The YouTube has provided a platform for people to showcase their writing talents and a shining example of it has been the ever-affable Dhruv Sehgal. Known for his crisp writing layered with tit-bits of realism, Dhruv has matched it up with an equal élan for acting. Post the success of Little Things and What the Folks, Dhruv sat down with us for this week’s OnTalk and following are the excerpts of the interview
1. How do you describe yourself – A writer who can act or an actor who can write?
A would rather describe myself as a storyteller than a story writer. I tell stories, write, act and direct depending upon the medium and opportunity but essentially I am a storyteller.
2. You started your career by working on two documentaries. How did the switch happen to write comedy?
I was trying to do something new. So I just thought, let me give it a shot and see where it goes. A lot of people are online to relax and hence watch comedy. So I decided make up that (Comedy). The comedy that we do is very relatable. We try to introduce realism into it.
3. Is writing comedy more difficult than writing serious stuff? What is your take on that?
I don’t think writing comedy is difficult than writing something serious. If you write well, people will appreciate it even if it is slapstick.
4. You have been a founding member of pocket aces. How has your experience been working there?
I am not the founding member of Pocket Aces. I was the second person to be hired and so I was part of the core team. It has been great because we concentrate on writing and tend to believe that if anything good comes out of writing, everyone will like it. We follow kind of a democratic process and take a lot of feedback questions. We take into consideration everybody’s opinion on the content to improve it.
5. Your super-hit web-series ‘Little Things’ focuses more on everyday happenings than run-of-the-mill storyline. What were the challenges you faced while writing it?
I like that kind of acting where there is no acting. I find it exciting to tell very normal stories. Drama is not necessary in a story and the challenge is to resist the temptation of writing it. The writer that I am and the writer that I want to be will be someone who will tell everyday stories. Of course, some dramatic or awkward things can happen but I believe that the beauty lives in how humans react to everyday things. The story needs to be real and that is something I derive from my experience.
6. The audience has loved your character in ‘Little Things’ How much is the real Dhruv similar or different to reel Dhruv?
The main difference is that the character is calmer while I am more anxious. I am more awkward than the reel Dhruv. The reel Dhruv is more chilled out than I am and I look at things in a complicated way than the reel Dhruv.
7. Do you cook? What is Dhruv Sehgal’s favorite dish?
I make eggs and normal sandwiches yaar! Nothing elaborate. My favorite dish would be tandoori roti and simple mutton curry.
8. Your character in ‘Little Things’ keeps on binging on eatables intermittently. Is that something that the real ‘Dhruv’ does too?
Oh Yes! I spend most of my day thinking about food, reading about food or eating food.
9. If you were asked to choose either ‘Little Things’ or ‘What the folks’ (WTF), what would it be?
There are parts of WTF that I like very much the direction and the ensemble cast are great. It is very difficult to choose any one of them. Dono acche hai yaar!
10. As a writer, who is your favorite author/book?
I like Albert Camus a lot and I read a lot of his work and there is an Indian writer called Tarun Joshi. I read a lot of his work too.
11. If you are given a chance to rewrite on movie or YouTube web-series, which one would it be?
I would rewrite my own stories because I am constantly trying to better my own content and improve it.
12. What has been the most fleeting compliment that you have received post the success of ‘Little Things’?
This is an incident that we got to know from our platform. There was this girl who had gone through a break-up and was watching the show. The guy too was watching the same show and then one person ended up telling the other that the show reminded them of their time together and the other person felt the same and hence through the show they got back together!
13. What does Dhruv Sehgal do when he is not acting or writing stories?
I eat! If I am not working, I am on Zomato!
14. What are the plans for season 2 of Little Things and when will it be releasing?
To be honest, I cannot reveal much about season 2 because it is still being written. It is too early yaar!
15. Web-Series are getting popular day-by-day. Does Indian YouTube space have a chip on its shoulder compared to mainstream TV space?
It does. The Indian TV space doesn’t usually portray the stories of the youth and the practical stories. The Web-Series cater very well in that space.
12. What is your dream project?
I don’t know, yaar! There are 2-3 ideas which I want to write about and I also want to act in a good film.
16. What next are on the cards of Dhruv Sehgal?
I actually don’t know what is next for me. I do keep writing content and maybe you will see me in a video of Filter Copy or something of that sort!
17. Any message for the people for your YouTube fans?
Keep Watching and be honest!
If you don’t like a show, kindly express it because the Indian YouTube space is such a young industry and maybe 15 years from now on, the shows will be much better than Little Things and What the folks. People should engage actively with the creators with an open mind. Feedback matters a lot!
And with that we wrap up the curt interview session. We wished we had asked a few more ‘Little Things’ to Dhruv but there is always a next time! Untill the, keep your fingers crossed for season 2 of ‘Little Things’!