Mumbai: Actor Ankur Rathee, who plays the role of Allen Menezes, a gay rights lawyer and activist in love with a cricketer who is afraid of coming out in the ‘Inside Edge’, has spoken about locking lips with actor Akshay Oberoi in the series.
“It’s first important to note that being gay doesn’t necessitate a particular characterisation. There is as much diversity of mannerism and personality in gay men as there is in straight men. One’s sexual or gender orientation doesn’t define them and isn’t something they always wear on their sleeve.”
Ankur added: “That being said, as opposed to my role in ‘Made in Heaven’, Allen from ‘Inside Edge’ read as more flamboyant to me on the page. I decided to lean into the writing and experiment with a more effeminate demeanour. I paid attention to the way he carries his wrists when he’s trying to make a point, how he sits into his right hip when he stands, or fluctuates his tone and pitch when he’s trying to convince his boyfriend of something.
“However, I can’t stress enough that these are all secondary to the truth of the scene and the humanity of this character, a man torn between loving his partner unconditionally and maintaining his self-respect.”
The actor also shares a kissing scene with co-star Akshay, who happens to be a great friend off screen as well.
Ankur said: “To be honest, the artist in me was excited to have this new experience. I had never kissed another man before and I had so many questions! What would his beard feel like? Will my hands gravitate to his waist or around his neck? What’s it like to be held intimately by someone muscular? I’ve never made out with anyone that tall before! When we finally kissed, I knew none of these questions would matter of course.
“As Allen, I wasn’t kissing a ‘man’, I was kissing the love of my life. That’s all you’re thinking about in the scene, and the physicality is simply a natural product of your emotional connection. So no, it wasn’t ‘difficult’, because love is love is love, no matter your sexual orientation.”
Ankur is currently busy shooting for “Shehzada” with Kartik Aryan and Kriti Sanon, directed by Rohit Dhawan.