Karan Wahi is a household name, so it is rather surprising that he has acted in just six daily soaps in a career spanning 13 years. He says, “I may not have done many shows, but at the risk of sounding pompous, I can say that I am more famous than most of my contemporaries. Funnily, I get many offers from TV, but I am eventually told that they want young actors.”
The actor has now focussed his energies on anchoring (he is currently hosting Indian Idol) and doing web series. He says, “I am not worried about money; I am making that on TV. It’s about satiating my creative instinct, and web series allow you to do that.”
Many expressed their displeasure openly, calling the comedy on his last show Comedy Nights Bachao in bad taste. He wasn’t spared either, as the stand-up comedians would mock him, too. He says, “Honestly, I don’t have an issue. Many questioned my choice of making money at the cost of my self-respect. If someone calls me a girl, will I become one? People took digs at my voice, my face and my body, but not in a demeaning manner. It was all in good taste. The performer has to choose the right words in front of the camera. Unfortunately, you cannot swear on Indian television. In the West, comedians like Russell Peters roast and swear, but it does not sound bad; it is actually funny. They say it in a flow but you cannot do that on our television. We shouldn’t mind jokes on skin color and work.”
Karan tried his luck in films, however, his debut film failed to set the cash register ringing. “I had a different expectation for my character in the film, but the result can be quite unexpected when you are the parallel lead,” he says. Some TV actors have managed to get a foothold in the film industry. Once his contemporary, Sushant Singh Rajput has become a popular name in Bollywood.
He says, “Everybody is giving their best, you have to be at the right place at the right time with the right person. Unfortunately, an actor can’t decide that. Everyone keeps telling me that it will work out one day, I don’t know what day that will be. I am not sad and don’t plan to give up on Bollywood yet.”
On the personal front, he has always remained tight-lipped about matters of the heart. He says, “I do not talk about my personal life and prefer keeping it away from the limelight. Having said that, I have never dated any actress and can never date one because I always friend-zone them. Also, I can’t chill with someone with whom I work for 12 hours a day”.