Class actors Ayesha Kanga and Chintan Rachchh deny dating rumours: We are really good friends
In a chat with Hindustan Times, Ayesha Kanga and Chintan Rachchh talk about making their acting debut with Netflix's Class.
Netflix’s Class became the newest addition to the streaming platform’s binge-worthy shows. The popularity of the show surged so much that it’s returning with a second season soon. In this conversation with Hindustan Times, actors Ayesha Kanga and Chintan Rachchh talk about gaining recognition from the show, their real-life school experience and even their dating rumours. (Also read: Class actor Chandan K Anand on mixed reviews for the show)
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia, Class throws light on the power of money, privileges and the class-divided society. It’s set in a fictional elite high school, Hampton International where three underprivileged students enter and a murder takes place. Ayesha plays the role of one of the wealthy students, Yashika while Chintan plays a Kashmir-born boy, Faruq who starts peddling drugs for extra money.
Welcome to Hindustan Times. How are you soaking in the positive reviews of your debut series? Any celebrations?
Ayesha Kanga: We didn’t get time to celebrate the success of the Class. We just so want to milk the hard work we have put into the show.
Chintan Rachchh: For me, celebration is working on my next milestone after one. I have lost the ability to chill. I feel bad about chilling.
But you both are quite popular now. Did you have any fan interaction?
Ayesha Kanga: Yes, it happens a lot now. Every time we leave the house, someone recognises us and wants to take a selfie. Once we were coming back from an interview, it was a terrible day and we looked awful. Two kids come to us and took a selfie when we least expected.
Chintan Rachchh: I moved to a new house in Andheri and there are a lot of corporate goers living around. One day I was walking down and suddenly a guy came running to me and he asked ‘you are in that Netflix show na?” He took a selfie with me and it turned out we stayed in the same building.”
Even on Instagram, you have hundreds of fans commenting on posts every day.
Chintan Rachchh: My Instagram has nothing, Ayesha doesn’t post anything that goes against her aesthetic.
Ayesha Kanga: I’m very brutal about the grid. But with a face like Chintan you don't need it. (laughs)
Ayesha, does that make you close to your character in the show? She is always on social media.
Ayesha Kanga: She is very much into social media and she posts unabashedly. She will go live at any point of the day. I’m more reserved. I post once a week but I want it to be more curated. But no, me and Yashika are different.
Chintan, your character explores his sexuality in the show and falls for Dhruv. Any hesitations about the role before filming the scenes?
Chintan Rachchh: Actually, no. It was very unconventional for someone to start off with such a character. If someone is afraid or fearful of some role, I will definitely do it. In the end, we all are artists only, we want to be challenged. I don't want to be somewhere where I just have to read lines only. Everything was away from what I am. I had to work hard to be the guy. For two years I was in the Faruq mode only, on and off.
You guys share great chemistry. Did you hit off on the first day of the shoot?
Chintan Rachchh: Ayesha got sick in Delhi sometime in September or October 2021. She was kombucha. I told her ‘you have to avoid it.’
Ayesha Kanga: He told me you don't know how to take care of yourself. What are you doing?
Chintan Rachchh: I literally had a juicer with me at the hotel. So I mixed apples, celery, cucumbers, and lemon juice. I gave it to her and I don’t know if she had it.
Ayesha Kanga: I drank and it was delicious. I literally felt better. He was my fruit fairy. It was so sweet because we hadn't talked before. We had no scene together. It was very nice of him to just come and say ‘hey man I heard you are sick, here’s some juice for you.’ I was touched.
Would you like to share your school experience with us?
Chintan Rachchh: I had a very normal school experience. I was the class monitor who used to sit on the first bench, and also participate in all the extra curricular activities. My childhood was all about collecting certificates, getting good grades. I got good marks by the way, and I went to IIT in Karnataka, in the first month itself I wanted to become an actor. I took a break for a year, discussed it with my dad about it and came to Mumbai. Now I am a part of the Netflix show. It’s a school named Genius in Rajkot.
Ayesha Kanga: School for me was very different from Class. I loved my close friends and liked to draw all day. I went to an all-girls school where everyone was nice. Nobody cared for flashy things, or stressed out about grades. It was a very balanced education.
I did have some affluent friends who did go to big schools in South Mumbai and it was very different for them. What we showed in class was very real and it actually happens when rich people’s kids go to a school together and there is no regard. Everything comes at a click of a button. I was aware of the difference very very aptly, sometimes in my school as well.
Speaking of good chemistry, there are strong rumours about you two. Are you dating?
Ayesha Kanga: Who are these people? (laughs)
Chintan Rachchh: We have a very good on-screen chemistry, that's what I feel.
Ayesha Kanga: Off-screen also! My mom is his fan.
Chintan Rachchh: We have that sort of bond where what comes to her head also comes to me. We are really good friends, we can talk our hearts out to each other. Our mindsets align in terms of fashion also. She recommends me a lot and is influenced by fashion a lot.