Ishwak Singh thinks he could have easily been a physicist, but for now he’s more than happy with the on-screen portrayal of Vikram Sarabhai in Rocket Boys: The Tribune India
He was seen playing a sincere cop in Paatal Lok, as well as an empathetic neighbor in Unpaused. Of course, plenty of cameos in films like Veere Di Wedding and Tamasha, which you may or may not have noticed, also arrived.
Working with great co-actors like Jim Sarbh (he tries out the role of Homi J Bhabha) is half the battle won. It’s a great set anyway; Rajit Kapoor whom I have admired ever since and then there is Dibyendu Bhattacharya. The casting director did a great job. Since most of my scenes are with Regina Cassandra and Jim, these are my favorites.
A period piece and playing a real-life hero doesn’t make my job more onerous, only more complex and exciting. It’s like if you give a child more toys, they won’t find it tedious, only enjoy it more.
Today, as Ishwak Singh slips into one of the lead roles, stepping into the shoes of famed scientist Vikram Sarabhai in Rocket Boys, streaming on Sony Liv, we wonder if this is his big moment. He says, “As the series is about to be released and the answers are slowly but surely coming in, the awareness of how big this thing is is sinking.”
Prior to the making of the series, he had only a cursory idea of who the father of India’s space program really was. Today he knows his multi-faceted personality which established institutes in various fields as well as the fact that above all “he was a man of science”.
Among Sarabhai’s many remarkable traits and achievements, the one that really fascinated him is Sarabhai’s equanimity, a quality he also refers to on a personal level. Moreover, he thinks, “How famous the scientist or any exalted person is, when you play it, you realize it. I may not have won the same laurels, but I felt the same emotions.
For telling the human story behind the great visionaries, both Sarabhai and Homi J Bhabha, he credits director Abhay Pannu and the writers for bringing out the person under the public persona. The cinema could be a tripartite collaboration between director, screenwriter and actors, but since the actor is the final face and could bear the weight; Does he feel extra pressure? Surprisingly, he doesn’t and jokes, “You must be fearless. Why so, maybe because once Ashish Vidyarthi said to me, “Think of yourself as an efficient refrigerator. So, I consider myself an efficiently functioning piece of electronics.
Indeed, to ensure this efficiency and consistency, there is a lot of preparation. His line on the show, “I’m particularly interested in physics” might just apply to him in real life. Physics may not be this architect’s subject, but the prep took him back to his high school textbooks. Moreover, as he read more and more about the concepts of physics and listened to the amusing lectures of MIT professor Walter Lewin, he felt that he could easily have been a physicist. On screen, however, all that browsing has made his playing a “felt experience” more than a borrowed experience.
As very few Indian series or films take the path of science, even fewer bring to life the story of two illustrious scientists like Vikram Sarabhai and Homi J Bhabha; did the series do the subject justice? He says, “Yes, because Rocket Boys have their hearts in the right place. For starters, every scenario is a piece of literature. When I read it, I found it informative and captivating. Moreover, the script has been sharpened by many.
Billed as an OTT star, how does he view his small roles in movies? Well, all of these parts, big or small, are an integral part of his journey. Moreover, the platform does not decide on its choices. It’s the manufacturers he intends to work with that matter. He adds, “When we talk about Paatal Lok, we look at the craftsmanship and artistry of the series. Ultimately, a movie or series is about making movies, not where they’re shown. »
An actor with multiple mediums, he has also been associated with the world of the stage. Affiliated with the Asmita Theater Group for nine long years, during which he performed at Mandi House, Habitat Center and others, he truly understood the meaning of work ethic and discipline. Thanks to the theatrical experience, “I work my craft every day.”
A Punjab da puttar, he asks his Punjabi brothers in chaste Punjabi to watch Rocket Boys, because “it’s a perfect blend of science, emotions and people”.
Voted one of the most desirable men, he thinks people have been nice and is happy to get that kind of attention: “That’s why you become an actor, you want to be in the spotlight.” And the arc lights come on him like never before and he will also be seen in Berlin and another Amazon series. With or without OTT, Ishwak would have been Ishwak and, in his words, “found his way”. To the top…fingers crossed.
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