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Keeping 'Chasing Life' light: Actor Abhi Sinha dishes on all things Danny Gupta

Chasing Life‘s April couldn’t get by without the crew she has, with each member contributing to her sanity in his or her own way. As a workaholic, April couldn’t maintain her professional edge at the Boston Post without some competition. Enter Danny Gupta, played by actor Abhi Sinha, who’s always trying to outdo April. On her last day in the office, we didn’t get to see Danny and April say a heartfelt, or even jerky, goodbye. During his hospital visit on last night’s summer finale, however, we got to see that Danny isn’t just a scarecrow without a heart.

We can’t get enough of the comedic relief Danny Gupta brings to Chasing Life. So we caught up with Sinha to find out if he’s Team Leo or Team Dominic, if Danny ever has a shot with Raquel, and how he’d like a career in journalism. Oh, and he was even down for some rounds of a Danny Gupta-style This or That game!

Photo Credit: Lesley Bryce

Photo Credit: Lesley Bryce

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: First and foremost, congratulations on the show’s Teen Choice Awards nomination for Breakout Show! Did you expect to have such positive impact with audiences and such great feedback?
ABHI SINHA: I was just kind of looking forward to the ratings. (Laughs) I’m kidding. No, I really had no idea how it would be received. It’s such a pretty heavy theme, right, dealing with cancer. And I feel like the writers did such a good job at making it lighthearted and I think that’s helped initially to get it received so well and so positively. But I mean, the Teen Choice Awards are just the cherry on the icing on top of the cake, because that’s just amazing.

I read about how you were proud to play an Indian character that wasn’t your stereotypical character. What do you think makes Danny different?
Well, he’s very different. I went on an audition today and the character was a fresh-off-the-boat taxi cab driver with an accent. Danny Gupta couldn’t be more different from that kind of a character, which is your stereotypical Indian character that you see. Danny is very rash and he always has the kind of one-liners that might come off jerky. He has no boundaries and is just the complete opposite of a conservative, typical Indian character that you might think of.

He has such a big personality in the office. Do you feel you have anything in common with the character?
You know, I use how I feel when I’m on set to kind of convey what I think my character Danny would feel when he’s in the office. I’m pretty easygoing when I’m not at work, but when I’m at work, I’m so locked in and focused and just trying to one-up everyone, and I think I’ve maybe taken that quality and applied it to him in the office.

Now that you’ve played a competitive journalist on the show, do you think it’s a career you would enjoy? The reporter life and a competitive newsroom environment …
That’s actually such a great question, because before I decided to become an actor, you know, really become an actor and commit myself to acting, I was at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and I was studying sports journalism. So yes, it was definitely something I could see myself doing.

There’s this mystery about Danny. We see his personality through the comedic relief that he provides on the show, but are we going to get to hear more of his backstory?
Absolutely. Danny is definitely an enigma. We don’t really see a personal side to him early on, but his character will evolve. As it does, I think and I hope fans will come to like him even more if they don’t already. In the first few episodes he’s a real jerk, he has no boundaries, he doesn’t even have social skills really. But as April’s disease progresses, we’ll definitely see a much softer side to him.

In the office, Danny is also a big fan of Raquel, his little office crush. Are we going to see Danny take on a romantic storyline?
We have Dapril and Lapril, for Leo and April and Dominic and April. So I’m hoping there can be a Ranny, for Raquel and Danny, going on soon. You know, he gets his heart broken by Raquel a hundred times a day, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to keep trying, and hopefully down the road it may end up paying off.

April and you are cubicle neighbors, but if you had to pick another character on the show to be your cubicle buddy, who would it be?
I would pick April’s grandma in a heartbeat. I think I’m trying to learn how to deliver one-liners the way she does because she’s so good. And it would just be so fun sitting with her and making fun of everyone.

It seems like you’ve played all different kinds of roles. Are you more into comedies or are you more into dramas?
I’ve never really had a preference. I’ve enjoyed doing both. Times when I think I’m really funny, I’m coming off very dramatic, and times when I’m trying to be very dramatic and have this gravitas, people are laughing their butts off. So I just try to make it work.

You have a movie coming out in January 2015, Cyber. Can you share a little bit about your role in that?
I play a forensics detective, and the movie is about cyberwarfare between the United States and China. Without having my head cut off by Michael Mann, that’s all I’m gonna say, because he’s a scary man.

I did a little Twitter stalking and you’re a pretty big TV fan yourself. Is there one of these really popular shows out right now that you’d love to jump in on?
Oh, man, I mean, Game of Thrones to me is hands-down the best show, my favorite show. If I could play any character on that, that would be just like a dream come true. We’re still, I feel, in Game of Thrones getting into the Persia aspect and incorporating a little more people of color. But I think we’ll get there eventually, so that would be a really cool character to play on a show like that. Or maybe a zombie on The Walking Dead.

I wanted to end with a quick game of  This or That based on Danny Gupta. I’ll shoot out two words and you tell me, knowing the character, which one he’d choose. Is that cool?
Okay, let’s give it a go!

Twitter or Instagram?

A computer or pen and paper?
Oh, a computer!

Rock or hip-hop?
Hip-hoooop! I love this game! Why can’t all interviews be like this?!

April or Raquel?
As much as I love Raquel, I have to go with my friend April. I just respect her too much.

A book or an iPad?
An iPad all day. You can read a book on an iPad!

Dominic or Leo?
I gotta go with Dominic. Dominic’s the man. He’s just such a sweetheart.

A writer or an editor?
It’d be pretty cool to be a writer. Writer for sure.

Chasing Life on ABC Family

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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