A typical Bollywood fare. A young boy, all of 20 years, decides to move out of his home in a search of his identity. He lands up in the city of dreams Mumbai. And then begins a struggle, a process to find direction in life till the small screen beckons him. It is a story that the Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr star Amit Sadh is well versed with because it happens to be his story.
Sadh quit education after standard 12 to pursue his passions- acting and sports. He got his big break in Neena Gupta's Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr. His debut character Aady made him a star, so much so that even after quitting the serial, people still call him Aady. Fortunately, his cute boy-next-door looks got noticed almost. He is soon going to make a come back on the show in its 100 episode special
At present he busy shooting for Sony's Saasksshi and Sahara's comedy Zaroorat Hai that's besides enjoying his other passion- adventure sports.
Excerpts from the tete-e-tete that transpired between him and indiantelevision.com's Sabiha Sehnaz:
When did you realise that you want to become an actor? And after you announced your decision, did your family approve of it?
I never thought of taking up acting as a career because no one in my family has been an actor.
Basically, it has to do with my temperament. I used to be in a theater group, when I when was in Delhi. But it wasn't as if I was concentrating only on acting, I was keen on rock climbing as well. One fine day, I just thought that I should come to Mumbai and try my hand at acting.
The reason why my family didn't try to oppose me is because they know I am a headstrong guy. If I have decided on something, I will do it, come what may.
Do you have any formal training in acting?
I did an acting course from Kishore Namit Kapoor's institute, when I came to Mumbai.
How did 'Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr' happen? Was it your first assignment?
I was called in to audition for a small character in the serial. My audition went off well and when the production guys saw my performance they offered me the lead role.
How was the experience of working with Neena Gupta? Was she a tough task master? How was the team that you worked with like?
She (Neena Gupta) is an awesome producer. Both she and Anupam Kalidhar, the producers of the show are very nice people. Why else would I plan to go back?
I share a very good rapport with her, ditto with Anupam. People might think that I am try to butter them, but I am not. I am a genuine person and I don't believe in doing PR.
Are you trying to tell me that PR doesn't work?
No. Don't get me wrong. I think one needs to use their PR skills, but for a genuine cause.
I don't believe in humouring people for your own devious means and neither can I get along with people who do that.
"It feels nice to receive such adulation, which is why even after a year long break I am coming back in the show"
Any serial is a team effort, right. So tell me how do you deal with other members?
We work as a family. In Saaksshi, all the five lead actors have separate rest rooms, yet we always remain in one room. Just like a family, we eat together, party together and even fight. Be it either Sameer Soni or Deepak Jaitly we are like a family. I had a friendly unit even at Aawaaz or Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr.
How difficult/easy was it to play Aady? How much do you resemble Aady in real life? When did you realise that your character is working?
I think playing Aady was very easy, he was just so much like me. Usually an actor has to put in a lot of effort and hard work, I did that for other roles but not for Aady.
I realised how much people appreciated my performance, when I started getting calls. In fact most of them thought I was just like Aady. Even my friends started calling me Aady...
You left the 'Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr' after an accident, right. How did the audience react when you were replaced?
I loved stunts. So for a shot when I had to ride a bike, I was more then happy. But on that unfortunate day, I fell from the bike and broke my hand. I had to call it quits then.
I don't think that the audience were happy about it. Till date, people ask me why I left the show. I used to joke that the producers kicked me out because I wasn't good enough. The people used to say that it was impossible since I was so good.
But I think I am lucky, because usually if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Never happened with me.
It feels nice to receive such adulation, which is why even after a year long break I am coming back in the show.
But won't audience find it a bit jarring to see you in the same role again?
The audience wants me back and that is why they are getting me back. I am sure they won't find it difficult accepting me in the role.
Will there be a change in the story line, considering that Aady's track in the story had almost been terminated? What happens to Aady and Niki's love story? Who will be paired opposite you? Will Rewa Bubber also join the cast?
As far as I know, I don't think there will be any changes in the storyline. I am just going to make a comeback and as the same ole' Aady. The story continues just the way it has been.
I don't know about Rewa, though. I don't know if they are reviving Niki's character.
"I think is sheer good luck that Star Plus spotted my talent. But I did work hard for it"
How does the industry treat the new comers? Is it a hard route that people have to take? Do you need a godfather to make it?
I came to the industry two years ago. The industry to me was awesome, I don't know about others. When I first came to Mumbai I knew nobody, but now I know everyone. I get a call almost for every television show, be it for any channel. It is another story that I am consciously trying to cut down on serials. I am planning to make a foray on to big screen.
But as far as I concerned I had a very good rapport with the industry. It is like a family to me now.
I am a very professional actor- disciplined and hardworking. I have a viewership and that why I get offers. You don't need a godfather, at least I didn't. But one needs to learn from senior actors.
Do roles come easily to new comers?
Nothing comes easy in life! Initially, I was called for a small role in Kyun Hota... but after my screen test they offered me the lead role instead. While it didn't make a difference to me then, I thought of it as just a job. But the really dawned on me only when I saw the television promos and outdoor posters. And after six months, when I got the response from the public I realised how is feels to be in a lead role.
I think is sheer good luck that Star Plus spotted my talent. But I did work hard for it.
When you entered the industry, as a new comer how was the experience?
Initially people thought I was an idiot. Even the people working me thought of me as a nut as I used to be extremely serious while I was working. But I think that attitude has paid off.
But yes, the initial two-three months were quite difficult and after that my work spoke for me.
How are the working hours for the new comers? Are they made to work more than the established actors? What about the payment?
What ever amount I am earning in a day now, used to be my months salary then. But one can't really complain about it. If a hire a person to work at my house, I try him out and only then will increase his pay.
