Saying yes to Guddu Rangeela was a no–brainer
Amit Sadh started his acting journey with Television, moved to films and made a mark in Bollywood with Abhishek Kapoor’s Kai Po Che! Though he hasn’t been seen on the big screen in two years, Amit is now all geared up with a string of enviable films. As his latest film Guddu Rangeela readies for release, the suave actor gets candid about his equation with Director Subhash Kapoor and playing Guddu, amongst other things.
You’ve been busy with several films but haven’t had a release in two years. Was it a planned phase?
To be very honest, I had no offers and no work after Kai Po Che. And I am not ashamed to admit it. But what I did have after Kai Po Che was a lot of love, compliments and encouragement, from the industry, my seniors and the public. So that kind of balanced me and gave me hope that one day I will get work. And then, the roles started coming in. Shoojit Sircar gave me Runningshaadi.com, Subhash Kapoor gave me Guddu Rangeela, Tigmanshu Dhulia gave me Yaara, Mr.Murugadoss gave me Akira. It was just timing and luck and things started rolling.
Kai Po Che was a multi-starrer film; even Guddu Rangeela and your next, Yaara, have another actor. Would it be right to say that you have no qualms of sharing space with other heroes?
I like doing stories that are about people. And stories will have other people which means; there will be other characters. It will be very silly of me to say, “Mujhe frame main akele khada kar do aur mujhe dekho” (Make me stand alone in the frame and watch only me). I’m just lucky that I have these great filmmakers that make great stories. I don’t see them as multi-starrers or solo films, I play my part and others play their part. Till the time that they are good stories and have a good message and entertainment quotient, I’m happy to be a part of them.
What made you say yes to Guddu Rangeela? What was Subhash Kapoor’s brief to you?
Saying yes to Guddu Rangeela was a no–brainer. When a Director of Subhash Kapoor’s caliber calls you, I think you’re anyway ecstatic. When he narrated the story to me, I just grabbed the opportunity. In fact when he met me before the narration he said, “Tu aadha Guddu toh waise hi hai” (You are anyway half the character, Guddu) (laughs), so that was pretty funny. Very few people know that Subhash Kapoor was the first Director I met when I started looking for movies. He had just finished casting for Phas Gaye Re Obama and he told me, “Amit I like you and will surely work with you some day”. It was the greatness of Subhash Sir to remember me for this film. And it’s a complete contrast to my role in Kai Po Che. As an actor it’s such a great place to be in where your next film is a complete contrast to your first film. Everything about Guddu is different from Omi. For a Director to give me a role that diverse just says what a visionary he is.
Be it for Kai Po Che or Guddu Rangeela, is there a method that you follow to get into the character?
It’s actually quite a contradiction that I follow. I try to bring an element or memory or experience of mine into the character, and then I want to forget myself. So it’s like bringing me in first and then taking me out. And I try to understand and dwell into that ambiguity of life, of the character, the stories etc. As an actor I like becoming somebody. So when people see Guddu, I hope that they say this is Guddu (and not Amit Sadh) and believe that there must be a guy like him in Haryana. But I take a lot from my Director too. For this film, to be honest, it was difficult for me, because I do not know this world. I don’t know how these people (from Haryana) behave. So Subhash Sir was of great help. I did a lot of workshops with him; working on the dialect, body language etc. I got to know this world through Subhash Sir. And the advantage we had was that Subhash Sir knew this world very well.
You also visited Haryana to get into the character. What was the experience like?
We visited Haryana to understand how the people are, imbibe the vibe and just get the overall feel of the place.
You fractured your leg during the shoot of the film. Actors often encounter such challenges but get back to work to ASAP. How do you juggle such tough situations and keep going?
I think I am very lucky. I remember that within 24 hours of my injury, my Producer (Sangeeta Ahir) got me operated. She got me the best treatment and I was taken care of. It was a very healing experience to know that people care about you. Nobody knows that Subhash Sir would visit me everyday at the hospital and even at my place. He’d make me laugh, share stories and so on. And one day he told me, “I’m stressed that the movie is stalled. But there is nothing more important than your health. Whether it takes 6 weeks or 9 weeks, do whatever the doctor says.” And those words of his gave me a lot of strength & encouragement. I worked really hard with my physiotherapist and in 7-8 weeks I was back to shooting. The support I got from the team was tremendous.
You share an amazing chemistry with Arshad Warsi in the film. How important is it for actors to bond off-screen as well to achieve such chemistry?
I don’t know about others, but for me it is very important (to bond with co-actors). And not just in acting, but in life as well, I feel it is very important to bond with people – be it your driver or your cook. I’m very inquisitive about people and the people I work with mean a lot to me, as they become a part of my life.
I get involved with my co-actors and like spending time with them. With Arshad bhai also we just bonded. He’s a senior, one of the best actors of this country and I look up to him. I’ve learnt a lot from him on this film and also had a lot of fun working with him. He treats me like Guddu. And that energy translates into the film as well. When you see us in the movie, you won’t just see two actors but you will say that these are actually the characters Guddu & Rangeela.
Were there any challenges that you encountered during Guddu Rangeela?
It was a difficult film as we were shooting in intense heat. And despite the conditions you need to maintain your focus. But those are basic challenges. The main challenge for me as an actor always is to continue being true to your role and being focused on who the character is. Because it is easy to get carried away. But again, having someone like Subhash Sir, who is so involved in the film, you just know that nothing will go wrong. If it does, he will guide you back on track. This is all a part of the process and you cherish it. I do hope that all this – our hard work, the fun, the focus, everything is seen on screen and I hope it touches the right chord with the audiences too.
So what draws you towards a role or a film?
I don’t have any preconceived notions. As I was grooming myself to be an actor I just kept all the notions away. I just listen to the story; feel the vibe and energy with the Director and how the story affects me. And then I come to the aspect of how my character fits in the film, what the character is doing to the film. And if it moves me, I say yes.
Tell us a little about your upcoming films Yaara and Runningshaadi.com.
Yaara is a Tigmanshu Dhulia film; it’s an epic gangster film and will be another beautiful story. There’s Runningshaadi.com that is coming soon too. They are fun films and very different from Guddu Rangeela. But right now I have only Guddu Rangeela on my mind.
Is TV something that you will look at in the future if a good role comes along?
I listen to stories. If there’s a good story in any medium – be it a documentary, short film, feature or TV – and a good part for me in it, I will do it.