Sapan Saran is a savvy, super cute model who has vaulted from parts in commercials (Kitkat, Scooty Pep, Unibic Cookies) to making her acting debut in the Vinay Pathak starrer SRK, which is shaping up to be one of the more interesting releases on the schedule this year.
Sapan was cool enough to stop by the Drift to tell us about her journey to the long gates of Bollywood, being thrown into the pit with a few veteran actors in her very first film and trying to break big in South Indian cinema.
AspisDrift.com: Hi Sapan, thanks for stopping by the Drift. Let's start with your film: SRK. Is it one of those super secret plots or can you tell us about it?
Sapan: Hi Aspi…pleasure being here.
SRK not only has an interesting name but also a very interesting plot…and it's not really a super-secret now. The film is about this man Shivaji Rao Khote, who is fondly called SRK by his friends…SRK represents a common man with big dreams but a lazy attitude! You gotta watch the film for Vinay!
AspisDrift.com: What's your role like in the movie?
Sapan: I am being introduced in the film in second lead. My character's name is Sandhya…she's a small town girl..who loves her family and shares a special bond with her elder sister [Rituparna], whose married to SRK [Vinay]. I also have a slight romantic track in the film.
AspisDrift.com: I know very little about you, so you'll have to fill us in on the details. Where were you born? What's your family like? Where did you go to school?
Sapan: Umm ..ok..I belong to Rajasthan. Schooling was in Jodhpur and then moved to Delhi. I've now shifted to Mumbai. My dad is a Prof in JNU, Delhi…Bro is in a hedge firm in US.
AspisDrift.com: Just about any good looking model type women I talk to will either tell me that they wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up or that they were a complete tomboy. What was little Sapan like?
Sapan: Little Sapan was one confused soul…she wanted to be what and what-not, from a teacher, to an IAS officer to a doctor and engineer. Almost every dream that a small-town child usually nurtures under the guidance of her parents :).
But I was involved in a lot of cultural activities right from the beginning - dancing, radio, plays, etc. And one day I suddenly asked myself - 'What am I doing? Why Computers? This is not where I belong!!"…and I made a decision. I was very lucky to have had such supportive parents who let me chase my unconventional dream - even though I was a very good student: a class topper to be precise! :)
AspisDrift.com: Any other modeling work that you have on your portfolio?
|Vinay Pathak, Rituparna Sengupta and Sapan on the sets of SRK|
You'll also soon see me in a music video for T-series. But I'm looking forward to MORE!
AspisDrift.com: Ok, I need to ask you some modeling questions. Do you have to deal a lot with rejection? How do you cope with it?
Sapan: Oh all the time! You have to learn to face it, accept it and ignore it! You have to let go…and the easiest way is to never to be attached to the outcome of any project. Give your best shot and move on. It took me a while to learn this…but I practiced it and it works now!
AspisDrift.com: Let's talk about SRK again. I saw your pictures of the shooting. Where is that gorgeous place?
Sapan: Oh yes it is indeed a beautiful place…its Munnar in Kerala.
AspisDrift.com: Anything about shooting films that caught you off guard?
Sapan: Well to be very frank…there were a lot of things which were new to me. Simple things like, 'catching the light' is something that comes with practice. And the funny part is that even if you act well, if you're weak in any one of the technical areas (facing, lighting, switch on-off, etc)...you'll lose the scene.
I mean what's the point of delivering a lovely scene in the dark! You gotta take your light! So yes I did make a lot of mistakes and since its not a class-room…most of the times you learn things on your own by making a mistake.
Let me also mention that I was lucky to have a director like Ajoy Varma, who was very composed during the shoot and never lost his cool. This really helped me cause being a new comer I was not prepared to work in stressful environments. The fact that I was working with all senior actors…was enough of a stress :). But Rituparna, Ninad, Vinay…were all extremely supportive.
AspisDrift.com: So how do you go about making a career in films? Do you have to audition like crazy? Network like mad? Try and hit every party in town? What works for you?
Sapan: Guess its audition and network like mad that works for me now.When I came to Mumbai, I only knew two people - my friend, (writer-director) Kiran Kotrial (Deewane Huye Paagal) and my uncle Mr Kumar Shahani whose a renowned film director across the globe. So I took my first few baby steps guided by them.
Now of course I meet a lot of people and end up connecting to quite a few. I love meeting people who deal with the technicalities of cinema, as well.
For instance, I got along pretty well with Shajith, from SRK's team. He is a national awardee in sound design! Our still-photographer Binnoy Roy, whose an ace photographer and also a dear friend now, has always been giving me tips for improvement!
I'm also presently trying to break into South (Indian cinema). I recently got in touch with a huge star down south - Dhanush, who is also Rajnikant's son-in-law. After interacting with him I realized that films down South have a huge market as well. I'd love to work with him some day. Actually lets not touch that zone…I have a huge wish-list of people I'd love to work with!!!!
AspisDrift.com: Vinay Pathak is a big favorite on this blog. People seem to really like him. Anything about him you'd like to share with his fans here?
Sapan: Oh Vinay is a sweet heart! Very humble and down-to-earth. He's cracking jokes all the time.
We bonded while playing word-building and dumb charades on the set. I mean we played so much..that whenever we'd see each other off camera..we'd b whispering names of films to enact!
And he is a brilliant actor to watch. One thing he told me was that the challenging thing is, to completely wash-out what u did in the previous take n to redo the same thing with absolute freshness in the next take!
I'd tell his fans that he is every bit of the lovable person that u think he is.
AspisDrift.com: Ok, some brand questions. What do you drive in real life? A Scooty?
Sapan: Naah I wish though…looking at the traffic.
AspisDrift.com: Your favorite cookies?
Sapan: Eeeh…are you like teasing me? I'm on a diet!
AspisDrift.com: Your mobile phone?
Sapan: Or my mobile number? :) Nokia XpressMusic f' now... I lose a lot of phones!
AspisDrift.com: Your favorite stores for shopping?
Sapan: I don't really follow brands…so I'd walk into any shop which looks interesting. Mostly it's from Bandra or Lokhandwala.
AspisDrift.com: Finally, this question is mandatory on my blog so indulge me: can you fold a fitted bed sheet properly?
Sapan: Hey I like that question! Since the question is 'can'…I'd say - yes. Had it been 'do' ...NO!
The trailor to Sapan's movie SRK