Similarly, you can't demand an amount when you are new. But today I can.
Tell me something about your other shows, 'Awaaz', 'Saaksshi' and 'Koi Dil Main Hain'? What is the feedback that you have received for these shows, especially for 'Koi…' where your character has shades of grey?
The character in Awaaz has been the most amazing character I played till date. The kind of hard work and effort I put in that character, I had never did it for any other show. For four months I grew my beard and mustache, I had become dark shooting under the sun.
I think no one can get such a role even in films. I am very content and happy with the portrayal of the character. I also received many compliments for the role. I even got calls from countries like Dubai, UK, Dublin, Ireland. It did well in India as well, but I think people watches more of Star TV than Zee.
I don't really care about the TRP of the serial. I have a practical approach, what I normally think is if the producer has signed me for X number of days. He is paying me some amount. I think I should honour my contract. That is my main concern.
Saaksshi is going on air right now and I have high expectations from the serial. I have got very good response, till now. We are a team of five people in all. My character is different and unique from the rest. He is aggressive, savvy and funny too.
As for Koi Dil..., I left the show because I was not happy with the way my character was shaping up. I gave them 18 -19 episode for three four months, hoping something will happen but nothing happened. They didn't make anything out of it so I quit that show. And I told Balaji that I don't want to do any other show with them in the future.
Oh oh! But how did you get into Balaji? How different was it from working with Neena Gupta's Taurus?
I had been receiving calls from Balaji for the last two years. Sometime back, I did Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat but that was just for a short period of 18-19 episodes.
She did call me for Kahaani..., Kyunki.... and Kasautii... as well, but somehow I am not too keen on soaps. I did accept Koi Dil... because it was different. I gave them good dates for three-four months, hoping something will happen but nothing did.
I don't mean that they have been a bad production house, but their working conditions, work etiquette's have not been good. I couldn't cope with it. So I quit and I don't wanna work with them anymore.
So no Ekta Kapoor anymore?
No I am not going to work with her anymore. Never.
"I think one needs to use their PR skills, but for a genuine cause"
But Balaji is known name in television. All the serial of Balaji are getting high ratings….
If you are a good actor everyone is keen to signs you. Ekta Kapoor is a visionary person. She is workaholic. I like her as a producer but unfortunately the Koi .. team was very unprofessional, something that I couldn't handle. What ever was told to me about my role even that didn't happen. I conveyed my disappointment but nobody paid attention so I needed to move out.
I heard that you were not fluent with Hindi when you made your television debut....
Yes. Initially, I did have problem with the language but that was before I join television. I worked hard to improve my Hindi and I was successful. I read a lot of Hindi novels, school text books and did every other thing to improve my Hindi.
When ever I used to visit home (at Delhi), I used to pursue my favourite hobbies - rock climbing, mountaineering and dramatics. During one such vacation, a theater group was organising plays, I w asked them for a role. While they did entertain me but they made fun of my poor Hindi. That incident changed me a lot.
Now you have a comedy 'Zaroorat Hai' for Sahara on your plate. How is it working in a comedy? Do actors have to work harder for it? I have heard somewhere that not everybody can do a comedy… you have to be born with a comic timing.
In Zaroorat Hai, I am playing Farida Jalal's son. I am one amongst her five sons and she is forever keen on getting us married. It's a comedy with lot of masti.
Interestingly, Saaksshi's producer wanted me to do the role. He even managed my dates! The role was exciting and I got lured by the idea of doing comedy.
Since I am planning to do films next years, I thought it would be good idea to try my hand at comedy.
Everyone around me thinks that I have a good comic timing. It's a good time to check how well I can do.
How important is the director or the production house in your opinion? What do you look into a project before signing?
For me the most important thing is the producer. If the producer is good than you won't face any problem. But I think, for an actor, the director should be the most important. I have worked with the best and the biggest directors of television.
It is a technical medium and they are the most important players. But unfortunately, they don't get noticed much. If a director is good at his work only then he can get good performance out of the actor. If the cameraman does good lighting than only you will look good. We actors get the attention because we are in front of the camera.
As a rule, before signing any project I see the role- its dimensions, whether it challenging or not. I don't care much about e money.
What else? Any other serials? Or is it a smooth switch over to films now.
Just that Zaroorat hai is launching on Sahara from 25 June. I don't want to talk about movies right now because I haven't signed any. So I have my fingers are crossed.
Do you think people have a block when it comes to switch over from small screen to big? Barring the exception of Sharukh Khan, most of the recent entrants have bombed badly; people haven't really accepted them as the heroes (Amar Upadhya or a Rohit Roy or a Rahul Bhatt). Even the character artistes like Ashutosh Rana, Irrfan Khan have select takers. How do you think you will fare in such a circumstances? And in case films click, are you planning to call it quit from the small screen?
I don't care. I know that I will be in movies one day and I will make it happen, no matter what.
I have never felt insecure. I am ambitious, want to become something. And I don't have any alternatives either.
Let's talk about your other hobbies, your passion, adventure sports, what's happening in that front?
Besides adventure sports and rock climbing, I love biking too. I am planning to ride a bike from Mumbai to Siachan glacier soon.
Who are your favourite directors, actors, movies, serials?
My favourite Hollywood actors are Al Pacino, Meg Ryan and Julia Robert. Amongst India actors my favourite are Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamala Hassan, Dimple Kapadia and Kajol.
I like John Woo's films.
My favourite movie is Scar Face starring Al Pacino, in Hindi I liked Dil Se, Munna Bhai, Hum Tum, Yuva and Kal Ho Na Ho. But my all time favourite movies are Pushpak and Ek Duje Ke Liye.
Anyone specific you want to work for?
Beggars can't be choosers.