The second Indian Amazon Prime Original ‘Breathe’ has recently concluded and garnered much praise in the online world. With R Madhavan and Amit Sadh fronting the series and Mayank Sharma as debutante writer-director, the Abundantia Entertainment production was definitely representative of things to come from the sub-continent.
Sadh played the role of a police officer whose daughter died in a freak accident which eventually ended up damaging his relationship with his wife. However, when he gets an inkling that recent crimes are heading towards his wife next, he makes it his business to protect her and get to the bottom of who the culprit is – with interesting consequences.
BizAsiaLive.com caught up with Sadh to talk about ‘Breathe’.
The response to ‘Breathe’ has been hugely positive. How does it feel getting so much appreciation for it?
Yes, it’s been mental. I’m very ecstatic, happy. It was a long time coming, I guess. I’m just happy it’s happened at a time in my life when I needed a fresh perspective, point of view, validation. I have a lot of mixed emotions. As an actor, we all need a point where something like this happens. So I’m glad ‘Breathe’ happened.
Your character of Kabir Sawant is, of course, a cop. However, he also had a very tragic back-story as well as an intriguing persona. How did you approach the character yourself?
Well, it took some time. I spent a lot of time analysing the script with the director. I also did a seven-day workshop with a friend of mine in the UK while I was there last year. So once we had studied the script long and hard, I started building the character. That’s the whole process, really. You start embodying the character by researching. To be honest, this has been the most difficult character of my career so far. There’s one trait of Kabir’s that stands out and that is his love and dedication to protecting people. That’s his spine… To do whats right and serve the people at all costs. This is actually the one strong foothold in the character that gave me an in. Once you have that you then start working on a character’s inner life and the physicality and it goes on from there and never ends.
You are one actor that seems to bring a lot of intensity into your characters and Kabir was no different. Is there a secret to achieving this?
(Laughs) Secret… No, not really. I just love my work. It’s my hunger. I just maintain that and not the ambition. I want to give everything to every character that I get.
Was Kabir’s character difficult to snap out of once you’d finished shooting?
Yes, it is always difficult to snap out of a character and especially if he is anything like Kabir Sawant. I felt as if I wasn’t acting but I had become Kabir Sawant. In this instance, how I locked out of him was that I instantly starting prepping for ‘Gold’. I still remember the last day of ‘Breathe’ I was supposed to pack up at 12am but I packed up at 3am and at 6am I had to be on the hockey ground. I had to start my first day of hockey training and I had to be there at 6am because it was a new project just kicking off. I guess it was a blessing in disguise. I just submerged into another role with a different physicality. I started transforming to an athlete from a hard cop called Kabir. It was a blessing otherwise I would have had to spend money on a psychiatrist.
You share the screen with R Madhavan in the web-series but there are so many episodes where your paths don’t cross. However, when you so share the screen, those scenes are very effective. How did you ensure that they would be that way?
Well, I’m a huge fan of Maddy sir’s. I am very thankful that we got to create ‘Breathe’ together. I think he’s an amazing actor. I think whenever we came together on screen, judging by the reaction of the audiences, people really loved us. It was a fun experience and the frames we share together are very electric.
According to you, what was the best thing about the plot of ‘Breathe’?
I think it was the duality of life and the perspective. What I liked about it was that it makes you think. It’s not about a hero or a villain. It’s about two damaged people surviving and their survival is what makes them heroic, not their actions.
The director Mayank Sharma also wrote the story of ‘Breathe’. Do you think the fact that he was also director added to the story?
Yes, I think so. He is a very sensitive man. That helps in his form of art, as a director or as a writer. He’s a very sensible, loving family man and I think that brought in a lot of emotions to ‘Breathe’. I actually hit it off with him and we’ve become really close during this journey. He’s contributed a lot. I keep telling him he’s lying that ‘Breathe’ can’t be his first gig. He’s really nice. He’s very humble and down-to-earth and a director to reckon with. There will be more of him to come, I have a strong feeling.
There has been a call on social media for a second season of ‘Breathe’? Are there any feelers you can give on the possibility of this?
Well, the first has been such a big hit that it would be silly if Amazon didn’t come up with a season two.
What’s next for you post ‘Gold’?
Well, I really don’t know. You know, I have my own pace. I have just finished with the promotions for ‘Breathe’ and I’m basking in the glory and all the attention (laughs). Sadly life has to move on and I have to create something else now. There are a few things in the pipeline. I’m also interested in climbing right now as you know I love adventure. I might go and climb Mount Everest… Or maybe not something to intense. I might go to New York. There’s actually an amazing acting course in LA by Ivana Chubak. I’ve really been dying to do some workshops with her. I’m a crusader. I’m a guy who lives with one tent and one sleeping bag. I don’t even know what’s happening tomorrow.
All eight episodes of ‘Breathe’ are now streaming on Amazon Prime.
BizAsiaLive.com thanks Amit Sadh for talking to us about his journey for his web-series.