Actor Sambhaji Sasane who was last seen in ‘Wagherya’ is now excited for his next LAAL BATTI which will release soon. His work as ‘Sam’ (Wagherya) was widely appreciated. He is also part of Indian Ensemble’s Algorithms. Now over to Sam.
Vipul K. Shah
GG) Hhmmm…Second film to hit the screens…
SS) Yes I am glad, excited … and nervous as usual.(laughs)
SS) It is based on a true story of a police commando who was separated from his mother at an early age. It’s great to be part of stories like this. I play a police commando named ‘Prakash Thube’. Unlike Sam(Wagherya), he is pretty confident & straight forward. We went through an intense training schedule with commandos for over 3 weeks. Working with Girishji was a great experience, he made sure we got equal opportunities as an ensemble cast & we trained harder. Plus, he is always open for improve within a scene structure which gives the actor an opportunity to explore. Also, I enjoyed working with Mangeshji & the entire ensemble cast.
GG) How was the experience training with Police Commandos?
SS) Honestly, it was nerve-racking … Some parts still ache (laughs). I use to travel daily from Vasai to reach Thane by 5.45 a.m. So I had to leave my home by 2 a.m. to catch the first train to Dadar and then to Thane. I thought we all actors might pass away during the training period but luckily we survived (laughs). The training made me realize how hard it is to live the life of a Commando. It’s not the usual picture we have in mind of superheroes we see on screen but there is more to it. They come from small hamlets from Vidharbha, Marathwada and other locations leaving their families there and slogging it day and night. For our safety, they have to go overtime with an always improvising schedule. With this physical training, they slog out for around 12-14 hours. Salute to all the Commandos of Maharashtra Police & across India who do this daily to make us feel safe.
GG) How was the experience working with a talented director like Girish Mohite?
SS) Although he is a senior, he never gives that vibe. He will discuss things with you, ask you to improvise. Onset or offset he is pretty cool to hang out with. I actually worked with him for an episode of a serial called ‘Shaurya’ where I got in touch with him. And destiny brought us together to work on this feature. I would love to work with him again.
SS) Amazing! This was my 2nd collaboration with them. I had worked for Abhishek Majumdar’s ‘Muktidham’ as a part of the chorus on their Mumbai tour. Abhishekji recommended my name to Chanakya Vyas(Director) for ‘Algorithms’. I auditioned and was selected. I am playing a Taxi Driver who hails from Bihar. I had to learn Bhojpuri for the role. My colleague Sumit Kumar Jha helped me through it. We rehearsed for 30 days in Bengaluru & then performed in RangaSankara & Prithvi in Mumbai.
GG) How was the process?
SS) Way before writer and director Chanakya Vyas exposed us to the text; we did a lot of improvisations. Chankaya himself had interviewed over 100 drivers from different cities and he had a lot of research backup for this play which was an add on for me. I started my own interactions with cab & auto drivers that I met. This play had extensive use of projection which added a new dimension to our work. During the process, Chanakya came up with a new character of Insurance Agent which again added a lot of challenge and fun to what I was already doing. Also, we had an amazing ensemble cast for ‘Algorithms’.
GG) How do you see the character you play?
SS) As an actor, I always love to find out different ways where I can fail with a character or experiment with it. Sometimes it ends up telling you what’s not right for the character or something that you might have overlooked but you end up exploring new things about the character.
GG) How theatre is different from Film Industry for you?
SS) I believe an actor has to work hard irrespective of the medium. The formats are different. You get opportunities to retake in Films but it has its challenges too. One minute final screen time might take about three or more hours to film. Films require a lot of patience, persistence and hard work. A film involves a lot of people, people who shall never be heard of or seen in the film but have contributed in the same way that an actor or a filmmaker does.
In theater, the audience is with you in the moment. You see them in front of you and you do feel the vibe. Theater has allowed me to fail and stand up again. I have learned to respect the clothes, makeup, lights while I was working backstage in the theater. Theater in a way makes you humble. You meet people right after your show and they will react to their experience.
GG) Who do you admire in the theater?
SS) Sankar Venkateswaran & Heisnam Tomba. They have a unique way of looking at theater, its aesthetics & performance.
SS) Tailor (Laughs) … My father is a tailor and although he hated me being a tailor. I contemplated being a tailor when I failed in my 11th standard but I was terrible at it so it never happened.
GG) What is your upcoming work?
SS) There is a Hindi film that I am currently working on. And also a Marathi feature that starts after monsoon.