Adarsh Gourav makes his return to the audio series format after lending his voice to the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, with the new series Desi Down Under. It is a coming-of-age, immersive 9-episode Audible Original series set on the shores of Sydney. (Also read: Prajakta Koli talks about her new Audible series Desi Down Under and that one lifesaving skill she wants to learn)
Written by Indian-Aussie screenwriter Mithila Gupta, Desi Down Under follows three hopeful 20 year-olds from Mangalore who cross the ocean to learn surf-lifesaving skills at the Coogee Beach in Australia.
Adarsh Gourav was with Hindustan Times to talk about working on the series with co-stars Prajakta Koli and Taaruk Raina, the ways in which he relates to his character Deven and why he never wants to feel ‘settled’ as an artist.
What picked up your interest first about Audible’s Desi Down Under?
I thought it was a fantastic story about these friends and the ups and downs that go through in their lives after choosing to undergo a lifesaving training. Even in terms of the story it was very refreshing to be working on something that starts off on a really light note and then goes on to this sort of self-discovery space and then culminates in the end where you know these characters understand who they truly are and what they represent, and what they want from their lives. It was a very beautiful story that I connected with. Then of course you have such brilliant co-stars as Prajakta (Koli) and Taaruk (Raina) and having the opportunity to work with Mantra (Mugdh)- who is an absolute legend… so all these factors just combined together and compelled me to take this chance.
I was just going to ask you about the process of collaboration that went into the recording of Desi Down Under.
Yeah, the format is really different than working on cinema. Taaruk I have known for a while, he has been a friend. But Prajakta I had never before this but when I did meet her for the first time it felt like I had known her for years. She was so giving as a person and it was so refreshing to meet her… we instantly connected and vibed. The idea is just to have fun you know, the idea is to just go inside your studio and react off your co-actors and we were lucky in the sense that me and Prajakta got to do a lot our scenes together inside the same studio. Because when you are reacting off to the recording of your co-actor, its very different than doing it with them live. The smallest of actions you know could have sort of affect you in a way that you wouldn’t expect. Those small improvisations that really make the scene come out alive. So, that’s how we recorded this, in a studio in Andheri.
Tell us a little about your character Deven from Desi Down Under.
So my character Deven is from Mangalore. He really, really wants to be a lifeguard. He has dealt with some childhood trauma and its something that really haunts him. So, part of the reason why he wants to go to Australia is to get away from all the trauma that he associates his town with, and to sort of go on this self-discovery. Deven is somebody who is very emotional, who wears his emotions on his sleeve. He also has a thing for his childhood best friend Meenu which sort of gets addressed through the course of the show. He’s very passionate, very driven- he’s the one who pulls this plan together of going to Australia. I see a lot of similarities between me and Deven in terms of the passion we share about what we want to do and about our careers.
What do you like the most about experimenting with the audio-series format?
I think just the challenge of working in a new format you know. It makes you feel alive as an artist, to sort of constantly be challenged, constantly be pushed as an actor and to sort of keep searching and looking and not ever feel settled. I hate that feeling. I always want to be on my toes, I always want to be on the edge of my seat. Working on a new format makes you feel that.
Desi Down Under is your second show with Audible India after Sandman. How was the experience working with them again?
It was beautiful. I think its such a beautiful story and to work with Audible is always a pleasure because its like home. The shows that they make are so universal and they deal with all kinds of emotions. They are making shows across different genres so I am really excited for all the content that they are backing and I hope that I get to do this more frequently with them.