Sacred Games: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amruta Subhash, Surveen Chawla on Season 2 of Netflix series
Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amruta Subhash and Surveen Chawla on what can be expected from the second season of Sacred Games and surprising details of their character
On a day packed with interviews ahead of his return in Season 2 of the popular Netflix series Sacred Games, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is in a fun and frivolous mood though he has a tired look on his face. He’s just flown down from the shoot of his home production, Bole Chudiyan, and has a spring in his step.
Siddiqui plays Ganesh Gaitonde, a Mumbai don with God-complex, who has acquired a cult following among his fans with. People on the streets often yell, ‘Gaitonde, Gaitonde’, when they see him but the actor doesn’t want to get carried away with the accolades that he has been receiving. “Every actor likes it when they are appreciated but I don’t want to get affected by all these ‘Wah Wahs’ because one has to keep working and you can’t live in that moment of glory. You have to look ahead. I can’t be feeling happy just because people are calling out ‘Gaitonde Gaitonde’. You have to come back in the aukat (worth or repute) and start again from zero especially when one is playing other characters. So, you have to be level-headed and careful especially when too much of appreciation happens,” he says.
And when you tell him that people are anxiously waiting to see what unfolds in Season 2, the actor grins mischievously as he utters the foul words that has been used in the series, saying, “Yes...People are curious. Usually when we wait for something anxiously, we get a bit irritated and at times abuse, saying '###@@...When is your next season coming up?' (laughs heartily). So the wait is of this kind where we are being hurled with abuses. Look at the love that is being showered!”
The second season, which premiered on the streaming giant on 15 August, will pick up from where the first part ended. Siddiqui says it was easier to slip into the character as he had already played it for a while. “But you have to now deal with new situations, new creations. Also, the second season shows more of an internal journey and Gaitonde's fight with that,” he reveals.
Siddiqui further says that he got to dig deeper into his character as compared to movies. “That is because there are eight episodes and one has to go into the micro details of the character. Film has its limitations and besides the limited time, there is more focus on the story. But in a series, there is more focus on small detailing of characters, the beginning, middle and end. On this platform you work more on your craft,” says the actor.
Among the new faces who make an appearance in Season 2 is actor Amruta Subhash, an old friend of Nawazuddin and colleague from the National School of Drama (NSD), who starred in Gully Boy earlier this year. She plays the character of a RAW agent and she’s introduced in the first episode of the second season. And the kind of character she plays immediately commands Gaitonde’s respect. “Very few people stand up to Ganesh Gaitonde and my character does that. He does not like her but respects her. Nawaz is my senior from NSD. Here, in Sacred Games, it was interesting because I had to play senior to him," she chuckles.
“Anurag (Kashyap, director), Nawaz and I worked in Raman Raghav (2.0) together where Nawaz dominated me and here I do that to him. Kashyap helped me reach that space and Nawaz never brings his stardom to sets. He is very cool and hence it was easy for me as I never felt intimidated,” adds Subhash.
“It is always fun working with Amruta because we know each other so well and there is a certain chemistry when we do scenes together. We trust each other so much that we can take a scene to any level,” said Siddiqui.
While Subhash has many scenes with Saif in Season 2, Siddiqui doesn’t. “With Saif whatever was seen in the first season, that’s it but it was great. There weren’t many scenes because after one or two dialogues, he would fire bullets and then I shoot myself,” he says. “My scenes with Saif were directed by Neeraj (Ghaywan). Even Saif is so down-to-earth and I was meeting him for the first time. As we know that Saif’s thumb got cut in the first season and whenever he liked my shot, he would tell me, ‘Hey KDY (Amruta's character is called K D Yadav), thumbs up without the thumb’," laughs Subhash.
Siddiqui further reveals that the story unfolds at a faster pace in comparison to season one. "There is more action and you will see more of my love interests as and when the story unfolds," said Siddiqui, who longs for a break from the frantic schedule. “I am also shooting for Bole Chudiyan these days. Life has become quite hectic which is good because that is what I always wanted. But in between, I do feel that I need some rest,” he says.
And talking about Siddiqui’s love interest, there is the much talked about character — Gaitonde's pimp and friend, ‘Jojo Mascarenhas’, played by Surveen Chawla. While in Season 1, we only got a glimpse of the spunky, headstrong woman but the back story of ‘Jojo’ will come to the fore in Season 2 letting viewers explore the character with greater insights into her life. “It is quite a unique and volatile relationship that ‘Gaitonde’ and ‘Jojo’ share. It is like 'can’t live with and can’t live without' kind of a relationship,” said Surveen.
She further says that there were many reasons why she found her character exciting, both in terms of shoot and otherwise, “because I had to go backwards on my character. What we see in the first season is the end of Jojo. The character didn’t have a graph of beginning, middle and end but it is the other way round here and that made it more exciting,” she says.
“Obviously so,” she continues, “It was quite a mystery for me as well because Jojo’s character was not written and the writers were still writing when the first season was on, and once they finished and I got the narration I was bowled over completely. It was a very surprising character that they had penned down. Nothing like what I had expected it to be. I am sure it is going to be with the audiences as well. It is not going to turn out the way people would think it will,” said the actress.
“What made it even more exciting was the fact that what you see between Nawaz and me is mostly over the phone call and it was very difficult shooting that. But the other part when we were working together in the same frame, it was amazing because Nawaz is extremely giving and generous as an actor. The fact that you never feel intimidated by an actor of his stature is commendable and the credit goes to him for that. He doesn’t come with any kind of baggage, he comes to do his job he is excited about it, he is involved, he is invested,” she concludes.
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