Sushant Singh has developed a niche for himself in Bollywood. He has worked as a character actor in movies like Dum, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Lakshya and Satya, where he has played a criminal, a rebel or cop. With his apparent strong point in such roles, it might come as no surprise to people seeing him play the role of a gangster in Rangbaaz Phirse. However, we sit down for a chat with him to find out how he figures out something new and different in every role he plays and how the new season of Rangbaaz is different from the first one.
Watch the trailer for the upcoming series Rangbaaz Phirse streaming here.
Int: Tell us more about your role in Rangbaaz Phirse…
Sushant: My character’s name is Jairam Dulara. He is the best friend of Amarpal (Jimmy Sheirgill) despite them having different castes and backgrounds. Their castes are enemies and out to kill each other. But, Jairam and Amarpal are such close friends that Jairam will give his life for him, because Amarpal saved his life once. He is loyal and thinks of Amarpal’s family as his own. He is a seedha aadmi who doesn’t have any political views or ambitions and lives each day like his last. Amarpal’s daughter thinks of Jairam as his own daughter, so he is that close.
Int: What is different in the second season of Rangbaaz as compared to the first one?
Sushant: I haven’t seen the first season of Rangbaaz, so I really can’t say, but we have the same writer, Siddharth Mishra. In any series if you have a second season, you expect it to be bigger and better. Even if you look at the cast, the taking, everything is one up. The dialogues are crisp because it is the same writer. It is also much more stylistically shot. Everything is one up.
Int: So while speaking to Siddharth Mishra, he said that the common thread between Rangbaaz and Rangbaaz Phirse is that it is a story about people who were forced by circumstances to become criminals. Do you feel that holds true for the show?
Sushant: See, something has to link to the earlier season. So yes, the base is the same, but new characters, new story and it is even more grander visually.
Int: Throughout your career, we’ve seen you play the role of a gangster or cops more often than not. Do you feel like you have mastered these roles or have found the most variation in them?
Sushant: See there’s no thing as mastered anything. The moment you think you master something, it means you have become boring. Plus there are only three-four kinds of characters: totally positive, totally negative, grey and comic. So you will end up playing the same kind of character multiple times in your career. Yes, what changes is the person or the character you are playing. That’s where the nuance comes in because every person reacts differently. You are a regular person, a grey character, we are all grey. But you are different and I am different. So I take every role as an individual not as a stereotype, because then I have only four categories.
Int: You’ve been a part of the industry for over 20 years now. How do you feel digital content like web series is changing things?
Sushant: It is a fantastic space, as good actors like me were getting very frustrated. Because you need to be an A-lister to get a role you choose in movies. Otherwise, you have to pick whatever comes your way. The only other option we had was television, which I am sorry to say is absolutely pathetic and mediocre. Good actors, writers, directors were rotting and itching to get a space. Finally we have digital series, because television kept telling us ‘Sir yehi chalta hai. Saas-bahu hi chalta hai. Naagin hi chalta hai.’ Digital space came in and everyone realised good stuff works. That’s when people also realised that we need real actors and not some crane movers.
So, now you see people like Neeraj Kabi, Adil Hussain — who is already doing good work abroad — Swara Bhaskar. All these good actors can now prove their worth. And all the work is done in detail because it’s not just limited to two hours, now we get nine episodes. Finally we can show the world that see we can do some good work too.
Int: Completely agree with you! So does this mean we will see you in another web-series too?
Sushant: Hopefully yaar… hopefully.
We hope to see more of Sushant Singh and other actors of his ilk in the digital space too. Watch out for his nuanced performance alongside a talented cast of Jimmy Sheirgill, Sharad Kelkar and Gul Panag in Rangbaaz Phirse, releasing on December 20.