Actor Ankur Rathee was first spotted as a stud in the first season of Four More Shots Please, who was engaged in a rip-roaring fling, with one of the lead characters, Anjana Menon, essayed by Kirti Kulhari. The actor instantaneously garnered a fan following with women drooling over him. Soon after the series, Rathee surprised audiences with roles in serious mainstream Bollywood films like The Tashkent Files, a 2019 sleeper hit, to more recently Taapsee Pannu starrer, Thappad.
Ankur is now enjoying the amazing response to the second season of Four More Shots Please! where he continues his role as Arjun, Kirti Kulhari's love interest, and graduates to be a serious boyfriend. Last season the couple's physical chemistry turned up the heat, but this time the emotional chemistry between the actors is equally overwhelming and their performance even leaves viewers in tears.
The series, dubbed as a desi Sex and the City, tracks the lives of four women from very different backgrounds, finding friendship in the Maximum city. Ankur's role is completely intertwined with Kirti Kulhari's plotline.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India Four More Shots Please! actor Ankur Rathee spills the beans on his comfort level showing skin on-screen, enacting sex scenes with Kirti Kulhari, his take on open marriages, and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
From last season to this one, you have graduated from a lover boy to a man who believes in a serious relationship?
For my character, Anjana is "the one". You don't simply let someone like that slip through your fingers. He wants to be seen as a long-term partner in her eyes, and for that, he needs to handle this relationship with maturity, especially given their age difference and the fact that she's a single mother. The stakes are much higher for her. If you treat it like a fling, eyes wandering, non-committal, then she'll know. He can't afford to lose the love of his life.
How much do you relate to the role that you essay in Four More Shots?
The first time we fall in love it's both unexplainable and highly intoxicating. For Arjun, and perhaps for a younger version of myself, it's therefore easy to view that first serious relationship as the only important thing in the whole wide world. It's easy to believe you are Romeo and she is Juliet. Easy to succumb to the fluctuating pain and pleasure of being in love. You don't have any perspective, and that can make you blind to the realities surrounding your love, even the flaws of your partner. I've made that mistake before, and I think it's fair to say that Arjun has too.
Was there apprehension in enacting sex scenes with co-actor Kirti Kulhari?
It was a very professional experience. Sex scenes are still fairly new territory in an Indian context. How will it be shot? How will it affect my career? Will it look cheap? Will I sound awkward? All valid fears, but fortunately on this set, the director, cinematographer, and producers were all very respectful of the sensitive nature of shooting such scenes. The more clarity we have as actors the more comfortable we feel surrendering to the experience.
What is your take on relationships?
It takes two to tango
Do you believe in an open marriage?
I believe it's a viable option for some couples, but not for me. There is so much more I could be doing to be a better partner in my current relationship, that I can't imagine trying to do right by TWO people. I would fail miserably. To be honest, my woman offers me more than enough love, growth, and adventure in my life that there isn't any room for a third party.
How comfortable are you enacting bold scenes on screen?
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Depends on how to fit I am at the moment. LOL. First of all, we really need to banish the term "bold" for describing such scenes. Bold for the character or the actor? Some characters have sex timidly, and some actors would tell you they've done far more audacious and vulnerable things on camera than taking off their clothes. That being said, being half-naked for the world to see can be daunting. Personally, I feel comfortable when I know why the scene exists. Is the scene meant to titillate the audience or is it moving the plot forward? Is the sex revealing something about the characters or their relationship? I don't like showing skin for shock value alone.
Out of all the 4 girls Damini (Sayani Gupta), Siddhi (Maanvi Gagroo), Anjana (Kirti Kulhari) or Umang (Bani J)? If Ankur had to date, which girl would you choose and why?
Hands down, Siddhi. She is such a tornado of joy that one! She's sweet and spicy. Her unpredictability would make a life together quite the adventure.
If you enjoyed the first two seasons of Four More Shots Please! Then you simply can't wait for season 3.