview of IAS Abhishek Singh with NLC Assistant Editor Lakshika Thakur.
Hi Abhishek, since you are an IAS officer, and your journey as an actor has just begun which is totally unconventional so what made you pursue acting?
A. Certain coincidences in life cross paths with you for better reasons. So did the journey of discovering myself as an actor rather than an artist. While my perspective was clear for doing it. I understand how vast and versatile the world of cinema and OTT Platforms is and how I could utilize it to reach out to masses with pressing issues prevalent in society to date.
Since you are a public servant, so you already must be having a hectic life, and along with that stepping into acting, how do you manage to be in the force and on the sets simultaneously or you always had it in your mind to handle both the things on the forefront?
A. The act of balance is the key to life. Irrespective of what the act is. While I serve the forces, I fetched permission to act for a cause backed initiative. I took my time off duty to embrace the world of lights and cameras. Life is equally demanding as an actor as that of being a IAS Officer. I drew advantage from my years of persistent regime of sticking to priorities set against a to-do.
We see you very active on social media during the lockdown as well, you have been really helpful to many people stuck in different parts of the country which is definitely a good sign, so I would ask have you initiated sought of a movement called ‘Sigma’, tell us something about that too?
A. ‘Sigma’ is an initiative by me to bring together some of the finest IIT and IIM students to work with the government to bring about more inclusive governance. SIGMA stands for Students for Involved Governance and Mutual Action. We have built a platform by the name ‘‘Ekatra’ to help migrant laborers get back to a normal life with a job at hand. It is going very well and we are happy to have already helped employ 200 laborers.
Coming to your experience with acting, tell us more about your role in Delhi crime season 2 and what was your first reaction when you were approached for the role and how did it all happen?
A. I am playing the character of an IAS officer. It is a very interesting character. I would not be able to reveal much about the character at this point in time. But I can say that I really enjoyed playing this character on screen.
Being an IAS Officer certainly did help me a lot as there were fine nuances that otherwise would have been very difficult for me to pick up.
I was visiting a friend in Mumbai when I happened to meet the team of Delhi Crime. Amid the discussions came a point when they asked me, “Why don’t you play the role of the cop in the series?”, it all started from there and there has been no looking back ever since.
How was your first day at the shoot for Delhi Crime?
A. Nervous, conscious perhaps both. The first day was special and unique too, with goosebumps and nervous red ears. Although I had prepared well as I walked towards the sets. Apprehensions swiftly made their way in while I looked at a dozen flashlights. To my surprise and delight, the first shot was a success. I swiftly walked up to the director and asked “Was it really a good shot, or you sort of saved on efforts thinking some 10 attempts at the shot won’t get a better delivery?” He paused for a moment and looked me in the eye with a settling smile “Have faith, we handpicked you for the character” for you are good at what you do best.
How did you bag your debut role in Chaar Pandrah?
A. Chaar Pandrah happened amid the shooting of Delhi Crime Season 2. It is a short film that revolves around socially suppressed but pertinent mental health issues. I chose Char Pandrah predominantly to support and appreciate the effort of the makers for bringing forth the issue for people to know and understand better. Char Pandrah will always hold a special place in my heart.
What was the most challenging thing for you while shooting for Delhi crime?
A. Nothing really, except for looking in the mirror more frequently while life on the other side hardly has any. I blended well in the nuances of how the body of work comes together since I drew the advantage of being an officer in real life. It was enriching too, for I realized it takes a lot of hard work for a team to put together something viewers enjoy watching on their flatscreens. There is much more to it, most importantly the responsibility of keeping it real while maintaining an optimum balance between real and reel characters. It has been a fulfilling experience.
Delhi crime has had rave reviews so did that make you any nervous for your role in its sequel?
A. Season 2 of any show is always under the magnifying glass especially with the critics, and so would be this one. Expectations of the audience will further be raised as for the first time they would watch an officer appearing as an officer onscreen, hence they would anticipate a more flavourful performance. All this certainly makes me a little anxious.
As you are already receiving massive praises for your part in the song ‘Dil Tod Ke’, so how was your experience with that?
A. The experience has been blissfully pristine. Thanks to the stalwarts “Manoj Muntashir” the lyricist who composed a beautiful love song amid the rains, while “B Praak” the voice behind all the magic brought the best of both worlds together. The music video has been receiving rave reviews ranking at no. 1 on the day of its release. I’m heart full of all the love and appreciation that we received on the first day of the music video release.
After one short film, a raving web series, and now also a music album by T-Series, how flourishing do you see your acting career to be?
A. I don’t really plan to put a carved out plan on the table. It depends on the kind of work that comes my way and my choices would blend in accordingly. So, far life has been beautiful and I like the word forever with all things beautiful. For, forever I will.