— EXPLOSIVE FASHION
Some reality show personalities get jitters being on camera 24.7; others are poised for success from the word 'go'. Haneet Narang is carving a niche as reality television's blue- eyed boy with his confidence, charm and looks — and is flooded with accolades, appreciation and exciting new projects. Over to the heartthrob of teen girls nationwide.
Let's begin on a personal level: have you always been aware of your appeal?
Since childhood I was the blue eyed boy of my family. But when I reached my teens, I went through the phase of looking awkward. That's when I realized looks is something you're born with and have no control over. So while my physical appeal can be credited to my genes, my personality is all about me. Since childhood, I have been a confident, well spoken boy. I always knew I had that X factor — a combination of body language, personality and confidence, which makes me different from others. During this phase I realized self love is important to achieve any goal in life because through self love you discipline yourself, set goals and strive to achieve them.
From a businessman to a television actor… what inspired you to diversify?
In 2013 when I completed graduation I joined the family business. It gave me exposure and the opportunity to live life beyond text books. But I realized this was not my calling. I wanted to carve my own territory… I wanted to step out of my father's shadow. This deep-rooted aspiration to shine motivated me to gravitate towards the stage. But I never dreamt I would be on television. One day, in true filmi style, a phone call changed my life. I was contacted by a casting director, referenced by one of my friends; he was casting for reality show 'Big Switch' on UTV Bindaas and invited me to audition… and I nailed it. Like cold water to a parched soul, I grabbed it with both hands! Through 'Big Switch', I got another opportunity to participate in reality show 'Mtv Splitsvilla' Season 10 where I shared the stage with Rannvijay Singh and Sunny Leone. Splitsvilla got me popularity, praise and love from people across the country. Since, there was no looking back. I'd often heard if you can dream it, you can achieve it. Little did I know I was on the path of accomplishing a goal I had perhaps dreamt, unconsciously.
Who was your mentor and how did his or her advice transform your career?
I strongly believe that everybody we meet has the ability to touch our lives and transform it. From my house help who is singlehandedly raising four children… to my five year old nephew who taught me the art of laughing in any circumstance… to my sister whose guidance I always sought… to my late grandmother who instilled values and culture in me. I have learnt something from everybody which is irreplaceable and is unique to them. That said, my life's experiences have been my greatest teacher.
Competition is fierce. How do you stay fit ? What is your diet and workout regime ?
My concept of fitness is holistic. I don't believe fitness is just rippling biceps and sculpted abs. It's a healthy mind in a healthy body. So I balance my fitness regime with a mix of outdoor activities and hitting the gym four times a week. It's important to eat right and workout regularly. Feed yourself the right kind of nutrition, rest properly, and most importantly, be happy. Don't skip meals, eat every two- three hours and drink sufficient water.
Tell us about your experience at Splitsvilla. Was there a point where you felt uncomfortable?
While sharing the platform with Sunny Leone and Rannvijay Singha could have been daunting, their down to earth nature and motivation helped me get through it without feeling mildly uncomfortable. Let me tell you a little about the show format — every week a couple gets chosen as the power couple, is safe from elimination and gets certain powers. My biggest success and most cherished moments in the show was when my partner and I were chosen as power couple throughout!! We enjoyed companionship and some moments during and after the show. Beside, I made wonderful friends in my fellow contestants and we are still in touch. Another highlight was when I performed my whole journey of Splitsvilla in a ten- minute skit and I won the task, making it to the semi- finale. And, of course, late night gossips, playing pranks, daily fights and patch ups. Overall, the journey was amazing and unforgettable.
Is there anything you would like to change about reality television- from a successful actor’s viewpoint?
I have been a part of three reality shows and the only thing I wish is that there were many more!! Audiences today do not like scripted, rehearsed television dramas that are far removed from reality. Reality shows Big Boss, Splitsvilla and Roadies show people that behind the scenes there is no difference between celebrities and regular guys. It gives the audience an opportunity to see their favorite celebs up close and personal and also transforms regular guys into celebrities. It offers spontaneity and excitement that regular shows may not. Since they last for a brief period of time, they are packed with entertainment, thrill, controversy, excitement and a chance to show the world what you are made of. While many shy from reality shows because of its unfiltered approach, my confidence and ability to face any situation makes me look forward to participation in such shows.
Post- pandemic, what do you have in mind? Pursue modeling and acting which may not take off for another six months or return to the family business given that it is financially stable?
Thankfully we are in 2020 where the reach of digital media has transcended all barriers. Today we don't need to wait for Friday to see our favorite celebrities on screen. Be it Tiktok, OTT, Instagram, V logs, ways to connect with our audiences has grown manifold. Infact, the lockdown has given me a great opportunity to create interesting content on a regular basis and to connect with friends, family and fans. So, to answer your question, the camera will always be my first love but since entrepreneurship is in my blood, even while pursuing my career in media, I am actively involved in family business. So choosing doesn't arise. My brain can keep multiple tabs open!!