Kubbra Sait: 'I Broke Down On The Last Day Of Foundation'

Kubbra Sait: 'I Broke Down On The Last Day Of Foundation'

Shravan Shah

Kubbra Sait is a force to reckon with. While the actress has proved her mettle with her performance in Sacred Games, Sultan, Jawaani Jaaneman and Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, her recent look in Apple TV's Foundation, has got the internet going gaga. While I am super proud of the actress for bagging such a meaty role in an international series, I wanted to know every possible deets about how this project happened. So, I got in a candid conversation with the actor who spoke about her look, her experience and much more. Read on!

I love your look and how you have been pushing the envelope with all your work, are you tired of hearing this?
YES! I am tired and exhausted. I am more exhausted listening to this than I was doing these actual stunts. I think it's a lot of responsibility to carry on your shoulders. For me, even landing this show was bigger than my imagination, I had not imagined this. When I came to Bombay, I always had a vision board and a gratitude chart, even Filmfare was written on my vision board. When things change, you realise that I had opened myself into a universe that I could not even imagine myself in. And that is when you need to pause, and soak that feeling in first.  It is something that I worked towards one day at a time and when you are taking those small steps, you do not realise that you are pushing the envelope or making changes, you are just doing things. When it happens and the change appears in front of you and when you witness it, you realise, that acha, I did that! I am the first Indian to be on Apple TV Plus, I was the first person with brown skin and a blue passport to be cast on Foundation on Apple TV Plus! And I was working with creators who have created Batman, Superman, Avatar, Morning Show, Game of Thrones and this is happening to me. Working with different directors like Alex Graves, Rupert Sanders and more. And you are looking at yourself and giving yourself a moment, to sip your coffee and soak it all in.

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Can we please take a moment to realise how BIG this is? I have to say that I have always been a huge Kubbra Sait fan for 2 reasons, one for the content that you have been a part of and two, I was speaking to Saif Ali Khan, and it was a conversation on life, and he has said, "where have you witnessed a Kubbra Sait in a show, showcasing something on a national platform and doing it so gracefully," and you know for a fact that when Saif Ali Khan praises you like this, you have done something right.
Yes, I was weeping like a little girl and eating a big tub of ice cream in happiness when that happened. I could not believe that that happened on national TV.

Today, the world we stay in is very different. Due to the pandemic, the world has drastically changed post-2019 and so has the content. Today, no actor is an Indian actor, you are a global actor, everyone is a global artist as your work reaches so many countries. How does that feel? Have you had time to sit back and soak it all in?
I will take a moment to soak all this information in. So, I went in for a screen test and I was asked to fly down to Ireland from India and this is Dec 2019. This is the first time I am visiting Ireland, the first time I am visiting a studio internationally and also the first time I am meeting these names that were ONLY familiar to me on IMDB. And you walk in and there is this really massive mammoth studio in Ireland in this town called Limerick, and in the director's production office, there is a giant hall, which has about 120 characters, so everybody's mugshot is there. You have Jared Harris, Lou Llobell, Leah Harvey, etc, you have all these names on a big wall pasted with pictures and there is an empty spot reserved for Phara, and you know that you can do anything but it will only be real when your photograph is up on that wall. The greed and the hunger that you have to see your face on that wall, drives you to learn, to perform, to do whatever you need because that is the responsibility you have.

Did this not make you nervous that there were so many people out there? What was that like?
Yes, 100 per cent. I was happy nervous, the good nervous. The nervousness that requires you to consciously put your fears behind you, I was not anxious. I am not conscious of doing something but I am that happy nervous to do something. And yes, when I went back to shoot, I went and stood in front of that wall and said, 'I have done it.' In the middle of me getting ready and walking from one room for make-up to the hair room, I would see this big wall, and I would just stare. So it did take me a while to soak it in and then it becomes your reality and then you learn how to absorb it gracefully.

Today content has become the true king and as an artist, you bring a lot to the part you play. When you play a role, the role does rub off on the actor. You do take the character home. Did this happen to you? When you came back, which part of Phara stayed with you? And how much of Kubbra was Phara?
I try not to lie as much as possible as a human being. Phara as a character is very complicated; she has got a single-pointed vision, she is a force to reckon with, she is going to take anything and everything down with her, even if it means herself. So, she is a very focused destructive person. I am not that person at all. I look around and I observe. What Phara has given me is not who Phara is. Phara has taught me, to be more conscious of who I speak to and how I speak to them and that is more important. Over the years, you have probably seen this through my posts. You have seen me talking about kindness, love and me speaking about empathy. I think she has taught me how love is important in our lives as human beings and most importantly, yes, the empire did you wrong, but 2 wrongs do not make a right and it is not important to be right, it is important to be kind. What Phara taught me is not who Phara is because it is a lot of weight, to carry in your heart, on your shoulders, in your soul, to be Phara. I think playing Phara for me was so tough because we were shooting in Covid times, and I could throw punches at people and fight them but after that, we could not hug each other saying, 'hey I love you' because it was Covid and that breaks you down on many levels to not be able to do that. You probably do not take the character home if you have a closure, but here how do you have closure? It did not even hit me that I was doing the show until the last day when they said its a wrap for Phara and that is when I stood there, crying, the tears seamlessly rolled down just to know that you won't be doing this, you won't be in this costume, you are going back home, you are going back to your friends, to your family, your cat who you were away from for 8 months. I was fighting this reality of mine till that time and I had so much to go back home to and absorb this experience. At a human level, it overwhelms you, it breaks you and it humbles you.