Exclusive: 'She Isn't A Person, She Is An Aura' — Namit Das On Working With Sushmita Sen

Shubanka Sridhar , 02 Jul 2020
Namit Das in Aarya (Source: Instagram | @namitdas)
Namit Das in Aarya (Source: Instagram | @namitdas)

The digital series, Aarya, had Sushmita Sen returning to screen after a period of 10 years. While this was reason enough for a lot of us to look forward to it, this Ram Madhvani directorial has been getting applause for being one super thrilling watch! It’s especially true, given the series has some powerful performances from the entire cast. Be it Chandrachur Singh, Sikander Kher or Namit Das playing pivotal roles in the story.

While Namit has starred in other series like Sumit Sambhaal Lega and Abhay, it sure was interesting to see him play a grey character like Jawahar — where you are constantly guessing where his loyalties lie. I got a chance to chat with the actor and ask him about how he adapted to the character, about how he has a crush on Sushmita Sen, his stint in Mira Nair‘s A Suitable Boy, among other things. I must say, it was one refreshing and insightful conversation.

Excerpts from the conversation:

This is a relatively new and untouched territory for you. How was your experience preparing for your character, Jawahar, in Aarya?

Some of the characters that I have played in the past have had grey shades, but Jawahar is a grey character. Playing it was a challenge, but having Ram (Madhvani) by your side makes everything easy. His process really makes it easy for you. I am happy I could become part of that process.

What was it about your character that attracted you to it?

The fact that he is unlike anything that I have played in the past made it really interesting for me. Each time I used to think how I should approach a scene, I used to think to myself…’would Namit do this?’. And if the answer was “no”, I would go ahead and do it in the scene. That made this journey really special.

Sushmita Sen is coming back on screen with this series after 10 years. How was it working alongside her?

I sometimes don’t understand the word “Comeback”. Once an artist always an artist. She is fabulous. She isn’t a person. She is an aura that engulfs everything around her. You have to just walk with her. And she is so beautiful that everything in her presence feels beautiful. Working with her was so easy. She has such beautiful communication. I know this isn’t secret anymore, but I do have a crush on her.

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Your kind words mean so much to me. You are an artist, actor, mother , human being par excellence. And from each of these I have taken little bits from you. Learnt so much. Thank you for this journey. Shukriya Dil se! Our conversations remain really close to my heart. _____________________________________________This one is an institution by himself..he sings like a dream, dances with abandonment, writes powerfully & travels for inspiration!!! He’s ALSO an Actor!! #phewwww 😁🤗❤️Introducing #Jawahar @namitdas in #Aarya 🤗 He doesn’t Act…he becomes!!! #natural #rockstar 👊😁 ‬I have learned so much from you Namit, Thank you for being such a generous co star!!! 🤗❤️ I love you guys!!!! ___________________________________________ #gratitude #sushmitasen #aarya #hotstar #newwebshow #namitdas #newwork @sushmitasen47 @disneyplushotstarvip

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Given the current environment, OTT is where all eyes are at. Do you think more and more people will turn towards this medium now?

OTT is big & here to stay. But everything has its own novelty. The theatre experience has its own. The television variety has its own quality. I think everything will co-exist. That’s the beauty of the times we live in.

You are also set to star in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy, that you were filming for. How is the experience working on the film?

That is one of those projects that you dream about. It seldom happens that you are given an opportunity like this. The universe conspires to make it happen for you. “A Suitable Boy” is one of those projects. Really looking forward to it.

We are excited about it too! But generally, when you choose your projects, what is it that you look for?

I look for a character that is driving the story ahead. I look for things that my character can munch on. There needs to be enough to chew on. He needs to be part of the plot.

The pandemic has really changed how we function in today’s time. What is your take on how it will affect our lives?

Uncertainty haunts humanity at this time. One will need to wait and see what happens. Patience is the name of this game. And I genuinely feel for the people who are finding it difficult to support themselves. And there are so many of those. My concern is not whether we will reach an end to this or not. My fear is for the times we live in. Whether people will be able to hold onto their sanity or not. Otherwise rest assured, life is going to find a way around anything. Nothing stops!

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