On a sunny Tuesday morning, I walked into a cozy café where the ELLE team was shooting with Dhairya Karwa— the brown-eyed, 6 ft 4 in lanky actor who wooed us with his killer good looks, on-screen eloquence, and an infectious smile. “He’s a chill guy; you are going to enjoy this interview,” my colleague assures me. As I turn my face towards Dhairya, who was lounging in a pair of wide-legged pants, playing a song-guessing game with someone, I knew I signed up for the right assignment. We launched into a freewheeling chat about films, family, and the future.
What sets Dhairya apart is his forthcoming demeanour and the fact that he does not fear honesty. The actor, who was seen in Uri–The Surgical Strike and 83 before Gehraiyaan, has just about managed to break into the mainstream with this new outing. For an actor to be on a shooting schedule for months, only to clock in a few minutes of screen-time, it’s disappointing to not be recognised for his presence until he ‘makes it’. “When you don’t have a big banner launching you, you have to start from somewhere,” Dhairya says, He is proud of the hard work he put in for the first two incredibly challenging roles of his career. “I didn’t have the quintessential launch, but the first two movie experiences were necessary for me to be the actor I was in Gehraiyaan,” he adds.
Born and raised in Jaipur, Dhairya moved to New Delhi to pursue college where he tried his hand at modelling, and eventually found himself in Mumbai in 2016. He doesn’t shy from admitting that he had to go through a series of rejections before finally getting signed for his first ad film. However, for a 20-something up and coming actor relying on his family’s support to get through life in Mumbai, you need a special formula to deal with rejections and move on to the next. “I do go crazy with Nutella,” he laughs! “But to be honest, Mumbai teaches teaches you to deal with rejections,” he says. “There was a phase when I felt something wasn’t right. So, I’d go to a close-by Gurudwara and sit there for hours. Believe me, I prayed, ate, and cried sitting there on days I was at my lowest. It brought me unimaginable peace.”
Now with the initial struggle safely in the rearview mirror, Dhairya seems to have hit it big with an endorsement from the aspirational Dharma banner. Could we say he has cracked the code to hitting it big in the industry? “It’s just the beginning and to be honest, I am a slogger. I never get it easy, but I don’t mind that if it gets me what I want,” he says. While his determination seems attractive, it’s the quality of keeping it real that makes him cooler than the rest. “I want to be at the top of the game, and if there are some rules that I need to learn and use, I will do it all,” he adds. Apart from his undying love and passion for his art, it’s his family and friends that keep Dhairya grounded. “I talk to my mom every day; why shouldn’t I? I never had to kill my will and take up work for money. I am fortunate that I always had my family’s supportm which afforded me the luxury to sit idle at times and wait for the right opportunity,” says the self-proclaimed mama’s boy.
With his talent, versatility and appetite for risk, Dhairya is in it for the long run. A proud ‘desi at heart’, he enjoys good music and a hearty meal to gym sessions, and a nutritious diet. “It’s a part of my job but I won’t say I enjoy it,” he admits. Dhairya is warm, empathetic and charming —what made him this person? “I am the result of my optimism. I give myself pep talks all the time and that’s what keeps me going,” he laughs. Unabashed, unfiltered, and unafraid of failure, we can only hope that his rise to the top is swift. Because if there’s one more thing we’re taking away from this interview, it’s Dhairya Karwa’s delightful will to make everyone around him comfortable and happy.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mayank Mudnaney
STYLING: Zoha Castelino
HAIR: Sajan Thapa
MAKE-UP: Mahima Wachher
ASSISTED BY: Komal Shetty & Priyuta Sodiwala (Styling)
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT:Aliza Fatma
TALENT AGENCY: Dharma Cornerstone Agency
LOCATION COURTESY: Homemade Cafe, Juhu
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