Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar
Making his debut in the digital space, Amit Sadh has shined with his character Kabir with ‘Breathe’ getting a phenomenal response. We chat with him about this web-series and life beyond acting as well. Excerpts:
How was it getting into the zone of a character, as intense and complex as ‘Kabir’?
To be honest, when I heard this story, I knew I had to do this. I had to bring this character to life and I had to make people engage with him and purify this character by giving him life and giving him glimpses of my past experiences and heal him. Generally actors say that the catharsis of a certain character healed me, but I say, I healed the catharsis of this character. The way people are reacting to Kabir, engaging to him and embracing him, is a big feeling for me and Kabir. That’s why I keep saying, he isn’t a fictional character, he is real, amidst us. People are actually reacting to him, like he is a real guy, people are opening up to him. I’m getting messages at 3am and 4am.
How satisfying is it as an actor to get something which taps deep into your skills as an actor, to be able to bring something like this to life?
I’m a very detached human being. And I told my director that this is the first time I’m expecting something, because I’ve given so much to Kabir. He is the director and he is also editing and he said, Amit trust me, everything will be noticed. It was emotionally difficult and draining when we were filming it, but now that it’s out, I’m happy and back to who I am. For me, it’s again healing and fulfilling. The validation you get from the audience, the industry, and people who matter, it’s all coming in place. This is encouraging me to be on my path, no matter how stupid or silly it is. And I’m just very grateful and honest to the fans. There are a lot of glitches in life, and with a film, people can manipulate, people write good about an actor, bad about an actor, give me a bad review but digitally, I’m reaching the audience directly through their mobile phones and nobody else can control it. Either I’m in or out, is directly decided by the audience, strictly based on my performance. I love it. This is a silly line which came to me, that the digital portal is an arena for underdogs. I’m enjoying the compliments from my audience and engaging with them. I am happy, we made something with a certain frequency and a lot of people, all over the world are matching to that.
And the fact that you used to be an alcoholic must have helped relate to the character?
There are many things people don’t know about me. I was an alcoholic at the age of 15. I used to fight and break people’s faces, get my faced beaten. Why? That’s a book. But this was all when I was a teenager and now it’s all sorted since long. Also, I’m an actor so I don’t necessarily need past references or anything. But yes, because of having some sort of understanding, compassion and empathy today, it comes naturally for me to understand broken people. So, that definitely helps.
Talking about that, you have been willing to write your autobiography since a while…
Yes, that’s going to happen soon.
Does it help that you’ve not lost touch with your real self and continue to pursue other hobbies and interests? For example, biking or climbing mountains? In the sense that, there’s that external window or perspective?
I always say that there’s much more to my life than acting, but when I’m acting, it’s everything. I do live life fully. Now I’m getting into Motor GP, I have my first training session at the California Super Bike School, in Chennai. I am like a boy in the park; I will never let anyone take that away from me because that’s me. And I’m just very grateful to this industry, this country, and people here who let me act and pay my rent on time. My life is simple, and there’s no complication. And I’ve worked so hard to make sure that the excitement in my life which I need continues.
The kind of response you’ve got for ‘Breathe’, explains the reach which the digital medium has. In a way, do you think it’s a competition or threat to movies at theatres?
I am one of those people who believe that nothing is a threat to anyone. Trump is also not a threat to anyone. Only you are a threat to yourself. I am not to myself, that’s all I know. It’s a very big world. After some years, there’ll be more inventions, and things will keep growing. We’ll keep surviving.
So, some things don’t change! You are eternally positive…
That’s a curse I will have to live with, for the rest of my life (laughs). But yes a lot has changed. I am completely healed now. I had a lot of issues in terms of love and stuff. But now I feel healed. Is there a change in your perspective in terms of the kind of work you want to do?
There’s no change in my perspective, but I’m glad there’s a change in people’s perspective towards me. I’m happy people are showing faith and trust in me now.
Tell me about ‘Gold’, and other things lined up…
It’s too early to talk about ‘Gold’, but we released the teaser yesterday, and people have gone mental. All I can say is, this is just the teaser, the trailer will come and the movie will come. In terms of life, I’ve just been promoting ‘Breathe’, and hopefully I’ll begin my next soon.