Saba Azad on Rocket Boys, acting and singing: ‘Need a number of careers to keep me interested’

Saba Azad on Rocket Boys, acting and singing: ‘Need a number of careers to keep me interested’

With the second season of Rocket Boys premiering next week, Saba Azad recalled how she’s been with the character of Parvana Irani aka Pipsy for almost three years now. The singer was cast for the SonyLIV period drama in May 2020 right during the beginning months of lockdown. (Also Read | Amid wedding rumours, Saba Azad shares her pic clicked by Hrithik Roshan, Sussanne Khan comments ‘beautiful girl’)

She said that when she got the call from casting director Kavish Sinha, his advice to her was ‘You better nail this.’ Saba did a self-test at home and had to go through another round as they felt she looked too young. But eventually she changed her hair and clothes for a second round and recreated an old photograph and landed the part.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Saba spoke about how Rocket Boys has been the biggest catalyst in her acting career, the amazing response to the show, and how she balances both singing and acting.

Speaking about the beautiful projects that have come to her after Rocket Boys, Saba shared, “I think the films that I had done in the past, I was kind of stuck because people were just imagining me as a college-romance-sweet-cute [type of personality]. I was frustrated, I’ll be honest. Thank god for theater and music because I was at least creatively satisfied in different parts of my life. As far as screen goes, I wasn’t getting the kind of projects that I wanted to, Rocket Boys was that catalyst to be like, ‘Oh, we can imagine her as something else as well. I’m very thankful to [director] Abhay [Pannu] for imagining me as his Pipsy.”

Later this year, Saba will be seen as a singer called Raj Begum in the film Songs of Paradise which is about the first female singer on Kashmiri radio. She also has the film Minimum where she plays a half-Belgium girl. Besides these films, the actor is also in a short film directed by Naseeruddin Shah and is shooting for two series as a lead character.

She and the rest of the cast knew that they were sitting on something big before the release of the show, especially after reading the scripts. But they couldn’t imagine that it would be received so well. She felt glad that the audience loved it the way the team loved the show.

While Saba plays a fictional character on the show, her character is based on the real-life companion of Dr Homi Bhabha, played by Jim Sarbh. Describing the vivacious Pipsy, the actor shared, “The function of Pipsy was to show the human side of Homi Bhabha. You see the scientist, you see the madman, genius, political player and you see all of that about Homi. But till Pipsi comes in, you do not see his human side. The character that Parvana Irani is based on Farida Pipsy was actually a lifelong companion of Homi Bhabha’s so it is how they moved through life parallelly and how you view him through her eyes. The Homi Bhabha who loved music, who played the violin, enjoyed parties and a drink every now and then, who’s interested in art.”

She went on to say that her friends and family were not surprised by her naturalness in the character. “I’m a history student. I’m deeply fascinated by the past and not [just with] my interest in history but also in the music that I listen to, the kind of clothes I wear on the daily, I wear vintage. The music I make is drawing from the past. I sing jazz and I make swing [music]. Everything is kind of into that era of the 30s moving into the 70s,” Saba explained, adding that they commented that she was right at home in the series.

She also enjoyed collaborating with Jim, who is a fellow theatre actor like her. She said, “People who start in theatre and not as a means to an end but to scratch that itch of being an actor on stage and do it for the love of it, not to become a film star one day. They’re not there for the perks that come with acting. That’s one thing that holds them together, that we are here for the love of the craft. Everything that comes with it is also welcome but it’s not why you’re there. That’s a wonderful part about working with a theatre actor because Jim loves what he does.”

She continued, “There’s so much rehearsal that’s already gone into it before we come to set that when we are on set, we can improvise, we can have fun. We can do things we haven’t done before. Abhay can[change stuff last minute and we’re like okay, we’ll do it, because we know the characters so well. That was really fun with Jim. He’s such a good co-actor, he’s a giving co-actor. It’s really a pleasure working with him.”

Besides acting, Saba also keeps herself busy as a singer. She recently sang the title track Sab Farzi for Prime Video’s web series Farzi and has been a playback singer for over a decade. She revealed that she really enjoys working with composers like Sachin-Jigar and has another song with them which will be released soon.

“Playback is also such a quick thing,” she shared. “You go to the studio, you finish the song and it’s done and then next you see it, it’s on screen. You do several songs along the way and then just sometimes forget about it. And the next time, you hear it and say, ‘oh, it’s released.’ I love singing, I love playback. It’s just such a satisfying experience to finish something and just put it out into the world.”

She also added that she doesn’t feel the need to balance out both her acting and singing careers as she has been doing both since she was little. She said, “I started in a theatre group when I was about three or four and [joined the] choir within it. It always went hand in hand. Sometimes on stage as a musician, I’m also performing on stage. There’s a character I play on stage which I drop when I get off stage.”

“I think gone are the times when people were like, jack of all trades, king of none. You can be really good at many things as well. That way of thinking has changed. Everyone is multi-hyphenated now, everyone is straddling a number of careers, not just one. Also for the decreasing attention spans, especially I’ll say this about myself. I have ADHD and I really need a number of careers to keep me interested at all times. I’m really thankful that I have that,” she concluded.

Original Article

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