‘Anurag sir doesn’t care about how you look’

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Netflix original Sacred Games is one web series that many are looking forward to. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, it is based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 thriller novel by the same name. It has also created a lot of buzz because of its star cast.

Saif Ali Khan makes his digital debut with the series and it also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Rajshri Deshpande, Surveen Chawla and others.  

Netflix original Sacred Games is one web series that many are looking forward to. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, it is based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 thriller novel by the same name. It has also created a lot of buzz because of its star cast.

Saif Ali Khan makes his digital debut with the series and it also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Rajshri Deshpande, Surveen Chawla and others.  

Sukhmani Sadana, who plays an important role in the series, says that the show is about a political feud between two gangs. “I am playing the role of a woman who lives in the slums. It’s a dark and edgy character,” says Sukhmani, adding that in Sacred Games one will get to see a very raw and unapologetic side of India. 

Because the character was out of her comfort zone, the actress says, she had to work very hard. “In fact, I am quite the opposite of that character. But thanks to casting director Mukesh Chabbria and Anurag sir who guided me, I could essay it well.

You know how it is with Anurag sir, he will tell you to remove your make up and jewellery and be yourself. He doesn’t care about how you look but wants you to get into the character. I also had to watch a lot of films to understand the life of the people in slums. It was difficult but fun,” says Sukhmani. 

The fact that she had never played such a character before made the whole process more interesting for her, she adds. “I had played the role of a beggar once in a Yash Raj television show but I wasn’t so mature then, so didn’t think much about my role or appearance. Now that I have evolved as an actor, I have worked harder. My focus was on how I acted rather than how I looked,” she quips. 

Sacred Games is produced by Netflix in partnership with Phantom Films and will be out on July 6. Sukhmani informs that she has been signed up for all the seasons and as series proceeds further, her character will emerge stronger. “Though the show revolves around Saif, Nawazuddin and Radhika, every other character is also important to the story. It’s just like the Game of Thrones.”

The actress can’t stop gushing about The Gangs of Wasseypur filmmaker and says, “I absolutely loved working with Anurag sir. He is so real. He just looks into the actor’s eyes to see if the actor is being true to the character or not. He doesn’t care about anything else. He has an eye for detailing — body language and stuff like that. He is one of the best our country has. Netflix has done a smart job of picking him because no one could have done a better job than him.” 

Not many know that Sukhmani is a writer herself and she says that her background in writing helps her to understand a character better. “It’s a little crazy and wacky but we (writer-actors) get into every minute detail of a character. For instance, I think about how long or short the nails should be, because when I write for shows or films, I describe the characters on those lines. So, as an actor, I ask my director the same thing. Even though the audience is not going to notice my nails on screen, it helps me to understand the character,” says the actress who is writing a web series for Applause, and the dialogues and screenplay for a biopic. 

Sukhmani has acted in a web series before and she says that there is great talent both in the technical and acting side. “TV is a little limiting while getting into films is difficult. But the medium of web series has opened doors for millions of people. There are superb writers and actors who were not getting a chance earlier but now they are getting work. Big actors and filmmakers are ok to do a web show, which means they are obviously seeing something in it,” she says before signing off. 

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