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Rocket Boys 2 Exclusive! Saba Azad: Back in 2016, we thought OTT might be tacky like TV

Saba Azad plays the role of Parvana Irani aka Pipsy in Rocket Boys.

Rocket Boys 2 Exclusive! Saba Azad: Back in 2016, we thought OTT might be tacky like TV
Saba Azad

Last Updated: 01.30 PM, Mar 16, 2023


Watch Rocket Boys Season 2 on OTTplay 

She is back! Saba Azad marks her return as Pipsy with the upcoming season of Rocket Boys. The actress, who won hearts as Dr. Homi Bhabha’s lover in the series in the first season, comes back with season 2. While she does, OTTplay caught up with Saba and asked her about the process of her character and revisited the first season with the actor, while also talking about OTT, among many other things.

Excerpts from the interview…

Back in 2008, you started your career with Dil Kabaddi. It was a rocky road till you got Ladies Room in 2016. Would you say now, 14 years and some months later, you are in a much happier phase?

I've been asked this question several times. People always assume that it was a rocky road for me but honestly, I had three parallel careers even then. When I started out with Dil Kabaddi, I was already a musician. After Dil Kabaddi, I got Mujhse Fraandship Karoge. The thing is, I got clubbed into the college romance genre. The kind of offers which came my way were exactly the same. I'm a theatre actor and that is rather boring for me and so I took some time to do music. I was singing for three bands at a time and was also doing playback. I was very happy doing that. Then, things started changing with web world coming into place. There was more interesting concept being made. That's when I said okay, I'll do this. I never stopped acting. I'm a theatre actor and will continue doing theatre. I don't view it as a rocky road. I view it as working on projects that only appealed to me as an actor. Thank God I had that luxury because I had a lot of careers. Other people don't have that luxury. I got lucky that I had other things to do and enjoy. I did that and my band is 10 years old now. Along with that, I'm really glad to get acting projects that I want to do. So, I'm really glad that I waited instead of jumping into things that would've been less than fun for me.

Did you fall in love with OTT instantly? You did Ladies Room and then appeared in many projects since...

At the time, nobody knew what OTT was. We all thought it might be like TV only. It might be tacky like TV. No one knew about OTT when I started. There were no OTT platforms. It was just starting out. At the time, it was total uncertainty. We had no idea what we're doing. We didn't even know if people would watch our shows. The concept and script of Ladies Room was so interesting that there was no way I wouldn't do it. We did it anyway and the show did well.

Coming to Rocket Boys 2, do we see you singing this time for the show?

Not really. It's not that kind of a series. I'm on stage with my band so you can hear us there. No singing in Rocket Boys but you can expect to see more of Pipsy. She is like a mirror to Homi. You see a side of him through her - that is more human, softer. It shows another side of him that's not political, that's loved. That is also the concern of the character - to show an independent woman of that time and then to show a strong woman who made her choices back in the 40-50s and to view this man, this brilliant scientist, so human-life and their life moving parallelly together.

Did you meet someone before prepping for Pipsy? Is she inspired from someone? What was the preparation process with her?

She's Parsi lady so you have a community to turn to to understand her beginnings. Then her clothing. She travels and was educated, so what's the kind of dressing she wears? She comes from an affluent part of the society. She was well-to-do and she was inspired from Hollywood actresses. It was a combination of the beautiful ladies of the black-and-white era - Hollywood and also she was born in the British era so there's this language. I picked up the mannerisms from everywhere.

Jim was absolutely shattered and heartbroken with the scene of Pipsy's wedding. How did you take that scene?

It was definitely heartbreaking. The love didn't die between them. Sometimes, love is not enough. She knew that if she was stepping in a life with him, he would prioritise work. She wanted something more. She wanted to be married and so, made her choice. She wasn't the bechaari who would wait for her man so she took the decision. The love never stopped between them. It was bitter-sweet. She did what she needed to. It is saying goodbye to the love of your life. That scene was very heartbreaking. Even doing it was very heartbreaking because you feel it in the audience. It really was heartbreaking.

Did you end up crying while watching the scene?

You really feel for the characters when you see the scenes. Abhay (director) really choreographed it so beautifully. The passing look that they exchange really gets you emotional.

Tell me about your favourite moment from all of Rocket Boys.

I really like the scene where Pipsy is introduced. It's an introduction to Homi-Pipsy relationship. I also like the scene in the library, where she asks him do you want to continue being an idiot or you want to do something with your life? I really enjoyed that one as well. Some really beautiful moments between them.

If you had to change something about Pipsy, what would that be?

Nothing. Not a hair on her head.

Not even the fact that she didn't marry Dr. Bhabha?

The beauty of the story is because it was unrequited. You feel that 'oh god, I wish!' You scream that 'he's an idiot.' There's strength in that because it doesn't leave you wanting more.

Where do you see yourself in your career now? What would be the next step?

I have three films coming this year. I'm working on two web series. I'm shooting a lot and really enjoying the process. I hopefully see my career reflecting the way last year was. I just want to put my head down and work. Hopefully, I'll do good and intellectual work and get better with and learn with every project. That's my hope - to creatively learn more. That's it.

I'm sure you love acting and would want to continue that but do you also want to go behind the screens and direct or produce a project? Any plans for that?

Very much so. I'm definitely into making cinema. I am actually working towards becoming a director and hope that it can happen in the next five years. That is definitely something I want to do. I am eternally connected to cinema and I want to make cinema till my dying breath. So I want to act and direct, yes.

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