Mohammad Samad on playing Sushant Singh Rajput’s son in ‘Chhichhore’: He used to treat me like his kid off-screen too – Times of India

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Mohammad Samad may be young but he already has films like, ‘Gattu’, ‘Haramkhor’, ‘Tumbbad’ and ‘Chhichhore’ to his credit. He is now gearing up to play the role of a young Sai Baba in MX Player’s ‘Sabka Sai’ series. In an exclusive interview with ETimes, the budding actor recalled how it was working with the late Sushant Singh Rajput in ‘Chhichhore’, films he rejected to be a part of the Nitesh Tiwari directorial that went on to win a National Award, and what made him choose acting. Excerpts:

You will be seen playing the role of a young Sai Baba in ‘Sabka Sai’ series. How did you bag the role?
Ajit (surname) sir had asked me to try out for the role of a young Sai. He gave me the script and asked me to come prepared the next day. When I auditioned for the role, everyone was quite impressed. I also wore the Sai Baba costume they had prepared for the role during the auditions. After this, sir gave me the entire script; I was quite fascinated with the storyline, so I hopped on board.

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How did you prep up for the role?
Ajit sir recommended many books, movies, and even a serial based on Sai Baba. He told me to observe his mannerisms, nature, and everything else. He used to even tell me where to correct myself and I would do that. We started shooting for the series before the pandemic and I had barely shot for a scene or two when I planned to visit Shirdi once. However, owing to the pandemic there was a lockdown across the country and my plan did not materialise. Ajit sir then told me to watch videos of Dwarakamai and other places on YouTube, so I did that instead.

Mythological shows often come under the scanner for hurting religious sentiments. Were you sceptical before accepting the role, given your religious beliefs in personal life?
I have always believed that all the religions in the world teach us the same thing–there is only one God and it is just our perspectives that are different. Sai Baba also preached the same thing throughout his life. So, I was not sceptical about being part of the show.

Of all the actors that you have worked with, who did you have the most fun with?
I bonded quite well with Deepak Damle sir on the sets of ‘Sabka Sai’. He was also a part of ‘Tumbbad’ and I have known him since then. I have also worked with him on another movie that will be released soon.

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You have been working from a young age. When exactly did you start?
I started doing films because it was just fun for me. I never really thought much about it as a career. I actually started enjoying being an actor when I was shooting for ‘Tumbbad’, for which I had taken a leave of four months from school. I also got an opportunity to learn a lot from Anand Gandhi sir; he gave me tips to polish my acting skills. I was really amused when I started exploring further. I started getting opportunities and kept on taking them up.

You have also made some exceptional choices when it comes to films–‘Gattu’, ‘Tumbbad’, ‘Chhichhhore’, ‘HaramKhor’ and others. Have they been a conscious decision or do you take it as it comes?
Films like ‘Gattu’, ‘Haramkhor’ and ‘Tumbbad’ came my way. I did those films because I was offered those films and I took it up because it was fun. During ‘Chhichhore’, I had got many offers but I did not take them up. Amongst them were projects like ‘Kota Factory’, ‘Mardaani 2’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ and ‘Bala’. I could have done only one film at the time and I chose to be part of ‘Chhichhore’.

The film appealed to me because it had a big cast and it was being directed by Nitesh Tiwari. I had actually auditioned for ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ too. I was amongst the top five kids selected for the role. However, I was unable to understand the typical Dharavi language, so I didn’t make the cut. I was waiting for another opportunity to work with him, and I finally got ‘Chhichhore’.

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How was it knowing and working with Sushant Singh Rajput?
I had a lovely experience. He used to share his problems with us on the sets and also solve our problems. He has taken me to his house for parties many times. He used to treat me like his kid off-screen too. During the ICU scene in ‘Chhichhore’, one of my eyes used to be closed and there were many pipes attached to my body, so he used to make sure I was comfortable. He was the one who used to make energy drinks for me. He was very sweet and I really miss him.

Who do you look up to in Bollywood?
Shah Rukh Khan is my ultimate idol. I would also love to work with Hrithik Roshan.

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