The Star of the Moment: The White Tiger's Adarsh Gourav
Who is the actor who shot to fame with Netflix's The White Tiger?
If I were to describe my feelings for Adarsh Gourav in internet lingo, I’d say that I stan him. I have been following him on social media long before he got all the fame that he has today. Even though I have nothing to do with his success, I feel like a proud follower and fan who rooted for him from the beginning. Today, when you search for ‘Adarsh Gourav’ on Google, the ‘People also search for’ section shows you some highly accomplished personalities like Hollywood’s Riz Ahmed. To be appearing alongside him is nothing short of an achievement. For me, he was just another fictional character that I was smitten with when I saw that one episode of Hostel Daze where his character tries to woo his crush. After stalking his Instagram account and repeatedly listening to his soulful music covers, I knew that he had found a fan in me.
But who is this guy who shot to fame with the critically-acclaimed movie, The White Tiger? Adarsh Gourav is a 26-year-old actor from Mumbai who debuted in Bollywood with My Name Is Khan in 2010. (He played young Rizwan.) He is classically trained in music and was discovered as an actor while he was singing in a festival. He worked with Anurag Kashyap and Radhika Apte in a short film called Clean Shaven which can be found on YouTube. He was then cast in Atanu Mukherjee’s Rukh (2017) as the lead alongside Manoj Bajpayee. His performance in Rukh was appreciated and critics started recognising him as an unstoppable force. In the same year, he bagged the role of the antagonist in Sridevi’s Mom. I remember watching him on screen in this film and absolutely hating his character. That’s when I knew he is a great actor .
After his acting stints in various projects, he took a break to perfect his craft from the The Drama School in Mumbai. His career on OTT platforms kicked off in 2018 with Prime Video’s Die Trying, created by Kenny Sebastian. However, the series failed to garner positive reviews. In 2019, he appeared in Hostel Daze (Prime Video) and Leila (Netflix). While the former resonated with the young audience more, the latter was watched by a wider audience. Both of them added to his career portfolio and helped him climb up the ladder of success.
Then, The White Tiger came along. He portrays an ambitious servant who attempts to rise in a society heavily divided by class and caste. This project had big names like Rahmin Bahrani, Priyanka Chopra, Ava DuVernay, Rajkumar Rao and Aravind Adiga associated with it, but the star who shone was Adarsh Gourav. Suddenly, the world wanted to know who this boy from Mumbai was. His social media following increased, leading media channels wanted to interview him and magazine publications wanted him to be on their cover. The White Tiger was a highly anticipated film because of its stellar cast and the big names backing it, but what got everyone talking after its release was Gourav’s acting prowess. The Telegraph said Gourav "gives the definition of a breakthrough performance”. Various prestigious award academies bestowed a nomination to the film in various categories. Adarsh Gourav got nominated for a BAFTA in Best Actor in a Leading Role category alongside Riz Ahmed, Anthony Hopkins and the likes. The film was also nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay in Oscars, however, lost to The Father. Gourav won the Snow Leopard Rising Star award in Asian World Film Festival.
Gourav is the star of the moment right now and rightly so. I hope he continues to break barriers and surprise viewers with his future projects. Now that he has come out of the ‘underrated actor’ tag, I hope he gets more scripts that justify his ferocious talent!