Ranbir Kapoor is Best Actor, Best Human Being: Sarika Singh Revisits Bombay Velvet
Actress Sarika Singh is slowly and steadily finding her place on screen. With nearly 13 years of experience in the theater under the direction of veteran Satyadev Dubey, Sarika took the plunge after performing in some TV channels. She is best known for playing Sanjay Mishra’s daughter in Hardik Mehta’s director Kaamyaab.
Sarika has also appeared in Jagga Jasoos, Bombay Begums, Sacred Games and the recent Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi where she was considered the youngest daughter of Naseeruddin Shah and Supriya Pathak. After working with directors like Anurag Kashyap, Seema Pahwa and Anurag Basu, Sarika has also found a new place in the digital space. She is now looking forward to her next Netflix series May.
Equally interesting was Sarika’s first contact with Bollywood. She played the on-screen wife of actor Satyadeep Misra in Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious project, Bombay Velvet. In her own words, even lead actor Ranbir Kapoor couldn’t wait to see her in the small but punchy role.
Here’s what Sarika shared about Bombay Velvet and working with some of the best names in the business.
What was your first acting project? How did you come up with the project?
My first film was Bombay Velvet. In 2012, I received a call from Mukesh Chhabra’s office. His assistant told me it was a small, but a good role. I auditioned for it and a week later got a call again. This time Mukesh Chhabra was online and he asked me where I was hiding so far. He said the audition was really cool and he would like to test me one more time. It was a very important role, and not because I was bad at hearing, but because he wanted to see my playing up close. I went for the second test and he even told me Anurag Kashyap loved my hearing. That’s how I got the movie. It was a small part of Chimman’s wife (Satyadeep Misra), but I enjoyed it very much. After the movie, many casting directors who never called me started contacting me.
Bombay Velvet was filmed in Sri Lanka. We stayed at a resort in Yala. They had recreated all of 1960’s Bombay in Sri Lanka, in so much detail. Even a box of matches had the inscription “BV” (Bombay Velvet, name of the club). They had set up shops. I was shocked to see such a sumptuous set. It was all the jungle on the outside, and a whole city on the inside. Vicky Kaushal and I stayed at the same small resort because we weren’t established players. Varun Grover was also with us.
What memories do you have of your first day of filming?
The set has a fun atmosphere, in fact Ranbir Kapoor is the best actor and the best human being. The first day I remember I hadn’t started filming and there was a party. It was the first day off from our first schedule. Imagine, I was so nervous the first day and then I have to attend a party. Ranbir comes to me and says “Hi”. He asked me which department I belonged to. When I told him I was an actor, he asked me what my role was. He was excited that I was playing Chimman’s wife and said he was looking forward to my scene. So that was my best memory from the movie, and of course Anurag Kashyap, who is such a laid back person to work with.
Were you nervous? How many covers have you done?
I had done a few commercials so I wasn’t very nervous, maybe just a little. More difficult was to get into this 1960s outfit with hairstyle, makeup and sarees. They shot the club scenes in Sri Lanka and my main stage was shot in Mumbai. She’s there at the club, sitting all the time, while others take care of their transactions. These portions that we shot in Lanka. So my scenes weren’t that important that I would be nervous on day one. But I was so happy to watch other actors, like Kay Kay Menon, Ranbir Kapoor, Manish Chaudhary, I had a great time watching them.
How was the relationship with your co-stars when you met them or worked with them again later?
I met Anurag in some evenings after the movie. He even did my scene in Sacred Games. He said I would meet him after the wedding. He is very gentle. Manish and I became very good friends after Bombay Velvet. We live in the same neighborhood and always hang out together, go for coffees and dinners. We didn’t even know we were playing husband and wife at Bombay Begums and we were ecstatic. I have a cordial relationship with Vicky Kaushal too much. He’s a great human being.
Although I expected more after the movie, I only had small roles, until Kaamyaab came to see me in 2018. Hardik Mehta chose me because he saw me in Bombay Velvet.
If you had the chance to reprise your lead role, what would you like to change or improve?
Absolutely yes. Now to see it, I find a lot of mistakes and I feel like I could have done so much better if I had worked a little more on my character or on the set. Although I think it happens with every project.
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A movie or a role that inspired you to become an actor?
I’ve never had this movie-watching atmosphere in my house where the whole family visits a movie theater every weekend. But we watched these movies on Doordarshan every Sunday. Whether it was Bazaar, Mandi, or Chupke Chupke, even though he came over several times, we watched him. Also the TV movies on Doordarshan with NSD and FTII actors too. They were such realistic movies and I loved them from the start. I have never been a fan of films like Zanjeer or Deewaar.
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