Barun Sobti who has made his name on Indian television by working in super hit shows lik Dill Mill Gayye, Tanhaiyon, Baat Hamari Pakki Hai, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? and others finally surprised his fans in March 2020, with Voot Select’s psychological thriller show ‘Asur’. It garnered glowing reviews and slowly it became one of the most talked about show because of it’s unique subject. And since then, fans are eagerly waiting for the release of second season. Now finally after three years, makers are ready with the second season which is set to stream for free on JioCinema from 1 June.
The actor finally opened up to Cinetalkers.com about the show Asur, his character and why it took them three years be back with the second season? Excerpts from the chat:
Why was the second season’s release delayed so much? You finished filming the second season in January 2022, so it’s been one and a half years.
To be honest, I’m not sure. Ideally, it should have been released much sooner because, as you mentioned, we completed the shoot in January 2022, and we are now here after one and a half years. However, viewers must understand that post-production can take much longer than planned, especially if so many outdoor real-world settings are used.
When you think about it, Asur is a remarkably unique show. It does not fit within the conventional criminal drama category. So, did you anticipate that the show would be so popular after the first season?
We didn’t, to be honest. We weren’t sure it would be so popular, especially given the show’ unique subject and theme, which is a blend of mythology, crime, and psychological thriller. And I must say our writers and director Oni Sen somehow perfectly blended all these themes and genres and finally came up with a unique show.
During the first season, there was a lot of skepticism about how the show would be received by the audience. We were concerned that it could be far too intellectual for the Indian audience, and how much English should we use, or are we using far too much English in our dialogues? The skepticism was present because, at the time we were filming the first season in 2019, there weren’t many original Indian online series released to make a calculated prediction as to whether the public would appreciate this show or not.
But we all cast and crew were stunned when we saw the common public’s response to the first season. The Indian audience just absolutely stumped all of us. Which is a good thing because only then could we begin work on the second season.
You shot the second season in real locations; how was that experience? It can be a little challenging at times to shoot on real locations.
Yes, we did filming in Mumbai, Delhi, Banaras, and a few more cities. Yes, it can be challenging, but it can also be rather exhilarating.
The truth is, because the genre and subjects of our series are extremely realistic, our director and we actors were adamant about shooting in real locales. And, to be honest, shooting in real locations improved our performances significantly. It allowed us to better understand what our characters were going through at the time.
Did you have to face any problems while shooting on real locations? How long did it take to complete the second season’s filming?
No, at least not that I recall. We shot the entire second season in almost 90 days, however the shoot was separated into various schedules. So it took us nearly 9-10 months to shoot the entire second season. Because everyone was working on numerous projects at the same time, we all had to manage our schedules in order to complete the shoot.
How was the experience of shooting for this show?
Yaar, the experience of shooting for Asur was diametrically opposite to what this show is about and the genre of the show is. It was a very intense show but we all cast and crew had a lot of fun during the shoot. There was always some light banter going on between a few of us. We all cast members got fond of each other, we all became really good friends.
Was there any kind of preparation required for this show and character?
Yes, because we had never portrayed these kinds of roles before, we all had to go through some preparation before we began shooting the first season. So we had to do a lot of work, but honestly, we didn’t have to do as much preparation for the second season, at least not as much as we did for the first. We already knew how our characters’ minds worked and how they would react in different situations.
This time, however, the writing team had to manage to live up to the expectations because when we came out with the first season, the audience had no idea what to expect, but this time, the audience has huge expectations from this second season and the writing team, and I believe we have lived up to the expectations.
What is one aspect about this character, you find most difficult to relate to or identify with?
To be very honest, nothing, in fact I can tell you the aspect about this character that is most relatable for me. My character Nikhil is an extremely socially awkward person, he finds it very very difficult to have interpersonal relationships with other people. And that is the most relatable aspect about this character for me, because I’m also not very fond of interacting with other people, having interpersonal relationships. So I could easily relate and identify with this aspect of my character.