Exclusive: The transformation of Amit Sadh: An actor’s darkness becomes his light

Amit Sadh is one of those actors you remember even when they’re quiet. There’s an intensity to him which keeps you rooted to the screen. You can see his character going through an inner turmoil. And he has done it time after time in both good and bad films. His projects might not always made a noise at the box office but the actor can always be counted to give his best everytime. He was last seen in web series like Breathe, Jeet Ki Zid and Avrodh and would soon be seen in a rom com called Sukhee, where he’s co-starring with Shilpa Shetty Kundra. He’s also shooting for a gritty thriller, where he’s reportedly playing an encounter specialist. Amit says he’s always been open to good roles and sees himself being part of the industry for the next 50 years or so. “I’m here for the long haul. Koi jaldi nahi hai. I’m in no hurry…”

Excerpts from an interview with the talented actor where he explains his worldview and more:

What’s your current state of mind?

After many, many years, or I can say since I was born, I am in the best state of mind. There’s complete peace, complete happiness, and I am very happy!

You had once mentioned that you were on the streets after your dad passed away when you were 15 or 16. Has the trauma of your past journey impacted your personality?

Hardships, challenges and darkness we face in life mould us and leave their effect on our behaviour and thinking. So yes I was battling and fighting during a huge part of my teenage years, my television days and even till a few years ago. The good thing is now there is no trauma, no anger, no grudge, only love, respect and a lot of hope. I firmly believe that artists through their art connect with the audience. And it has a purpose, which is to be bigger than our greed, our achievements. To heal and love people. To show them warmth and gentleness. Today I am in that space! I have forgotten the past. And it is amazing, no matter how upsetting or dark my past was, I am in light right now.

Amit Sadh

You mentioned darkness. Does acting heal that darkness, that brokenness?

An actor’s darkness becomes his light. I always say that acting is my therapist. And this one pays me. It cleanses me. The job is hard and there are a lot of good and bad. But I have created a mindset to remember the good. Whenever I have the cameras on me I don’t remember the bad because I want to highlight the good. And there’s a lot of good.

How did the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute change you? You were in the middle of doing hardcore television and then suddenly you went to New York and had to unlearn everything. How was that experience?

It was one of the best decisions I made. I did not plan to go to Strasberg. I just made the decision to join movies and a friend of mine said that I should just leave the city because I was too disturbed and unhappy. I sold my house and with that money went to Strasberg. One big thing I learnt was that as an actor you have to be at a certain frequency. You cannot be inflated. And if you can remain normal and have the power of being calm and strong then you have the ability to create another character.

Any auditions in which you failed and felt you could have done a better job than the actor who got the role?

I wish I had such stories. I’ve had a stroke of luck. When I came to join television I got this big part (and I couldn’t act to save my life) and was on hoardings for the series Kyun Hota Hai Pyaar! I auditioned for Kai Po Che! and was immediately cast. I was brilliant in it, so after Kai Po Che! no one auditioned me. But when someone comes to me and asks ‘yeh dates hai’, I don’t do that movie because the person doesn’t want me, he just wants anyone who fits those dates.

Amit Sadh

Is it because of your anger that you were not happy with this kind of approach? Were you trying to change the system or you wanted to be you and the system was trying to change you?

Anger is not a negative emotion and we cannot live without it because it’s an impulse. It’s a human reaction and anyone who says ‘mujhe gussa nahin aata’ is lying. There are a lot of aggressive people, a lot of transparent people and then there are the passive-aggressive people.

They say sad people are angry people…

(Laughs) Luckily I have an ‘h’ at the end of my name. Whenever I am out of the country and they ask me my name I always say ‘sad with happiness’. I get a lot of attention there. But these emotions are relevant in this world and our everyday life and affect how we create our mindset. They are tools you have to create to not let that anger overpower you or affect your mental health. Every individual has to make an effort and understand.

Can you talk about a bad performance?

Here I may have to disappoint you. People have been quite generous to me. I feel it and I can say earnestly that till the time I keep working hard and people see that hard work, it gives me a lot of leeway. Still, I want you to judge me. If I am bad at my work, cut my throat.

Who are your 4 am friends you can turn to?

As for my 4 am friends, well, friends know I sleep around 9.30 pm and get up at 4 am and when I wake up my phone is off and they can’t get through. That’s my me-time in the morning.

What about your relationships?

I have had beautiful relationships. I know their power so I made sure I remained fully committed while they lasted.

Amit Sadh

So are you a good boyfriend?

Please forward this queston to my ex-girlfriends.

It means you are single currently?

Yes. But I would like to add that the women I have been in relationships with have had a huge impact on me. When I was younger I had a short fuse and I was with someone who came from a world where even if you raise your voice they would say ‘time out!’ And I would go people helped me to become the best version of myself.

What relationship tips would you give?

When it comes to relationships, sometimes you grow out of love, and sometimes you are aligned and then you get misaligned. That’s not in anyone’s hands. I just feel one should be as honest and genuine as possible and respect the other person. And if you come to a point of despair and don’t see eye to eye any more, still maintain that dignity and respect.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say, “Hang in there. Hang in there. The road is going to get smoother soon.”

What’s the nicest and nastiest thing you have heard about yourself?

It was not so nasty but at that time I felt really bad. There was this person who met me after Kai Po Che! and said that he would sign me the next morning because he found me so good in the film. And the next morning he told someone that I was not fit to be a film actor. I felt bad that he praised me so much the night before and then changed his opinion so soon. But that’s life, I guess.

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