Mukul Chadda on The Office: Didn’t change flavour of the jokes


Since he began his career in 2004, Chadda has primarily worked in theatre, along with appearances in TV commercials. For the past year, he has been working on Fairy Folk, touted as India’s first improvised film, with his wife, actor Rasika Dugal. Acting is an important part of that process, with character development and getting the scenes right. 0
Comment(s) “I’m really excited about it,” says Chadda. It’s a talent to be able to engage with an audience while narrating an event. Advertising

He also chats about the importance of the talented camera crew on set: “The cameras in any mockumentary are essentially characters themselves; they follow the character’s movements and events from the start. In order to get the best out of the takes, the show’s creators, Debbie Rao, Vivek “Bumpy” Bhushan and Rohan Sippy, shot multiple takes. A remake of a cult show can be quite a risk — what with The Office’s dry and absurd humour and pitch-perfect performances — but Chadda says the upcoming show has not made any attempt to cater to an Indian audience. After completing his MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad, he moved to New York, where he worked as a mortgage debt research analyst at Lehman Brothers, a decade before the company filed for bankruptcy in 2008. By the early 2000s, he was beginning to lose interest in his corporate job, and in 2004, Chadda went on a year-long sabbatical from work and returned home to Mumbai. I was actively involved in the theatre societies throughout school and college. Having previously worked with Gopal Datt, who plays TP Mishra (the Indian version of Dwight Schrute) and a few other cast members, Chadda was easily able to pick up on the improvisations during the scenes. Writing is also something that I want to get back to,” says Chadda, who has appeared in several storytelling projects and has also been involved in improve groups. “But theatre has always been a part of my life. Here, the camera crew made sure that when something interesting was happening, regardless of whether it was planned or not, they would follow it and turned it into something special that we could use,” says the actor. This makes his character unpredictable,” he says. Advertising

In The Office (India), Chadda plays Jagdeep Chaddha, the manager of Wilkins Chawla, a Delhi-based paper company. “After the good take, there was the fun take, where everyone got to do what they wanted. I even started a theatre group with my friends at work,” says Chadda, who enrolled in part-time classes at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in the Big Apple. “I don’t think there’s been any attempt to change the flavour of the jokes — they remain the same — as does the mockumentary style, deadpan humour and long pauses,” he says. Normally, the id and super-ego work simultaneously, but in Jagdeep’s case, the id works separately, and super-ego only begins to strike after a noticeable lag. What would invariably happen is that something else would occur and then we would push that line further and end up doing another 10 takes to get the best out of each scene. “If I had to describe Jagdeep, I’d say that he’s naive, almost child-like, with an absurd personality that creates a lag between the Freudian id and super-ego. Since he began his career in 2004, Mukul Chadda has primarily worked in theatre, along with appearances in TV commercials. Sometimes, they wouldn’t call cut, they would just elongate the scene and see where it went,” says Chadda. “I love Gopal’s role. All 13 episodes of The Office will premiere on Hotstar today. If I hadn’t been picked for Jagdeep, I would have definitely tried for his,” he says. “I’ve always loved the art of storytelling.