Ishwak Singh and Arjun Radhakrishnan are currently seen as Dr Vikram Sarabhai and APJ Kalam respectively in Rocket Boys 2. The Free Press Journal caught up with them both for exclusive chats.
When asked if the Rocket Boys franchise has stamped him as an actor and how he feels to be labelled as OTT actor, Ishwak says, “If a person is seen on OTT, it is understandable that he is an OTT actor. I don’t see much of a difference in the mediums. In fact, filmmakers are the same, who are producing content for theatricals and OTT. For me, it is always about quality of writing, the kind of actors I get to share screen with. I see it as an one ecosystem and I feel fortunate to have worked on both. Shows like Rocket Boys and Paatal Lok have upped my game.”
Sharing further on being responsible as the second season of Rocket Boys is out, he explains, “Acting is a part of our DNA. Also, we all and our director Abhay (Pannu) made a solid foundation with workshops and discussions. I had a good understanding of the character from the very beginning. I never struggled with the baggage of its second season. Abhay actually integrated both the seasons and had a master plan. Both the seasons are very well amalgamated and researched.”
Ishwak has been receiving a lot of attention for his portrayal of India’s iconic physicist-astronomer. When asked about his process and keeping the authenticity intact, he reveals, “There’s a lot of research which has been undergone by each one of us. I fell back on the Bible, the script. Abhay is the most thorough director I have worked with.”
Opening up about how he played Kalam in the Rocket Boys franchise, Arjun states, “I played my character from the time when not much is there for reference but amongst the three of us, Kalam is most publicly known. Abhay told me to play him as a normal being. Also, a lot of credit goes to my hair and make-up team to create a look of Kalam. There is only a couple of photo evidence.”
He adds, “I was in a safe space since the time I came on board with them as Kalam. I worked on my Hindi to sound like how Mr Kalam would speak. Abhay gave me a playground to enact and he was so calm on the sets. None of us knew that Rocket Boys would do this well.”
Arjun is a known name in the Malayalam industry. On his stint down South, he avers, “I have got a chance to be a part of some really interesting stories. It definitely gave me a push as an actor. Since I have grown up here and suddenly I was thrown into the Hindi industry, I am blessed to have Rocket Boys beside me.”
Directed by Abhay Pannu, Rocket Boys 2 is now streaming on Sony LIV. It also stars Jim Sarbh, Regina Cassandra, Saba Azad and Dibyendu Bhattacharya in pivotal roles.