Actor Vishal Arora’s career is a fascinating study in multi-culturally informed artistic disciplines. An accomplished stage, film and television player, his professional background as a full time Bollywood actor and subsequent training in Los Angeles at the famed Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute provide him a world class foundation of technique and experience. Arora’s broad international palette of skill and training also includes youthful participation in the rich Indian tradition of street plays, a sort of guerilla theater, performed in public, which often examine pointedly topical themes.
Ambitious, enthusiastic and always upbeat, Arora, now based in Los Angeles, spent his life working to reach this point. “From childhood I have been very active on stage and in street plays,” Arora said. “It’s a form of theater all about society, an activity that creates an awareness among people about ongoing problems—things that, with the help of street plays, we can change.”
“I love to live different lives, and acting is the best way to do that,” he said. “And, doing television, I get the chance to play a different character every week, it’s like having another person’s experience, an entirely new life span, one different from your own.”
The handsome young actor’s resume includes appearances in the Fox Star Studio’s hit feature “Neerja,” a tense thriller centered on an airline hijacking, parts in numerous television crime, comedy and soap opera series, short films and pop music videos. Arora’s soul deep passion and drive him allows him to not just seek out, but spontaneously discover unexpected roles. This was exactly the case with Kis Din Mera Vyah Howega, a popular Indian TV comedy series.
“I went in to give an audition for a particular role on the show,” Arora said. “But, on the spot, the casting director gave me another script, I wasn’t expecting this, because I’d been called for a different character but, of course, I read for them. After a few days I got the call saying that I have been finalized for this particular role, so I accepted the challenge of playing Gay character.”
The Indian LGBTQ community routinely faces significant opposition; homosexuality is largely considered taboo and is illegal, but Arora, with his grounding in topical street plays, didn’t hesitate to take this opportunity.
“I have to do my work and make sure I put 100% of my efforts while on set” Arora said. “So, I spent some time with one of my gay friends, to observe how, as a person, he was different from straight guys. I just see things internally and then apply that to myself—‘if I were gay, what would my feelings and reactions will be?’ That’s how I did my homework for this role.”
“This particular character is the one who really brings comedy to the show,” Arora said. “I was doing a scene with a guy in drag, who I turned into a girl with makeup, saying Now, if you stay at my place, people will talk!’ Because in Asian countries, without a marriage, guys just don’t stay with girls, and so, having a gay character saying that was really a different, funny twist.”
“Working on the show was a really fun experience,” Arora said. “I took the challenge, learned new things, l and made some good friends while we were working together. This was a good character for me and it did very well in towns all over India, people liked the comedy and my character.”
Kis Din Mera Vyah Howega represented another upshift for the talented, restless Arora. It was a significant achievement that underscores his natural ability to inhabit any role with a truthful. instinctive skill, and this natural talent has steadily heightened his professional profile. A success in Bollywood, Arora’s now poised to storm Hollywood with his same measured combination of hard work and priceless intuition.
“The part was a challenge in the beginning, but then I let it go, and got over that pressure,” Arora said. “And I was very natural with it. These challenges are one of the factors which led me to pursue acting in the first place, and when you have the whole country watching you, when you are a part of big successful project, it provides a good platform to make a name for yourself and your family.”