Who is ‘The White Tiger’ Adarsh Gourav? Meet real-life Balram who once worked with Shah Rukh Khan and 'is a crow'

'Working in a stall and walking on the streets, it became clear that unless you are a public personality or very good looking or are wearing very good clothes, people don’t stop and look at you'

                            Who is ‘The White Tiger’ Adarsh Gourav? Meet real-life Balram who once worked with Shah Rukh Khan and 'is a crow'
Adarsh Gourav with Priyanka Chopra-Jonas in ‘The White Tiger’ (Netflix)

Inspired by Aravind Adiga's 2008 novel, ‘The White Tiger’ charts through the life of Balram Halwai. Narrating his epic and darkly humorous rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur in modern India, the 125-minute movie makes for a compelling drama that lends insight into religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India.

Cunning and ambitious, the young hero jockeys his way into becoming a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra-Jonas), who have just returned from America. Society has trained Balram to be one thing — a servant — so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters. But after a night of betrayal, he realizes the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves.

On the verge of losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master. After watching the movie, the one question it leaves is: Who is the actor playing the lead role of Balram? Here's all you need to know about the 26-year-old actor and singer.

Adarsh Gourav as Balram Halwai in ‘The White Tiger’ (Netflix)

Who is Adarsh Gourav?

Born on July 11, 1994, Adarsh Gourav was raised in Jamshedpur in India's Jharkhand state and spent his later years in Mumbai, India. He graduated from Narsee Monjee with a Bachelor's degree and is also an alumnus of The Drama School in Mumbai. Recently, he shared an Instagram post and revealed that his mother painted ‘The White Tiger’ on the walls of the garage and also came to receive him at the airport with a ‘Welcome White Tiger’ flag.

Sketching out his childhood, he said in an interview with FilmyLoop, “I moved to Bombay in 2007 with my family. My father was a banker and was transferred here. Initially, I had no plans to pursue acting. My parents thought that I would make my career in music, as I was taking musical classes at a young age. Once, when I was performing on stage, someone asked me if I wanted to pursue a career in acting. It was really out of the blue moment, but I said yes as I was only 13 years old at the time and I was just excited to come on TV.”


Adarsh Gourav's films 

With over a decade-long acting career, Adarsh Gourav has been a part of more than 50 television and digital ad campaigns — including Airtel, Cadbury and Hotstar. One of his first roles was in the Karan Johar-directorial ‘My Name is Khan’ followed by Anurag Kashyap's ‘Madly’ and Ravi Udyawar's ‘Mom’. Talking about working opposite stalwarts like Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpayee and Sridevi, he told Free Press Journal, “When you see these actors on the screen, and suddenly they are in front of you, you do then take a step back. But the key is not to get too excited and remain calm. Once the camera starts rolling you need to be your character.”

Before ‘The White Tiger’, he starred in a string of web series like ‘Leila’ on Netflix, ‘Die Trying’ and ‘Hostel Daze’ on Amazon Prime Video. He was also a part of 'The Desi Variety Show' by Cyrus Sahukar on Zoom TV.


Adarsh Gourav’s music career

Did you know Adarsh Gourav is also a singer? Classically trained in Hindustani music for over nine years, Adarsh has been a frontman for two progressive metal bands in school and college namely Steepsky and Oak Island. 

The band Oak Island had released an EP titled ‘Aliens Can't Jump’ that was featured on the show ‘MTV Indies - Never Hide Sounds’. In an interview, Gourav revealed that the band was shut down later. “Unfortunately, our guitarist went to Australia for further studies. After that, we got busy in our own lives. It was a decision of what you wanted to do in life. I mean it’s not like you cannot multitask, there are people who do all the stuff at once. But it’s just that I failed to do that. I still sing, I jam but just for myself. Though, I do have plans to pursue it in the future. I want to sing in movies and release my own individual albums.”

Interestingly, he has also worked with music legends like Illayaraja and Sukhwinder Singh as a playback singer for Bollywood movies like ‘Black and White’ and ‘Chal Chalein’.


Does Adarsh connect to Balram Halwai?

Sharing an incident from his past that gave him a deja-vu of Balram, Adarsh Gourav told FirstPost, “One day when I was walking towards my hotel, a guy who was driving a small van carrying metal rods for a construction site called out to me. He asked me to help him lift the rods and for that work, he gave me chai-paani of Rs 20. With that experience, of not even opening my mouth but randomly being called by a complete stranger to do something very menial, I realized I am Balram. That validation gave me a lot of confidence.”

He added, “Working in a stall and walking on the streets, it became clear that unless you are a public personality or very good looking or are wearing very good clothes, people don’t stop and look at you because there are hundreds of thousands of people walking around. My idea was to become invisible, to be one in the crowd, to achieve this insignificance where nobody really cares whether you exist or not. That is Balram, and that is why he never gets caught.”

‘The White Tiger’ (Netflix)

What is Adarsh Gourav's net worth?

Adarsh Gourav's exact net worth is not known but his fortune is estimated to be worth close to Rs 0.5 million ($6,847), if net worth calculators are to be believed.

What's his advice to newcomers? “I think all they need to do is ask themselves if they really want to do this or not? And then just find the joy of working. If you want to be an actor or any artist whether it’s a director, cinematographer, a writer. I think it’s really important that you should know the field. Only then you can work efficiently.”


What is Adarsh Gourav's Instagram?

Adarsh Gourav is on Instagram with his handle @gouravadarsh. Funnily, his Twitter bio reads, “Mostly an actor, occasionally a crow.” He dished out the secret behind that bio saying he loves animals and impersonates dogs, pigeons, and crows. “When I was living in Amboli, Mumbai, I would sit on the ledge of the window with my cup of coffee. Outside that window was a tree filled with crows and I would have this interaction with them every morning. One day a friend walked in and he was shocked to see this. And my secret was out,” he told FirstPost.

When asked how he takes brickbats and bouquets on social media, he said, “It depends on who it’s coming from, if that person is someone who I consider to be important and respect that person, I take it positively. As important as it is to be aware of reality, it’s really important to back your ability and back your strength. Sometimes people say things, maybe they’re right and maybe they’re wrong but if you feel they’re right, you should work on yourself and try to become a better actor.”

Catch more pictures on his profile here:




If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514