In The Hot Seat - Exclusive Interview with Vijayant Kohli, the Man Behind Kukreja Mama in 'Sapne Vs Everyone' Web Series by TVF

Today, we're thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Vijayant Kohli, renowned for his portrayal of the extremely negative character Kukreja Mama in TVF's hit series 'Sapne Vs Everyone.' As the show garners widespread acclaim, ranking among the top 250 on IMDb and gaining immense popularity on YouTube, join us as we delve into Vijayant's personal and professional journey. Discover the secrets behind his remarkable ability to embody characters with such depth and authenticity,

Sapne vs Everyone
Sapne vs Everyone

1. Who is Kukreja Mama behind the scenes?

Ans:  Behind the scenes, I am Vijayant Kohli, the actor portraying Kukreja Mama. Beyond the character, I am a family man with a jolly and cheerful nature. Additionally,  I'm also engaged in writing, acting, producing, and entrepreneurship. While I embrace negative roles on screen and I enjoy exploring diverse roles and aspects of life.

2. How did you get into acting, and who helped shape you into portraying characters like Kukreja Mama?

Ans: My journey into acting traces back to my school days in Delhi, where I actively participated in the school theatre society. Summer breaks meant attending theatre workshops at NSD, where Yuvraj Sharma, one of my mentors, guided me. My stint at Kirori Mal College's "The Players" further honed my skills. From producing India's first prank-based show in collaboration with NDTV, "Chhupa RUSTAM," to venturing into films and ads, my path to acting has been diverse. The surge of OTT platforms during the pandemic ushered me into a new era, where I embraced challenging roles like Kukreja Mama.

3. What standout moments or challenges did you experience while playing Kukreja Mama on the set of "Sapne vs Everyone" by TVF?

Ans: Upon my first meeting with Director Ambrish, he explained the character of Kukreja to me, emphasizing its entirely negative nature. He described Kukreja as someone who instills fear in everyone, be it his enemies or his own workers, stating that 'he rules with an iron fist.'

Initially, I deliberated whether to take on this role, as I had never portrayed such an extremely negative character in my acting career. However, drawing inspiration from the idols I admire, I resolved to embrace the challenge, believing that every role deserves to be portrayed to the best of one's ability.

The first day of shooting at TVF was intense, especially the scene where I had to slap Shishir in his office. It took some time to really get into character, but eventually, I did. Sometimes, even the crew mistook me for Kukreja when we were off-camera!

Despite the long hours—12-hour days—, it was an incredibly rewarding experience on the TVF set. The whole atmosphere, despite the demanding schedule, was enjoyable and it took 31 days to complete the whole shooting of Sapne vs Everyone. 

Overall, despite the initial hesitation, diving into the role of Kukreja Mama turned out to be a fulfilling journey on the TVF set, pushing me out of my comfort zone and teaching me a lot along the way.

4. What does success mean to you, especially after portraying a negative character like Kukreja Mama?

Ans: Success, to me, transcends materialistic achievements. It's about finding happiness, spreading positivity, and cherishing moments with loved ones. While embodying Kukreja Mama was a fulfilling endeavor, personal contentment remains paramount.

5. Any advice for aspiring actors navigating auditions and trying to catch the eye of production houses? Also please share how a fresher artist can find gigs?

Ans: Auditions serve as the gateway to the industry. I urge budding actors to seize every audition opportunity diligently. With the digital realm facilitating online auditions, geographical constraints are no longer barriers. Persistence and dedication are key; success follows those who relentlessly pursue their craft. Online platforms like social media and dedicated casting websites offer a plethora of audition listings, ensuring equal opportunities for all. 

In my own journey, I have applied for thousands of auditions and only very few auditions get selected so I'll always advise to not to lose hope and to keep trying. Also, remember that producers always appreciate regular participation and hard work, regardless of whether your acting skills are good or not.

6. Do you think nepotism still influences casting decisions in the web series and the Bollywood industry?

Ans: While nepotism may offer initial advantages, sustained success hinges on talent and skill. Casting decisions are increasingly merit-driven, with audience reception ultimately dictating an artist's trajectory. Nepotism may open doors temporarily, but genuine talent secures longevity in the industry.

7. Who's your favorite actor, and is there anyone you're excited to collaborate with in future projects?

Ans: I've long admired the legendary Irrfan Khan, whose untimely demise shattered my aspirations of collaboration. However, Shah Rukh Khan remains a beacon of inspiration. Given the opportunity, collaborating with SRK would be a dream come true.

8. Can fans expect a second season of "Sapne vs Everyone"? When your fans can catch you next in another web series?

Ans: Following the resounding success of "Sapne vs Everyone," talks of a second season are underway. As for my upcoming projects, while details are still under wraps, fans can revisit my previous works on Netflix and IMDb. Stay tuned to my Instagram for updates on future endeavors, and don't miss my acclaimed performance in "Candy," an Indian crime thriller available on Jio.

9. Lastly, what message would you like to share with your fans?

Ans: To my beloved fans, I extend heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support. Remember to prioritize happiness, embrace positivity, and cherish moments with loved ones. Life is fleeting; make every moment count.