The highly anticipated new series PREMature comes to screens and lifts the curtains on life’s struggles. Teenager Prem Mehta must overcome the death of his grandmother and sudden divorce of his parents to learn to grow up fast, however the strained relationship with his parents and constant obstacles make this a tough journey to make. Whether it is family, bullying, marriage or the trials of youth, director Rohith Katbamna brings a fresh and surreal window into the troubled lives of our characters. We sat down with debut actor Karanvir Bhupal who plays troubled teenager Prem. Karanvir talks about his new role, fighting your demons and what makes PREMature stand out from the crowd.
Tell me about your character and his role in the plot.
Prem is the lone wolf of the series, it’s a time where he’s carving out the rest of his life but with certain restraints. The death of his grandmother and separation of his parents add to his already dull daily routine. The role for Prem is simple, he is there to show that no matter what is thrown at you, you continue and try and bring the best out of that situation even if it means helping others first and thinking about yourself later. He’s just a boy realising its time to become a man and stand up.
In your own words, what is the overall theme of the series?
Honestly, that there is a light in that very dark tunnel.
Were there any aspects of the show that you could personally relate to?
Many, at times it was like I was portraying myself. Prem’s character has allowed me to contribute my own life lessons into this project, I guess it’s that realistic. Having had periods of my life which were quite dark I can sympathise with Prem and have a great respect for him. Depression, anxiety and death have a massive effect on one but it’s how you channel these things, what you do with them that separates you from the people that give up.
There was a lot of improvisation to make the dialogue sound real, was this easy to do as an actor?
To be honest it wasn’t hard at all, acting for me is a lot more than just becoming someone and learning their lines. It’s living and breathing them, actually taking the time out to think about why something should be said in a different way or why it should be changed, it’s all about being comfortable. I give props to Rohith for this as the script was amazing and he gave us ownership of the characters which allowed us to make certain dialogue choices.
Could you tell me a bit more about your acting background before PREMature?
PREMature is my debut project, however I had the chance some years ago to work with Rohith on a short, this was my first time meeting and working with him, I knew from that day I wanted to work with him again. A few years later I was given the opportunity to audition for Prem and here I am.
What drew you to this project?
The project will speak for itself when released, it’s so different, it’s real. The amount of heart that has gone into making PREMature is what blew me away. We’re all family, everyone who is part of this means a lot to me and I guess for something that was shot in a very tight eight weeks you would think we hardly got to talk to each other and build bonds, but we did. Everyone on the project wanted to be there, from love to tension everything was felt in the air.
What do you want the audience to take away from this series?
I understand that PREMature will not be everyone’s cup of tea however, it can change lives, I know for me and some of the cast this has been the case. If just one person attaches himself or herself to a character or a storyline, I honestly think we have all succeeded.
Finally do you have any future roles you can tell us about?
I wish I could, I’m going to let this sink in first because its huge for me, everything is all new to me and I’m loving it. I have nothing on the table right now but I would love to work with Rohith and Terry again given the chance, both great people who I consider to be family. But right now I’m enjoying the experience.