Jim Sarbh’s performance as Malik Kafur in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat has got everyone talking. His subtle wickedness and perversity perfectly complimented Ranveer Singh’s superbly ferocious and energetic performance as Alauddin Khilji. We informed you earlier that casting Jim as Kafur was Ranveer’s idea and a brilliant one at that. The actor who is recognised for his tremendous efforts for the contemporary Indian theatre scene made everyone sit up with his fabulous acting in Ram Madhvani’s Neerja where he played a terrorist. He was also a part of A Death In The Gunj, Konkona Sen Sharma’s debut film. Bollywood Life caught up with Jim to know how he brought Kafur to life onscreen. Excerpts from an interview….
People are loving the chemistry between Ranveer and you. Did you expect this kind of response?
I just know we always worked hard to make our scenes layered and true and entertaining; but no I could not have expected this response. I hoped our scenes would be impactful and interesting. (Also Read: WOW!! Amitabh Bachchan sends Ranveer Singh handwritten note and flowers for Padmaavat performance, view pic)
Everyone is talking about how Ranveer and you shunned conventional Bollywood wisdom to take on such roles. Did you have any apprehensions?
I don’t know Conventional Bollywood Wisdom so I don’t know what you mean.
It seems Ranveer was really keen on having you on board after seeing your work in Neerja. How did it help having RS as a costar?
Ranveer is an incredible costar: he is always coming to the scene with ideas, with new ways of expression, with real spirit and vigor to try to achieve everything Sanjay sir would throw at us, would want us to achieve. He is improvisational and extremely reactive: and that is all you can hope for, someone ready to run with your impulse without dulling theirs. We were always attempting to reach the secret potential of the scene, to hit that magical feeling that actors are sometimes graced with: the feeling you are perfectly connected with your own character, your co actors character, and the natural fate of the scene is expressing itself through you.
You have been recognised by everyone for your contribution towards theatre but what does success in Bollywood mean to you?
I don’t know. It means getting good roles?
You did not have any references for playing Kafur. Was that a good thing or bit of a drawback? How did Sanjay Bhansali help you in the journey?
Well, there was the real guy, Malik Kafur. He was a pretty good reference. Sanjay Sir would curb my more radical ideas, and continue to strive for grace and efficiency and precision in the scene. I feel that we understood each other and the character we were both trying to bring to life, and then the entire experience became so much fun to shoot. To see the power in how he was directing me, and try to achieve that and add whatever I could come up with to this extremely solid and clear and weird base. He encouraged and appreciated my weirdness, which I feel very grateful for. Malik Kafur, his personality, is quite sociopathic, and I enjoyed him letting me indulge in Kafur’s wicked narcissism and curiosity. I find Kafur to be an extremely curious person, because some part of him doesn’t understand all these other humans, and their ideals, and their morals. I think he finds them very interesting and hypocritcal.
What was going on in your mind during the infamous bath tub scene? It has fuelled people’s imagination like anything :))
Now that, I leave to your imagination. What do you think was going on during my mind?
Which was the toughest scene to emote and which one is your favorite from Padmaavat?
I can’t really say. Each scene had it’s little core to crack, and I enjoyed trying to crack all of them. Which was your favorite?
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