A certified psychologist and a star on screen and on stage, Sushant Divgikar is an alpha who pranced into show business with flair and flamboyance. You might have seen him in Bigg Boss season 8, or perhaps you saw him win Mr Gay world 2014, or in fact, you might have caught him as his other persona, ‘Rani Ko-HE-Nur.’ Sushant proves to us that intellect and good looks definitely do go hand in hand, for which he’s been enormously popular in the media, acquiring features from Huffington Post India, Hindustan Times, Times of India, BBC Hindi and many others lining up to get exclusive interviews with him. Read on to know more about this firecracker’s journey, hear about his upcoming business ventures and chat with Sushant on Dysco if you’re looking to collaborate.
Sushant’s Elaborate List of Achievements
Sushant’s foray into show business includes working as an actor, a fashion model and a TV anchor, for which he has both won and been nominated for multiple awards including Mr. Congeniality, Mr. People’s Choice, and Best Anchor. Aside from being in the spotlight on screen and offline, he featured in numerous commercials for brands like MTV India, Channel V, and Idea Mobiles too. He hosted a series of India’s Got Talent and was also recognised for his beautiful voice, for which he received much acclaim and awards. Currently, he’s focused on going on a tour for drag shows, and is receiving attention for being one of the first openly gay men to go on a tour.
How it all started
“My brother was a model and I always considered myself to be the more intellectual one, I never even imagined that I would end up in show business”. He started working quite early in his life, itching to become self-reliant and financially independent, “I didn’t start early because I had to but because I had the desire to earn and spend my own money.” Sushant applied for a scholarship at Terence Lewis Dance company where he was selected, and soon became a part of the core team as a trained choreographer. As luck would have it, one day when Sushant was accompanying his friend for an audition, he ran into the creative director of the shoot, who urged him to give it a try. Young and spectacularly confident, at just 16 years, Sushant bagged his first advertisement for Maruti Suzuki Ritz. By 18 he had already done about 10 feature advertisements but walked away from it all to pursue his education, which was his priority.
“I had the desire to earn and spend my own money”
The early years
After taking a break from the ultra-fast glamour world, Sushant prioritised in getting himself a degree (or a couple) first. He wanted to pursue a subject that would let him help others as well as help himself. Psychology seemed like the perfect fit, deepening his understanding of how minds worked. “Subjects like Psychology, Economics, Political Science along with others are such that they can be applied in real life”. But we already know that driven people like Sushant like to go all out in whatever they do, he actually ended up getting a double master’s degree and diploma eventually!
Applying his education to his profession
Psychology in Sushant’s opinion helps in everything that you do. “You’re aware of what you are doing, whether it’s a bad habit or a good one, you’re aware of why you’re doing it and how’s it affecting you.” Sushant has used his knowledge in Psychology to the best of his abilities, whether it was using it during his auditions, his roles, his performances and all his roles. “Psychology is a curious subject, if I ask you to not think of a pink elephant, that is exactly what you’ll be thinking of. You see? Psychology is all around us.” While psychology didn’t pan out to be his career path, his educational background provides context and substance for the rest of Sushant’s professional endeavours – he relies on the basics to inform his decision-making and strategic choices.
Return to show business
Sushant was in the middle of his education when he received a call from the creative director who first endorsed him during his first commercial. But this time the opportunity was too amazing to pass. He was called to be a host for a TV show for Bindass channel. It was a game changer for Sushant and one thing led to another, and today after giving almost 200 auditions and 60 jobs in 12 years, Sushant is a successful man in the show business. Sushant admits that his persona and sexual orientation have worked both for and against him, especially while being in the spotlight. “I have used all that I am and all that I have to my advantage, and why not? To survive in this industry, one must not leave a single stone unturned. I had to do s**t work (referring to lesser quality ads and gigs) but those paid my bills at the time and I will always be open and honest about that.” Sushant owns his flamboyance with confidence and pride, that has unsurprisingly helped him make a mark for himself.
“I had to do s**t work but those paid my bills at the time and I will always be open and honest about that”
Advice for the current generation
In the past decade, India has seen a lot of change. The LGBT community has been directly affected and Sushant urges aspirational youth to make the most of those opportunities. “There are so many opportunities now, but I would tell the youth of our country to have a balance in regards to their career, by doing something different and not doing what everybody’s doing, but at the same time being realistic about the goals they set.” He also comments saying, “social media has become such a great source for building your brand, the kids today can do so much with it!”
What he’s looking for
Sushant is currently flying all over with exciting performances lined up. As an experienced performer, he now wishes to offer a channel for young individuals to exhibit their talent. He is also going to be giving a Ted talk in the near future and also will be organising multiple events himself. He’s looking forward to connecting with brands, venue partners, content creators and designers for his upcoming projects. You can get in touch with Sushant via his Dysco profile here.
This article is written by Divya Bagaria for Dysco and edited by Dysco. Divya is a content and copy writer based in Mumbai. She also has an MSc. in Psychology and runs a part time counselling practice. You can connect with Divya Bagaria on Dysco App, for consultations, conversations or collaborations.