Ankit Raaj has carved a niche for himself in the modelling world. He has walked the ramp for the likes of Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bal, Troy Costa, Wendell Rodricks, Karan Johar, Varun Bahl and Tarun Tahiliani among others.
Ankit has been the pool model for Van Heusen for two seasons and has been on the cover of Wills Fashion magazine twice. In span of two years he did three TV shows and now is back on the celluloid with the crime detective series ‘Supercops vs Supervillains’ as a vampire.
How does it feel to be known as “TVs new vampire”?
It feels great. I’m so happy to be part of such a big production house. You get to see me in many different shades, which I never tried before. My body has been specially trained for a few scenes of the show and costumes are vibrant. In daily life, one doesn’t always get to play these types of roles often.
Did you see any shows or movies, where vampire plays a pivotal role?
For this show, I never watched any show. But yes, I used to watch international series ‘The Vampire Dairies’. I watched all eight seasons. So yes, I know who vampires are and in what way they walk and have their own style. Although I’ve my own way of doing any character, I grabbed the nuances from here and there.
What kind of homework did you do for the role?
For this role, I learned martial arts because vampire flies and your body needs to be more flexible for all types of stretches.
What appealed you to do this show?
Fireworks Productions produces a good body of work. They made very good shows and now for ‘Supercops vs Supervillains’, take a lot of effort as the show is totally revamped. I’m playing a vampire for the first time and I possess royal blood and mystical powers (laughs). Somewhere this show helps me not too be part of the bandwagon of monotonous shows and roles.
Why did you choose TV as a platform?
Television is such a platform where at the end of day Salman Khan is hosting a show on weekends. It’s not about only him, Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan too. It reaches every single person and it is a huge medium. Honestly, if you’re stepping into Bollywood you need good promotion. Either you do it yourself or the production house does and if it fails, then you cannot get the exposure. Now I’m doing two films. One with Saregama Productions and other is with Netflix. All this happened due to TV.
From model to actor, how was the transformation?
Both are two different paths. When you are a model your body will be habituated to being rigid. We do ramp walking and photo shoots where you need to be in certain positions and give fixed expressions. When it comes to acting, you need to be free. An actor should know how to be stiff and loosen body when required. Initially, that was a little difficult for me.
Are you doing a negative role in this show?
In this show, I’m not doing a negative role. It is a parallel role. I’m as much important as Harshad Arora is. But in recent two episodes of the show, they portrayed me as a negative character. I play the role of a very powerful vampire. He possesses all mystical and mighty powers. He belongs to a royal family and loves his royal blood lineage. I have a love track with Vaishanvi Dhanraj also. He loves his sister to the core. But what he hates is, his sister is love with a werewolf. Of course, as everyone knows, the werewolf is the biggest enemy of a vampire. So this is where people think I’m playing a negative role. If not it is out and out positive.
Don’t you feel you may be typecasted inparallel roles?
I believe in the character. Not in a parallel lead or lead. When I did last show ‘Mastaangi’, it entirely revolved around me for four months until the channel scrapped it. Even the lead actor Akash used to get leaves from the show. But in my case, I worked 24/7. So that’s how it has been. Frankly, in the industry, they will call you for a few days but as I said an actor has to shine as much they can and then you will be part of one of the major cast in a show.
Will you get back to modelling world again?
I recently did another modelling shoot. I am unable to do ramp walks are not being possible due to budget issues. But I often do modelling. Modelling is part of me. I’ll be part of it till I lose love for it (giggles).