Exclusive: Sahil Vaid On Working With Sushant Singh Rajput In ‘Dil Bechara’, ‘False #MeToo Claims’ And More
While ‘Dil Bechara’ is Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, it incidentally is also a first of many kinds. Of course, it marks the acting and directorial debut of Sanjana Sanghi and Mukesh Chhabra respectively. But apart from that, with an enviable IMDb rating of 9.5/10 (after the initial 10/10), the tear-jerking rom com is also the biggest opener ever for any streaming platform with a viewership of about 75 million in the first 24 hours itself. I can believe that because I was one of those viewers among countless others who couldn’t wait any longer to see SSR do what he does best, for one last time. Of course, it wasn’t an easy watch, to see art imitate life the way it did but at least it filled the heart before breaking it again.
If one tried to be subjective; Sushant’s Manny came to life because of Sanajan’s Kizie and their on-screen chemistry. That and actor Sahil Vaid’s JP who is the best buddy to the ‘fighter’ of the film. With a strong screen-presence and catchy dialogues, Vaid’s was an effortless performance. Even Manny and his camaraderie reflect the bond the duo shared off-screen and in an exclusive interaction with Mashable India, the character actor has opened up about the same. Not just that, he also revealed that he is yet to fully comprehend the harsh reality, his dismay over the false #MeToo allegations, his work aspirations, and more. Read it here…
You play the part of Sushant’s best friend in the film. What made you say yes to the character?
I play JP, an aspiring Bhojpuri filmmaker from Patna who suffers from optic nerve glyoma. Due to his eye cancer, he is losing his vision, and before that he wishes to shoot a film with Manny and Kizie who portray the character of the lead hero and heroine in his film. I honestly did not have to think a bit to say yes to the film, since I always wanted to be a part of a sensitive and emotional content like this. I was getting a wonderful opportunity to work with Sushant and Mukesh sir, and most of all, I loved the original ‘The Fault in our Stars’ (book and the movie). Hence, without a thought, I said yes.
How was it working like on the film with Sushant Singh Rajput? It mustn’t have been easy to come to terms with what happened and everything since?
It’s never easy to come to terms with death. Especially someone who inspires you so much, when that individual passes away it’s never easy. Working with him was like ‘playing’, it was like we were all playing ‘house’ in Jamshedpur for a couple of months, living together, laughing together. I had a great time working on with him on Dil Bechara; I’ll always remember it with a smile on my face. I have still to come to terms with Sushant being no more.
Any particular memory from the sets while shooting the film that you will cherish forever?
The whole process of shooting the film is one big happy place for me in my life, I am so glad I got to do this one. From dinners together to playing board games with the crew on our non-shooting days, to just randomly visiting the set to watch the shoot on days we weren’t shooting, I’ll remember all of it. But I will most importantly remember the limited interactions I had with ‘sasar’ which I called him because his van was always labelled ‘SSR’.
Even earlier, the film had a lot of things going the wrong way for it including the delay in the release. How did you hold up then?
As fate would have it, I have had films delay on me before. I shot for my very first film in 2008 called Happi, that released in 2019 on ZEE5, my film Bank Chor was shot in 2014 and only released in 2017 and meanwhile, I had shot for Badrinath Ki Dulhania and it had also already released. So the delay was not the issue for me as I was used to that. I understand the power of instant gratification but what was troubling me most were the reasons for this delay. False allegations and unprovable #metoo claims. No one deserved them. My heart goes out to all the real victims of the #metoo movement, but not all allegations were true.
You are known for adding quirks to your characters like Poplu from Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. But what are your aspirations and dream roles? Any actor/director you would want to work with next?
My biggest aspiration is that directors experiment with me now. I really can give this amazing world of films a lot more. To be honest the roles I have done in films so far are no match to the variety of work I do on stage. So I, through this interaction with you, request directors to experiment with me. Some people I really want to work with are Anurag Kashyap and Aamir Khan. My dream role would be something that proves my worth as a good actor.
Hear that Bollywood? That’s your cue!
Cover Image: Sahil Vaid/Instagram