I’m blessed to have good command over Hindi, says Saurabh SaraswatUpdated: Aug 08, 2020 23:35 IST
Actor Saurabh Saraswat has been in the reel world for six years but his first OTT outing last month has established his connection with the masses in the real sense.
“The appreciation I am getting after the release of ‘Mafia’ is overwhelming. The reach of this digital platform is phenomenal. I have done an international film ‘CRD’ and my short feature film ‘Gray’ was screened at the Cannes Film Fest,” says the actor.
But he makes a point: “As an actor, there is not much of a difference between conventional cinema and OTT platform. It was fun playing the two phases of life in ‘Mafia’. My independent films helped me train for this role.”
Saurabh hails from Ajmer but has his roots in Uttar Pradesh. “My mother is from Pharay near Mathura while my father is from Kasganj. In 1970s, our families shifted to Rajasthan. I have been to Agra, Moradabad, Aligarh and Mathura as our relatives still live there,” he says.
The actor says he is blessed to have a command over Hindi. “As my parents are from UP, they speak clear Hindi and it came naturally to me also. Besides, I live in a locality that has like-minded migrants from the same belt. So, I got a ‘mahaul’ (atmosphere) of Hindi even while living in Ajmer.”
Acting came to him naturally. “I started with theatre in school. As all are engineers and doctors in my family, a professional course was kind of mandatory for me too. I did engineering studies from Jaipur but also remained dedicated to theatre. Then I took up a job in a software company in Delhi and kept doing theatre. I decided to quit the job and made it to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.”
Subsequently, the actor shifted to Mumbai. “I did some episodes of Crime Patrol. In 2014, I got an international project ‘CRD’. I prepared hard for the film. For one year, I learnt French and trained myself physically, read a lot of Shakespeare and other playwrights. But the film released much later,” says Saurabh.
For bread and butter, Saurabh started organising acting workshops. “I also started doing theatre – writing, acting and directing. Then I got ‘Cat Sticks’, which was based on a drug addict and shot in Bangla, Hindi and English. It went to many film festivals. I did a feature film ‘Gray’ where I played a gay character. The same director gave me ‘Nameplate’ and now I am in a happy phase with my OTT series.”