Ishwak Singh fell in love with science playing Vikram Sarabhai in Rocket Boys: 'I read particle physics as stressbuster'

Published on Feb 10, 2022 07:10 AM IST
  • Actor Ishwak Singh, who plays eminent scientist Dr Vikram Sarabhai in Rocket Boys, talks about preparing for the science-heavy role and his old connection with the Sarabhai family.
Ishwak Singh plays Dr Vikram Sarabhai in the new web series Rocket Boys.
Ishwak Singh plays Dr Vikram Sarabhai in the new web series Rocket Boys.
ByAbhimanyu Mathur

Having made his name with crime thriller Pataal Lok, actor Ishwak Singh is currently basking in the success of his new show Rocket Boys. The show chronicles the lives and journeys of India's two prominent scientists--Vikram Sarabhai and Homi J Bhabha--with Ishwak playing the former and Jim Sarbh playing the latter. The show has been received well critically and is being loved by fans as well.

For Ishwak, it is a happy moment indeed. The actor says, "The best compliment is always that the show is good, that people are liking me and Jim--Vikram and Homi. It's not about me or my performance. It's about the entire crew. If I'm looking good, it's because of a team effort."

The show is about two of the brightest scientific minds India has produced. And hence, there is a lot of science talk in it. Often times, Ishwak's Dr Vikram Sarabhai had monologues quite technical and scientific in nature. The actor says it was all natural and he actually read up on it. "Agar rata hua hota toh aapko waisa hi lagta (If it was all crammed up, you would see it on screen)," he says with a smile.

Ishwak says that while preparing for his role, he read up on some of the science he would encounter and ended up loving it quite a lot. "Part of the reason why I do this is because I get an opportunity to learn new things," he says, adding, "What a fascinating world this is. By the end of it, I read a few books on cosmic rays, nuclear physics, rocket science, ISRO, etc. When I read the script, it was so well researched, it inspired me to go look up particle physics. I am now another person seeing the world from the lens of quantum physics. I was having fun with it. It became my stressbuster."

Ishwak was cast as Vikram Sarabhai only in 2020 but his association with the Sarabhai family dates back several years. Around 2013-14, the actor actually performed at Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, the school set up by Vikram and Mrinalini Sarabhai and currently run by their daughter, legendary classical dancer Mallika Sarabhai. "I have known Sarabhai family for a while, from the time when I had a chance to perform at Darpana many years back in the day when I was working on stage," Ishwak says.

Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh in a still from Rocket Boys.
Jim Sarbh and Ishwak Singh in a still from Rocket Boys.

But when he was performing on the stage, Ishwak says he never thought he would one day portray the academy's co-founder on screen one day. "Honestly I don't even think about now that the show is out because it can be unnerving and scary. That's how I deal with, very matter-of-factly, but it is a big deal," he tells us.

Also read: Rocket Boys review: Jim Sarbh soars with an exceptional cast, SonyLiv finally delivers a great successor to Scam 1992

He says that Mallika Sarabhai was a great help in enabling him to understand Vikram Sarabhai as a person. "They have been on board since day one. Who would know him better than them? For anything that I needed, there was a lot of exchane between Mallika Sarabhai and the team. She would often share articles. It was great help. I always had a pat on my back from her. I felt very confident doing this because of that," shares Ishwak.

Directed by Abhay Pannu and created by Nikkhil Advani, Rocket Boys premiered on SonyLiv on February 4 and is currently streaming. Apart from Ishwak and Jim, the show also features Regina Cassandra, Saba Azad, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Namit Das, and Arjun Radhakrishnan. Given its success, Rocket Boys has been renewed for a second season with both Jim and Ishwak set to reprise their roles.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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