‘When I’m in My Bed At Night, I Really Want to Watch Dog and Panda Videos’

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After first taking the internet by storm with his sketches and then creating the hit comedy-drama web series Dhindora for his YouTube channel BB Ki Vines, content creator and actor Bhuvan Bam has now turned to the bigger small screen. This week, he makes his streaming debut with Taaza Khabar, in which he plays the role of Vasant, a sanitation worker who chances upon magical powers. The show has Bam working once again with director Himank Gaur and writers Hussain and Abbas Dalal. Bam described the show as “musically rich” — the soundtrack has 11 songs, including numbers by Parikrama, Naezy, Mohan Kannan and Bam himself. All episodes of Taaza Khabar are available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar. 

Here are edited excerpts of our conversation with Bam: 

What about your character in Taaza Khabar appealed to you? 

One day, I was sitting and we had just finished writing one scene from Dhindora and we were having dinner. Then Hussain bhai looked at me and said, “Bhuvan, pata hai jaadu aur chamatkar main farq kya hota hai? (Do you know the difference between magic and miracles?)” I am like, “Abhi koi joke aayega (There’ll be a joke now). He said, “Jaadu dhoke se hota hai aur chamatkar yaqeen se hota hai. (One is born of deception, and the other, of belief.)”  I asked him, “Isko Dhindora me dalte hai? (Let’s put this line in Dhindora?)” He is like, “Nahi, this is a separate story.” We finished Dhindora that night. And we then sat on Taaza Khabar and he narrated it to me, just the gist of it. I loved it. A few weeks later, I called him up and said, “Bhai the plan is still on, right?” So we started developing it seriously. But apart from that, coming from comedy space to this space where I have to play a dramatic role, was a leap of faith for me and I really wanted to explore this. After the 10th character in BB Ki Vines, I knew I wanted to get into acting. Vasant Gawde, which is the name of the character [in Taaza Khabar], I am treating as my 22nd character. 

As an actor, you have gone from pulling off multiple roles at once to now focusing on one character at a time. What’s tougher? 

This is tougher because firstly I’ve been doing that since seven years. I know the ins and outs. When I’m doing that, the edit is constantly going on in my head while I’m performing… But here a lot depends on how the other actors are performing as well. You never know what the other person is going to give. It’s always a mystery, and you have to only focus on your thing because you are not playing their character. … I never thought that I will be sharing the screen with Deven Bhojani Sir. Dekh Bhai Dekh, Sara Bhai vs Sara Bhai, Office-Office…such a vast field of work he has. It’s easier to be an editor here, but very difficult to be an actor because you are working with legends and you have to make sure that you don’t fumble. Udhar toh I can fumble because I know that samne bhi main hi hu, pichhe bhi main hu, par yaha you can’t take that risk (While shooting YouTube videos, I have the liberty to fumble because it’s just me. Here, I can’t take that risk.)

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