Karanvir Bohra & Teejay Sidhu
In an exclusive interview with AAJ Magazine, the desired celebrity couple Karanvir Bohra and Teejay share their adorable family journey and life plans.
Karanvir Bohra is an Indian television and film actor, producer and designer. He starred in several Hindi Movies Kismat Konnection , Mumbai 125 KM ; Television dramas Yeh Hai Aashiqui , Naagin 2 , Dil Se Di Dua… Saubhagyavati Bhava?, Shararat and Qubool Hai and in famous Television shows like Bigg Boss12 , Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6, Khatron Ke Khiladi Darr Ka Blockbuster. Bohra also owns a local clothing brand ‘Pegasus’.
Karanvir is the third generation descendent of a cinematic family (Bohra Family) that fostered his creative and artistic intentions. While, Karan’s grandfather Ramkumar Bohra was an actor and producer, his father Mahendra Bohra is an Indian Producer / Director / Writer.
Karanvir married Teejay Sidhu, a Canadian actress, television host and radio personality. She had acted in movies like ‘Love Yoou Soniye’, ‘Tera Mera Ki Rishta’, ‘Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi’, and famous Indian television shows including ‘Kinna Sohna Tennu Rab Ne Banaya’, ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi 5’, ‘Santoshi Maa’, and ‘Bigg Boss 12’.
Both are now enjoying their life as doting parents to their twin babies – Vienna Bohra and Raya Bella Bohra. Teejay was born and raised in Vancouver and started her career with Vancouver Television, a leading entertainment programming in British Columbia. She used to work as a VJ for Channel V, where she hosted the popular shows ‘Channel V Workouts’, ‘Get Gorgeous’, and as a radio host at 93.5 Red FM, anchoring the Breakfast Show.
Currently, she is a content creator and handles one of the successful social media pages on the internet on children blogging (@twinbabydiaries), dedicated to her twin daughters Bella and Vienna.
As a celebrity couple how do you manage to have a work-life balance and support each other to achieve big goals in your lives?
Teejay: The good thing is that sometimes when Karanvir is busy with his projects, I usually do not have work happening. So, I will be taking care of the kids and make visits to the shooting location. Karanvir is also an amazing father and does the babysitting while I am working on projects. Being content creators, both of us are doing a lot of stuff together in Vancouver and shooting videos for our YouTube channel as well as Instagram Page called Twin Baby Diaries. Since we are both in the same field, it helps us stay connected and parenting vlog opened an exciting avenue where both of us can spend more time with babies.
Both of you are an amazing couple and parents to your adorable twin baby girls. Would you like to share a little about your beautiful family?
Teejay: Thank you for your compliment that we are great parents. As every other parent, we want to do the best for our children, and they came as a surprise to us. As a couple, we are always up for an adventure and when we found out that we are having a baby, we thought it is going to be fun. Now as parents, for our twin babies, it is double the fun.
We like to look at things in a different way and have never felt that our life must be adjusted as Bella and Vienna came into our lives. We were here before them and they must adjust with us, and they blended in so beautifully. We travel with the kids and take them wherever we are. They love meeting new people while we are at various events and they just become a wonderful addition to what we already have. So, our parenting journey has enriched our lives and made it even more meaningful.
Teejay, would you like to share your professional journey towards the entertainment industry?
Teejay: As a child, I was very shy, quiet and this is not something I would have seen myself doing at all. I thought I was going to make a conventional career choice like to be a doctor or a teacher where you receive monthly paycheck and you are set into a more organized kind of life. But then I just realized that my life has more purpose than just to earn money or fame or success.
I am here to serve in this world and one thing that I liked about my trips to India is that I got to do a lot of Seva (Service) at Mandirs (Hindu Temple), Gurudwaras (Sikh Temple), and Ashrams (Monasteries). I have also stayed up with the monks in Dharamshala and lucky to be one among the audience few times when Dalai Lama made his visits on behalf of his teaching tour. That has been the most enriching experience which helped me to grow spiritually and brought me to where I am today.
Karanvir, your movie ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’ has been released. Tell us more about the movie.
Karanvir: The movie is psychological romantic thriller, which released on the July 5th. With God’s grace, the movie received amazing reviews and a lot of my fans loved it. The movie did well at the box office and I am very lucky to have a team who brought this whole film together. I want to thank my director Lalit Mohan, my co-star Priya Banerjee, who is also an Indo-Canadian from Calgary, Alberta, co-actor Samir Kochhar. I enjoyed working with every cast in the movie. And of course, the movie promises amazing tracks and music composition by Raaj Aashoo (Music Director).
