Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In Conversation with Sachin Parikh – TV, theatre and film actor

Interviewed by – Raisa Sheikh 

Edited by – Robin Bhuyan 

Written by – Rinku Sharma 

Sachin Parikh is a veteran actor who has acted in hundreds of plays throughout his career. He played the role of Lord Krishna in Kanji vs Kanji, the original play, from which the 2012 movie Oh My God was based on. Sachin Parikh has also appeared in several TV serials such as CID, Karm Yudh and Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Sachma. On the big screen, he has appeared in multiple movies throughout his career such as Dil Toh Bachcha Hain, PK and Aligarh.

You have been doing theatre for a long time.  So, would you like to tell us how this journey started for you?

Basically, I am not from a very filmy background. But my dad was very much associated and connected with Gujarati theater which was active in Bombay very actively in the early 70s and 80s. All the writers and directors are very actively doing Gujarati theatre in Bombay out of which a few of them became big names. Those include Paresh Rawal, Swaroop Sampat, Shafi Inamdar, Bhakti Barve, Homi Wadia. So, these theatre actors were having a group and they used to all do brainstorming and story sessions at my home and in the vicinity where I used to go with my dad in my childhood. That was when I was subconsciously getting connected with those people who were associated with Gujarati theatre. But somehow, I did not get any opportunity, or I was not inclined to work as an actor in my early childhood. I was focusing on my studies. I was a sportsman playing table tennis and cricket for my school as well as college. After that, I completed my B.com and LLB and got the opportunity to work with those theatre personalities. I started with Gujarati theatre. So, I started my career while also continuing with my B.com and LLB studies.

You have worked in the film industry and television sector as well. Would you like to tell us the difference between these two industries?

I feel you can’t differentiate between the two industries as such. I would not differentiate but, yes, things get segregated between two groups of people who are predominately working in their respective fields. Both industries have different ways of functioning and algorithms for making the craft. That’s one of the reasons they are different. The film industry has a different craft, different sets of people, and different makers. The TV industry is more channel-centric, and production-centric while on the other hand the film industry is more actor and director-centric and of course script-centric. These are the two differences seen mainly in the television and film industries. Otherwise, as an actor, I don’t see much difference.

We have seen you in many films like PK, Paa, Kaafila, Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, etc. Do you have any favorite behind-the-scenes moments?

Yeah, PK was a wonderful experience because veterans and stalwarts were working in it. It’s always good to work with stalwarts and learn from them. I believe that as an actor and also a person I am always a learner and as a learner I have learned a lot from Amir Khan, Raju Hirani, Saurav Shukla (with whom I have shared the screen), and Anushka Sharma. I grew up watching Amir Khan’s films. It was a fabulous journey with him. I started knowing the nuances, how he crafts his work as an actor, how he materializes his role, and everything as an actor. I learned a lot of things from Raju Sir also. He is a director who gives complete liberty to actors once he knows the trust he can put in them. He used to communicate a lot before doing scenes. He also relies on us as to know what nuances we could bring, what we could do to improvise and make betterment in the scenes.

Could you tell us about your experiences with Amir Khan in the film PK?

I had a wonderful experience working in the film PK. I was a young actor when I began working films. I did shooting for PK in 2014. It was a challenging journey at the same time it boosted my morale. It built up my confidence to go to the next level. It was appreciated by people and by the makers also. So, PK was a wonderful journey. Amir Khan shared a few things with us. He was also associated with Gujarati theatre and so am I. He was also from the same college where I studied; of course, he was senior to me. So, that also brought a different connection among us. Then he came to know that I did a play which was based on the film Oh My God’s original adaptation where I played the role of Sri Krishna. It was my role which was later portrayed by Akshay Kumar in the film Oh My God.

Do you want to say anything about the impact of AI on television and films?

I believe that every new update of any kind of technology, software, or internet, anything will definitely give a plus and minus to that sector of work. So, when the internet came, we began to feel that it would slow down the other part of the industry. When the web and OTT came, we felt that television would be affected in terms of work. I believe that AI will somehow be giving advantages to people who are working in the industry. When it comes to screenplay or writing, it would be easier for people to do things, and at the same time the human brain and the human effort will definitely be enhanced with a kind of system AI will bring to us. I think it would not be a disadvantage but on the contrary, it will be an added advantage for the industry and the people in many ways. Whether we talk about dubbing artists, writers, screenplay writers, or VFX people, AI will add to their value if people are updated with the technology and are in sync with it.

We would like to know some advice from your side for the upcoming actors.

I strongly believe whatever work we do or are associated with, whether we get stardom or celebrity status or even if we become a public figure overnight, it is very important to stay grounded. Whether you work as a freelancer or work on different projects, you get ample opportunity in this industry. You have to stick to it, you have to stay, you should have patience. With determination, make sure that your eyes and your brain are open to new things, and once you get the right opportunity, you have to prove yourselves. But it is important to ensure that you are down to earth and focused on your work.


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