Aditya Seal opens up about Anushka Ranjan, coping with loss and dealing with thirsty DMs

Aditya Seal finally tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend, Anushka Ranjan on Sunday evening. The star-studded event was attended by some of the biggest names in the industry like Alia Bhatt, Vaani Kapoor, Athiya Shetty, Bhumi Pednekar, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Poonam Dhillon, Javed Akhtar, Manish Malhotra, and Ramesh Taurani. That, alone, tells you how loved he is in the B-town circuit. While fans gush about how hot he looks, Aditya Seal also received praise from critics when he starred in The Empire earlier this year. The actor has definitely suffered at the hands of the pandemic – he lost his father to COVID-19 and he had the virus this year. He puts on a brave face for our interview but does say that maybe it’s because all the loss hasn’t sunk in yet. On the other hand, Aditya is a private guy – his life isn’t splashed across his social media but there is a candidness to him that is charming. He is definitely not as PR-controlled as some of the B-town stars. In an exclusive chat with Filmfare, the actor talks about Anushka Ranjan, life at the movies, and the thirstiest DMs he’s received on Instagram.

Your girlfriend, Anushka Ranjan, has said that you two are like best buddies. When did you two first realise that you liked each other?

Liking was instant. But it took a while to get close, mainly because I thought she was too cool for me so I was hesitant. It took some work for us to get to where we are. We are two different people so to understand each other was the bridge we had to cross.

Aditya Seal

The Empire faced controversy because many claimed it glorified Mughal culture. When you saw those reactions online, what did you think about it? 

There will be a certain segment of people that will not like what you do. There will be a certain segment that will try and find a problem in everything you do. We have had our problems but what do you do? Just a while back, I saw a couple of people abusing me with some very colourful words – they were abusing me because I gave a statement saying that if you have a problem with what we are showing, then go back in time and change history because I didn’t make this up on my own. This is what the books say, this is what happened. Itna hi tum logo ko problem hori hai to bhai kuch karo us baare me, jao kuch karo. They are like “you don’t know anything about India’s past, history”…this and that. I said am I denying that? Am I saying I am not proud of India’s history? But this too is a part of it. Am I wrong in saying a story? I am not! You have a problem, I don’t know, just keep it to yourself, deal with it on your own because I don’t think I can do anything about it. I am not trying to hurt anybody over here. You are getting hurt in the bargain that is because of your own problems, not mine.

Aditya Seal

Of course, COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for all of us. Personally, for you, it has been very difficult as you got infected with coronavirus this year…

I have had a lot more loss than just me having coronavirus. Personally, it’s been a very very difficult journey. This last year has been very weird for me. Life has taken a turn that I can’t undo. I lost my father a year ago to COVID-19. So, it’s been too personal. I still don’t digest it, it still doesn’t sink in. When I think about my life, this was something that was not supposed to happen. I would have never, in my imagination, imagined something like this to happen. I don’t know how well I have dealt with it. I look absolutely fine and normal in front of you. I am speaking to you without any sort of break in my voice but maybe one reason for that could be that I still have not accepted it or maybe I have accepted it too well that it’s life and it gotta move on. I don’t know the answer yet, I don’t know the reason for it yet. Also, I have kept myself a little too busy over the past year. I have sold my previous house and I have bought another house. I am working to pay that off. My mother is going to be with me for my entire life now, so I am trying to make sure she is okay, I am trying to make sure that she doesn’t feel any worry. I am trying to provide her with everything. I have been too busy. Probably when everything settles is when things will sink in, when it will kick me, I don’t know…

Aditya Seal

Do you ever go through your DMs and see all these fan messages? Or do you never read anything?

No, no, I definitely do, I definitely do see my DMs, maybe not all of them but there comes a time, a day when I just want to kick back and see how much I have been abused, how much I have been loved. I remember when Fittrat came out, everybody started telling me that they wanted a Veer Shergill in their life and that they wanted someone to love them like Veer Shergill. I must have done a decent job. I must have connected with people on that front because he wasn’t necessarily the right person. But he was just into his heart, something which connected with most of the people. I am glad there are fan pages. I kept getting messages calling me Veer Shergill. I said “okay, I like the fact that people forget that it’s Aditya and its Veer Shergill”, that’s a victory for me as an actor. 

Is Aditya the ‘Veer’ in that way in real life?

I am actually more chill. I believe that I have a certain romance in me but I am very easy. I am very chill. I may not be that extreme. Yes, Veer Shergill was very extreme in the way he did his things. I may not be that much. I believe in making things easier for myself and my partner to live a long life ahead. A little different from him but yes, I am a lover. 

Aditya Seal

Tell me about the craziest DM you’ve ever received?

A lot of them! A lot of them. Some people want to offer me money to “meet me” (laughs). Somebody is proposing to me on their friend’s behalf. That happens, that happens all the time like “my friend is a big fan of yours, she wants to marry you, please respond to her DM”. I am like “sure, sure, sure, I shall”. Someone said that if Humayun looks like me in The Empire, she would go back in time, save him from dying, marry him and be his Begum, which I think was a great compliment. Otherwise, a lot of abuse is what I get for speaking my mind. But that’s alright.

Do you feel that your good looks and physique have been an obstacle in getting certain roles?

I honestly haven’t thought of it that way. Firstly, I get very weird when people compliment me about the way I look. My response is “haan, ha ha ha…” and I want someone to save me from that conversation. So I don’t believe in all of that, I am not Hrithik Roshan, so that’s it for me. The day I look like Hrithik Roshan, I’ll let it go to my head.

But then how do you respond to compliments?

I am very weird around compliments, so if you give me a compliment, I’ll be like “Haan, ha, ha…thanks, thanks” and I’ll look around for someone to come and save me. I am very awkward with compliments, I don’t know how to respond to them. But yeah, I haven’t seen them as something that would come in my way because, with the kind of roles I’ve been getting, I don’t think I have stuck to one genre, I have been doing very different characters. Tum Bin was a very different character, be it in SOTY 2 where I was an antagonist, be it Indoo ki Jawani and now, coming to Humanyun. So I have done varied roles. I don’t think that has anything to do with the way I look. It all has to do with the way I put myself in the character. 

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