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Rocket Boys 2 Exclusive! Ishwak Singh: The respect between me and Jim Sarbh helped me ease into scenes with him

Ishwak Singh plays Dr. Vikram Sarabhai in Rocket Boys.

Rocket Boys 2 Exclusive! Ishwak Singh: The respect between me and Jim Sarbh helped me ease into scenes with him
Rocket Boys - Ishwak Singh.

Last Updated: 01.38 PM, Mar 16, 2023


Watch Rocket Boys Season 2 on OTTplay 

Ishwak Singh is coming back in Rocket Boys season 2. The actor plays the role of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai on the show. Jim Sarbh is seen in the role of Dr. Homi Bhabha, who, in a way, was Dr. Sarabhai’s mentor. OTTplay caught up with Ishwak to talk about Dr. Sarabhai and try to know what the character offers us in season 2.

Excerpts from the interview…

You became a part of two web series Paatal Lok and Rocket Boys. Both became a massive hit. So I have to ask, what is it that you look for when picking a web series?

It eventually comes down to the writing and maker. With Rocket Boys, what I got aware of is that the theme - what is it and why is it being done? It's a good content which is written well. It is one of the most relevant, poignant, important and bold subjects that had to be picked up. The story needed to be told. It's a service to science and homage to the fathers of modern India, the builders of the nation. That is very inspiring.

When you were offered Rocket Boys, was it just limited to season 1 or there was more to offer?

We shot for both the seasons together. Most of it. We had a schedule later, after a break. We were aware. From day one, we knew - about the whole concept of all seasons.

Now that Dr. Bhabha will be martyred, will Dr. Sarabhai's story be the focus of the show?

It's best you see and find out. It's a story not only about length but talks about so much more - that time, how people were, the culture, what the Nation was going through. We were a young Nation and where we came. How we created a scientific and thinking nation. It came after the success of season one.

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai has a very different cultural background than yours and since it is the culture that reflects so much in the series, take me through your preparation process for that. How did you turn from Ishwak Singh into Dr. Sarabhai?

Turning into someone is just not possible at a human level. You have to relate to certain aspects of a character or person. That is why when we read a story or watch a film, you feel with the characters. So, yes, it is relatable. You find that connection and link with the character. You find a parallel with what you have experienced. It is the motivation one is looking for. When you talk about building the universe, I had to read up on those days and what it was like, how the idea of ISRO came about, how these guys met, what went down, what their initial years were like, how their relationship grew. That's how a good script becomes a Bible for the actor. You find the motivation in the script, which is already very informative. It's a world in itself. You stay to the script long enough and get all the actors.

Of course, we had discussions with the director. There was prep time and we learnt even while shooting. You just find a way of doing things. It just comes to you.

It was your first time working with Jim on screen. Would you say that the bond you shared with him on-screen was the same off-screen?

I'm very fortunate to have a great bond with the cast and crew. The degree of it was very high. We spent a lot of time together. The rapport you see on screen, a lot of it is taking and feeding on how the bond with the actor is off-screen. For Dr. Sarabhai, he looked up to Homi Bhabha. There's a lot of mutual admiration and respect between me and Jim. That always helped me to find that ease in doing the different scenes.

Rajit Kapur is a part of this project and he also played Vikram Sarabhai in R Madhavan's Rocketry. So, on sets, did you guys bond and work together to try and understand Dr. Sarabhai better?

He's a legendary actor, a veteran. I have grown up watching him. I learnt a lot from him. We spoke about his films, work from whatever time we spent together. We didn't discuss Dr. Sarabhai in that sense.

Since we talk about Rocketry, will Nambi Narayan be a part of the show this time around?

I wouldn't like to comment on that.

This time, will we go into the depths of how Dr. Sarabhai played a major role in the setting up of IIM Ahmedabad?

It's a difficult thing for an actor to answer. If I reveal plot points, what's the fun of watching the show?

How much about Dr. Sarabhai did you know before coming to this project? What is the new thing about him that you learnt with Rocket Boys?

I knew a little bit of Dr. Sarabhai. I was associated with Dr. Sarabhai's daughter Mallika Sarabhai's theatre. I knew about his persona but I wasn't aware about his personal life and how rooted he was. I was really inspired to know about how the man went about with the limited resources at hand.

What's the update on Berlin and Bas Karo Aunty?

I don't have an update yet but I have shot for both of them but don't know when will they release.

Berlin is another huge announcement from the Spanish series. There might be confusion, especially now that the announcement is out. Is the title finalized?

I wouldn't know. I haven't got any update yet.

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