Rishabh Sawhney made his big screen debut with Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone starrer Fighter. The actor plays the role of an antagonist in the film. In a candid conversation with The Free Press Journal, actor shared insights on working in the project, audition process, preparation for the role, and much more. Excerpts:
How does it feel to be a part of such a mammoth cast?
It feels great. As an actor, this has been my longest dream to play a pivotal role in a film like Fighter. When I got cast for it, it was unbelievable. It was a big thing for me to play a negative lead opposite Hrithik Rohsan. The first audition I gave for it was in April 2022. A friend of mine, who is an actor too, suggested that I come to Mumbai and try for television shows since I have facial looks for it. In the meantime, I started doing theatres.
Siddharth Anand has a different staging in the industry now Pathaan, were you prepared before going onto the sets?
I was very nervous. I have seen all his films in the past. I knew he was making Pathaan so I was aware of the magnitude. While I was a casting director for two years, I met and dealt with several directors but not of this stature. I wanted to be myself on the sets. However, I wasn't intimidated to see Hrithik, rather I was star struck.
But, you never wanted to be a male lead protagonist especially in your debut film?
Every actor would want to become the lead of a project. I am always mesmerised by negative roles because they are always shown in a very stylised manner and larger than life. I had no apprehensions though to be one of them. With OTT invented now, the formulaic rolesystem had completely fizzled out.but films have their own charm.
How was your prep to play Azhar?
The makers were looking for someone like me, who hasn't done much work before. And, that played in my favour. Siddharth sir told me to imagine that I am Thanos while shooting for it. So, I had to look that big and of that stature. I have a background in bodybuilding since I was a fitness model before I entered acting. To play Azhar, it was very easy for me physically. I hired a personal trainer and a nutritionist. I also did workshops with acting coach Rachit Singh. I generally use his methods while auditioning too. He made me do some insane stuff. He asked me to watch ISIS documentaries and nothing else. He even asked to stay quiet for days. My styling in the film also helped a lot
What are you looking out now since Fighter is a success?
I want to explore comedy since I am very comfortable doing it. I think I have a comic timing in me.