The film has an eponymous song from 1981 film Kudrat ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’, which was originally sung by Kishore Kumar on composition of RD Burman and lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri. In this movie, the song was recreated by Raaj Aashoo with additional lyrics by Shabbir Ahmed and sung by Shreya Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam. We also had other great music composers working in this movie like Jeet Gannguli, Mika Singh, Tony Kakkar, Shabbir Ahmed, DJ EMENES (MIB), Shaarib-Toshi, Background score by Amar Mohile. All these efforts put forward by a great team made the movie successful.
Is the movie set to hit Canadian theatres soon and will Canadian movie lovers be able to watch the movie at the local theatres?
Karanvir: Unfortunately, this movie will not be releasing in Canada, but we will be having a digital premiere soon and everybody will be able to watch it on a digital platform. Canadian cities are also home to lots of aspiring Bollywood actors and my wife Teejay was more than happy to cast a South Asian Talent to be my heroine in the movie. But we are looking forward to having a worldwide release for my next movie.
Do you think your fan base from television would support and follow you in movies?
Karanvir: People like watching good movies regardless of the fan base. I am lucky and blessed to have wider audience who have really helped to spread the word effectively and the movie opened great weekend run at the box office. Thanks to all my fans for extending their love by supporting my movies, TV shows and our social media contents.
Teejay, could you tell us about both of your favorite directors you have worked with, in the past and those you like to work with, in the future and share why you like working with them?
Teejay: I would love to work with Zoya Akhtar one day. I think she’s got some girl power. I love her energy; her way of storytelling and I like how she doesn’t sideline women in her films. She makes everybody pivotal to the story and I would definitely like to work with her.
Do you think married actors make better stars?
Teejay: Star quality is something you have in you, despite of your marital status. But when you are married, it helps because you get that emotional support. Being in entertainment industry, there are a lot of ups and downs and having someone to come home to who can help you get through the rough days and cheer you as well as keep you grounded during the good days is definitely an added advantage.
As a couple, we started getting a lot of work together. We were in lot of television shows together like Khatron Ke Khiladi which was the most fun project we have ever done. Even though we could not win but it was once in a lifetime opportunity and we had terrific experience. We also had good experience being part of an amazing dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6 and after the show, both of us took a break to learn more and get professional training on traditional Indian dance form Kathak.
How is the response from the audience so far and how excited are you as you embark on a new phase in your life?
Karanvir: It is a very fantastic phase for me, and everybody loves Bollywood movies. Acting is not new to me as I have been doing that for almost 15-16 years of my life, but still this movie is like another feather in my cap. I wish to have more feathers because production has been in my blood and I am the third generation in the film industry. My grandfather Ramkumar Bohra produced around 40-45 Hindi movies and he was the one who brought Dara Singh back from Punjab for his film Hercules (1964). My grandfather went back to Punjab, convinced him to come back and produced blockbuster movies like Hercules (1964) and followed by Thief of Baghdad (1969). Dara Singh also joined the production and made amazing Gujarati movies. So, the production company was really big in the regional aspect as well.
Being the third generation, it is a big responsibility moving ahead, and we are looking forward to doing couple more projects by 2020. Presently, everything seems all hunky dory and beautiful and hope it remains the same with God’s grace.
Karanvir, Bollywood holds a special place in anyone who dreams of acting. Now that you are doing more movies in Bollywood, will you continue acting in TV serials?
Karanvir: When you are acting for the love of it, the platform does not matter whether it is a movie or television. Even though Bollywood is everyone’s dream, I always love doing television dramas and I would never ever leave the television industry. Moreover, I cannot deny the fact that TV Show is where I got my fan base and all the recognition, I have received so far is from the Indian TV audience. It is like bread-and-butter income stemming over past several years and I am going to be dabbling with my television projects and movies. So, for me, television is as special as Bollywood.
Do you believe that young Indians are choosing streaming over TV (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video Productions) than going to movie theaters? Please share your view.
Teejay: Absolutely. These days nobody wants to wait through advertising. Streaming over TV is much easier and more convenient. In this busy world, you get to choose what you want to watch, for when you want to watch it and that is a huge benefit of TV streaming. I think some TV shows are going to become obsolete like the TV cable system because nobody is going to need subscriptions anymore and your TV has already become a monitor just to hook up your Netflix.
Having said that I think that if we had to choose right now over TV or digital, we would both love to do more shows on the digital platform like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Reliance Jio.
Greater Vancouver has about 66% of Indo-Canadians and various Indo-Canadian artists and actors who have a profile in India's entertainment industry. Would you both like to share your connection with Canada?
Teejay: There is a big percentage of Indo-Canadian artists in Vancouver and we would love to build a bigger connection here. We have also had some good discussion and meetings about upcoming film projects and in fact, we would love to do more acting assignments, movies and television projects during our visit to Vancouver.