Rohit Saraf’s journey to become an actor has spanned Nepal, Delhi and Mumbai, where he landed at the age of 15 to pursue a career in acting and fulfil his father’s dream.
Starting off with several television commercials, he went on to star in TV shows like MTV’s ‘Big F’ and Channel V’s teen drama ‘Best Friends Forever?’
So what triggered his interest in films at the first place?
“My father was a huge movie buff and watched films whenever he was at home. I think that’s where it started. As I became older, he saw that I too was getting interested in movies. He encouraged me; after all, it’s great to have an actor at home,” he says. Rohit’s father passed away when he was 11. “I am sure he would be proud if he saw me today.”
Rohit made his Bollywood debut with ‘Dear Zindagi’ in 2016. “It came to me while I was doing TV commercials. The casting directors spotted me and approached me for the film,” he says.
Though ‘Dear Zindagi’ is considered his debut film, not many people know that he had done a film prior to it, which unfortunately never released.
After entertaining the audience with his role in the Rani Mukerji starrer ‘Hichki’ in 2018, Rohit is back on the big screen, playing Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar’s son in ‘The Sky is Pink’. The movie is directed by Shonali Bose and is inspired by a real-life love story, as told through the lens of their daughter Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim), who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis.
Talking about acting with two of the biggest names in the industry, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar, Rohit reveals that he was intimidated by them but he knew that he had to break the ice to make himself perform.
But small talk wasn’t his way, “I walked up to them and said, ‘Guys, I am really intimated by you both and I don’t know if I will be able to perform well in this state of mind.’ They were sweet enough to make me feel comfortable all the time. The film demanded us to be connected to each other, so feeling at home with everyone was what I needed the most.”
Fine-tuning his role as Ishaan Chaudhary
He plays the role of Aisha’s brother in the film and his character needed to be both vulnerable and strong at the same time, which he says was quite challenging.
To understand Aisha and her family better, he went through all information available on the internet and read the book, ‘My Little Epiphanies’ by Aisha, which helped him understand what she went through in the last years of her life.
The makers of the film also wanted Rohit to have his own interpretation of the character, along with following Shonali Bose’s vision.
“I am a very emotional person and it takes a lot for me to detach myself from my roles. I remember telling Shonali that a few scenes can either make or break for my character. I was really nervous about that and I wanted to make sure I nailed those.”
Playing the role of Ishaan, a teenager who finds it difficult to grapple with his sister’s illness and yet feels neglected at the same time, allowed him to explore the darkest sides within himself, something that he would not have done otherwise.
Having explored various facets as an actor with just a few films, Rohit now wants to work on characters that would resonate with people. He looks forward to roles and films that are value-creating and are not just commercial films.
“I would like to be a part of films that challenge me and help me open up as a person and not just as an actor,” he says.
Dance an integral part
Rohit fell in love with dancing when he was six-year-old. And since then, he has never allowed his passion to take a backseat. He says, “Dance as an art form teaches discipline, and it has helped me in my acting career as well.”
“People might find it superficial but there are a few things that we have to keep in mind. One of these is fitness. That is something that I have learnt from dance; if you are not fit enough, no matter how much you aspire to do better and work more, you wouldn’t be able to achieve it.”
‘Ludo’ directed by Anurag Basu. It is a multi-starrer film and Rohit will be seen playing one of the principal characters.
Has a Tamil movie in his kitty
He will be making his Kollywood debut with the film ‘Enge Andha Vaan’, directed by Rajasekar Duraisamy. The film is touted to be a love story and he will be playing the lead role alongside Anandhi.
With an interest to reach a newer segment of audience, Rohit took this movie as an opportunity to work in the Tamil movie industry.
“I literally had five days to get to the schedule as the film came to me while I was shooting for another film in Mumbai. So, honestly, I didn’t have the bandwidth to learn the language; however, I did want to understand all the dialogues I delivered in the film. Thankfully, a language coach on the set helped me to do that. I intend to learn Tamil entirely someday.”