POPULAR Indian actor Ayush Anand has been entertaining television audiences ever since he made his debut with hit historical drama Jodha Akbar in 2013.

The talented small screen star has since then shown off his versatility in popular serials like Naagarjuna – Ek YoddhaIshqbaaazTu Sooraj Main SaanjhPiyaji and Vish.

He has also openly spoken about his struggles during lockdown and not being able to work. He is currently working on new Star Plus serial Banni Chow Home Delivery and was happy to discuss his career with Eastern Eye.

What first connected you to acting?
The fact that I can hide behind a character and display my emotions, which I don’t in real life, as I am a very shy and reserved person is what first connected me to this craft. It has evolved since then.

You grew up on a diet of cinema. Are there any characters you enjoyed watching?
There are many great characters that have remained with me, but since I started my career, it has been Ayan from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Ved from Tamasha. I thought Ranbir Kapoor played both so well and they are ones I would have loved to portray.

Which project challenged you most?
I think each project challenges you in a different way. Though many people didn’t
notice me in that show, playing Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan in Jodha Akbar, which
was my first show, was the most challenging, as I had to speak most of my lines in Urdu.

What is the plan going forward and what can we expect next?
I always expect the unexpected from life and you know how our field is. Waiting for that one particular phone-call that would change my life and bring me to the big screen! Currently, I’m doing Banni Chow Home Delivery on Star Plus, so my focus is there as I consider the work I do as a stepping stone towards my biggest purpose in life, which is ultimately the big screen.

Tell us what is your dream role?
There are so many. Devdas is definitely one. I manifest to work with (directors) Mr Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Mr SS Rajamouli one day.

What inspires you?
I get inspired very easily. Any person around me who I see working very hard inspires me to go harder towards my purpose in life, be it any of my co-actors, crew
members or a person working out in the gym or even a labourer working in my building.

If you could master something new, what would it be?
There are so many things to learn, but to name just one then it would be to play guitar.

What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I love anything that is entertaining and engrossing, irrespective of the genre.

Tell us something not many people know about you?
I measure everything before cooking and cook my own food. I have been on a strict diet since the past 15 years. I have had no cheat meals during that time.

What is the biggest life lesson being an actor has taught you?
Being compassionate and empathetic. That being a good and kind person is more
important than being a good actor.