Amit Sadh has been living on his own since the time he was 16. After he left home, he did several odd jobs, including working as a security guard in Delhi, to keep himself afloat. Luck smiled on him eventually as he bagged Neena Gupta’s television show ‘Kyun Hota Hai Pyarrr’ when he was in his early 20s. Stardom, money, fame – television gave him everything but one fine day, he left it all to study the craft of acting and hone his skills further. After finishing his course, when he came back to India, he struggled for a couple of years to get good work in films until ‘Kai Po Che’ came along. His journey has been filled with several ups and downs but these experiences are what have made Amit a fearless human being and an articulate performer. In this exclusive interview, he talks about the accolades coming his way post the release of his digital film ‘Barot House’, his eventful journey so far and a lot more.
The character you played in ‘Barot House’ was very complex. It had shades of the role you played in the show ‘Breathe’. Did playing Kabir Sawant prepare you to play Amit Barot in a way?
Well, I think they are two complex but different characters. I identify every character with an animal. I am a huge fan of animal study. Marlon Brando used to do that a lot. The character in ‘Breathe’ was a completely different animal from the one I played in ‘Barot House’. As human beings, all of us have an animal inside us. It depends on how you tap into it and channelize it to do something productive. At the end of the day, you want to do something that strikes a chord with people to see something and moves them in some way or the other. Shooting for ‘Barot House’ was physically and mentally exhausting. But, when I see the love that it has received, I feel it was worth it.
You started out with a very popular show on television called ‘Kyun Hota Hai Pyaarrr’. You were on the pinnacle of stardom. Then one day, you gave it all up and went abroad to study acting.
I truly feel it was the best decision of my life. Once we start achieving something or becoming successful at a particular thing, we start living with that success. As an artist, it is important to shed your image, drop everything and start afresh once in a while. That is the reason I travel so much. I make it a point to travel to a new destination after every project. In film school, I had this acting teacher called Robert Alleman who said something which I will never forget. He said you have certain amount of moments which you will use in a couple of films. But, one day you will run out of those moments and will not have anything new to share and you will become a boring actor. So, it is important to get out of your comfort zone, travel so that you come back with enough moments to use them in the characters you play next.
Though you tasted success with your very first TV show, there faced a lot of struggle before that too. You left home at the age of 16 and even worked as a security guard at one point of time.
I worked as a security guard in a showroom in South Extension in Delhi. I did several odd jobs to sustain myself at that point of time. I see people coming from privileged families, going to the gym and building a body, partying till 3 am and they say ‘I am struggling, bro’. I tell them “yaar, please struggling ko badnaam mat karo”. For an artist, struggle is to keep the hope alive and to remain uncorrupted.
You had said this a couple of times – you are a fearless man but one thing that you have always feared is paying your rent on time.
Yes, even after I started doing well and was making decent money, I had this fear about not having the money to pay my rent. My friends used to laugh at me and ask me why I am worried about it now when I am making good money. From the age of 16, I have been on my own. Just to buy a small bike or rent an apartment in the city was a huge thing for me. I have fought my battles. If my story can inspire youngsters, then I will feel I have achieved something nice and important in life.
After a couple of films (‘Phoonk 2’, ‘Maximum’) that did not do well, you struck it big with ‘Kai Po Che’. Contrary to what one would expect, the journey post the release of the film was not very smooth. There were a couple of films which got delayed (‘Running Shaadi’), did not release (‘Yaara’, ‘Saat Kadam’) and announced but did not get made (’10 Janpath’).
Actually, it is all about your perspective and how you choose to see things. People do not know what is happening in somebody’s life. I was not desperate to work and was not ready to do anything that came my way. I had struggled so much in my life. That was the time I wanted to read books, see different birds, climb mountains, ride across the country and do a lot of things which I never got to do in life. Now, I can put all these experiences that I have amassed into my characters. Yes, it was unfortunate that some films did not get made or released but as an actor, I did my best and learnt a lot from those experiences. Acting is not a 9-5 job. As an actor, I have to be happy about the work I am doing. And, every movie industry in the world functions like that. There are times when an entire team puts in a lot of effort into making a film but that film never sees the light of the day.
You recently said in an interview that web was the godfather I never had. You seem to be enjoying working in this medium.
I actually feel the audience is my godfather. I started out with television and now I am doing both films and web. My last film was ‘Gold’ which everyone loved. ‘Barot House’ is on a digital platform. I have shot for two shows which will start streaming in a couple of months. I just want to be a part of good projects regardless of the medium. But yes, web has created a lot of opportunities for actors and given filmmakers the kind of freedom they never had.
You are very passionate about riding. You participated in the Moto GP bike racing championship last year.
Riding is almost like yoga to me. This year, I am not competing, Next year, I will try to compete in the JK and Ducati tournaments.
Apart from ‘Breathe’ Season 2, you will be seen in ‘India Strikes – 10 Days’. You gained 18 kilos for the show.
Yes, I think as actors we must be ready to do whatever it takes to get into the skin of the character and look the part. ‘India Strikes – 10 Days’ should start streaming in October. ‘Breathe 2’ will probably come out next year.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I hope I am better at doing my job, pilates, yoga, running, being a friend, brother and if I am married, a better husband. I just want to be a better version of myself with time. I strive to do the kind of work which inspires people.