Harsh Mayar on growing with ‘Gullak’: Portraying Aman Mishra and embracing the slice-of-life genre

- June 22, 2024
| By : Tanisha Saxena |

Delhi-boy Harsh Mayar discusses his camaraderie with co-star Vaibhav, his heartfelt connection with Delhi, and the beginning of his career at Shri Ram Centre

AUDIENCE’S FAVOURITE: Harsh Mayar is receiving love and appreciation for his character in ‘Gullak

Gullak (on Sonyliv) has established itself as a trailblazer in Indian streaming, redefining the slice-of-life genre with its profound simplicity and heartfelt narratives. It beautifully captures the essence of middle-class India, making every episode a reflection of the viewers’ own lives and experiences. With the success of the latest season, Harsh Mayar ’s portrayal of Aman Mishra in season 4 has become a benchmark, resonating deeply with viewers who see their own struggles and triumphs in his journey to adulthood.

Aman Mishra has been with Harsh Mayar for nearly six years, during which both he and his character have evolved. “Working with great co-actors has enhanced my performance. I’ve been fortunate to share the screen with incredible actors on Gullak. Although Aman is younger than me, my maturity allows me to add depth to his character. Maintaining his innocence can be challenging, but I’ve grown personally alongside him, and my maturity reflects in my portrayal.”

He adds, “I drew inspiration from my younger brother and infused elements from people and the environment of my upbringing to shape the character of Aman, who hails from a middle-class background similar to mine. I aimed to imbue Aman with a fresh perspective while staying true to my personal experiences.”

Among the myriad genres, each catering to diverse tastes and emotions, slice-of-life shows stand out for their ability to capture ordinary moments with extraordinary depth. Says Harsh Mayar, “Shows like Gullak are far more difficult to make compared to shows from genres like gore, thriller, or action. If things don’t fall into place, a production such as ours can become a joke. Gullak has stood out. Sometimes, when I watch the show as an audience member, I feel amazed that something like this has been made, and I’m part of it. It’s a very simple show, and Gullak is India. It reflects the simplicity of our country and the lives we all lead.”

Harsh reflects on the pressure each season brings. “With every new season, there’s immense responsibility. This time, Aman feels angry and tries to push back. I wondered if people would like it or not, but then I realised I had to take that risk as an actor.”

Gullak consistently explores the richness of brotherhood, weaving genuine moments of camaraderie and understanding into its narrative. Harsh, discussing his off-screen bond with Vaibhav (Annu Mishra), the elder brother, says, “We gelled amazingly from the first season itself. Whenever we have scenes together, everyone gathers to watch because of our strong equation. Even in scenes where we aren’t doing anything major, we strive to bring something unique to the table, driven by our collective hunger as actors.”

The 26-year-old actor achieved acclaim early in his career, winning the National Award at the age of 13 for his role in I Am Kalam. While starting as a child actor can be glamorous, making a comeback as an adult and hoping to recapture the same affection from audiences can be daunting. When asked about this, Harsh Mayar shared his perspective: “It’s definitely tough, especially when you’re an outsider without any connections or background in the industry. Fortunately, my appearance changed as I grew older. Later on, I was lucky to collaborate with Yashraj Films, and the movie Hichki provided me with a crucial opportunity.” 

Harsh, known for his work in The Tenant, Kanpuriye, Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid, and Aadha Full, reflects fondly on his upbringing in Delhi.

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He says, “Delhi is home. My wife and I are both from there, and my family resides in the city. To me, Delhi is more than just a place—it’s an emotion. I grew up in South Delhi, and my acting journey began at the Sri Ram Centre when I was just eight years old. I started with workshops there, and gradually, acting became my passion. Later, I connected with Tom Alter and worked on a play called Paighamber, based on Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. My experiences in Delhi have been instrumental in shaping my journey to Mumbai and my career today. People in Delhi are very emotional, in contrast with the more practical-minded Mumbaikars. The pace of life in Mumbai is much faster than that in Delhi.”

Harsh looks up to actors like Vijay Raaz, Jaideep Ahlawat, and Aamir Khan, among others. He recalls, “I met Shah Rukh Khan once, and it reinforced my belief that being a good human being is paramount; everything else is secondary. Even when Shah Rukh Khan isn’t actively doing films, he remains a favourite because of the kind of person he is. Despite his superstar status, he is incredibly humble, and people love him for who he is. I believe that being a good human should come first, and as we grow, this quality reflects on screen.” 

Concluding the conversation, Harsh reveals, “I also have an upcoming film, an action comedy, which I’m very excited about! It features Mukesh Tiwari, Ashutosh Rana, Ashok Pathak, and more.”