Samir is all game for Sacred Games

Samir is all game for Sacred Games

The actor spoke to City Times about his role in Season 2 of the popular Netflix series, which released on August 15

By Enid Parker

Published: Sat 17 Aug 2019, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Tue 20 Aug 2019, 9:51 AM

Actor and television host Samir Kochhar, who has starred in films like Zeher and Jannat and the popular television show Bade Achhe Lagte Hain is all excited about Netflix's Sacred Games 2 that premiered on August 15. It's the second installment of the web series based on Vikram Chandra's novel of the same name. We caught up with Samir, who plays SPI Markand in the series, for a chat. 
What can you tell us about your role in Sacred Games 2? What attracted you to this series and this role?
I play the role of SPI Markand. There is a lot more involvement in the second season. The first season kept you wondering what's happening next while the second season will solve all the mysteries that were set up in Season 1. People will definitely enjoy what they see this time. Of course, I can't reveal too much about the story, I would like people to watch it. All I can say is, expect the unexpected, it's bigger and better.
You hosted the pre-match Indian Premier League show, Extraaa Innings T20. Are there any plans to host any more sports shows?
I have had a long association with sports, especially cricket, hosting the pre-match shows of a popular cricket league for over a decade. I am a huge sports buff and have been a basketball and football player during my school days. I think this passion of mine for sports brought me into sports broadcasting. Capturing different formats of cricket is entertaining and involves a lot of travel, which is full of fun and adventure for me. It's like a carnival under one roof. It won't be an exaggeration to say that Indian summers belong to cricket. So, my association with the sport has been a great experience. Cricket is a beautiful part of my personal and professional journey. I am also hosting IPL, CrickBuzz (on a digital platform). I continue to anchor and do live shows. But I'm thoroughly enjoying this phase of my life (acting).
You started your career with TV and have appeared in a number of TV shows. What is the difference between traditional TV and web shows? Which do you prefer and why?
I have tried my hand in cinema, television, and anchoring. But without giving any second thought, I would say, films are my first priority. There is nothing wrong with TV. The problem with daily soaps is that they go on and on. You have no idea of the changes in the storyline - when your character will die or the show will take a leap or will go off-air abruptly. I know that Indian viewers are pretty loyal, and these kinds of shows cater to a different set of audience. But it does not mean that the audience do not want quality entertainment. So I would like to do TV shows, but something that runs for a definite period of time.
You've also starred in Netflix's Typewriter, a horror drama, which premiered recently. What are your thoughts on the development of the horror genre on Indian TV/the web, and in films?
Indian horror is growing up, and it's about time really. As a storyteller, one has to keep pace with the horrors of the real world. 
Looking back at your career is there anything you would have done differently if given the chance?
I do not have any huge regrets and am happy with where my life has taken me and where it will lead me next. I've already signed one project but again, I can't talk before the announcement is made. Yes, I'm more consciously trying to balance my career in the digital and the Hindi film industry and hopefully, I'll be able to do so and I always wanted to work with credible directors. It didn't matter if they were established.
You have a couple of Bollywood films to your credit. What's your opinion on the nepotism debate in Bollywood? How accepting is Bollywood of newcomers and people without any 'connections'?
There is also a flip side to the nepotism argument, which is if someone's son/daughter really is talented, why shouldn't they be in the industry? I agree with this. I think it is unfair to criticise someone simply because they are related to someone. If someone gets a film debut, due to connections, and is a terrible actor, that is a problem. However, if there are famous children who are working hard to be good at their job, nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you are related or not. What matters is how good you are at your job and that you are contributing what is best for the final product and consumer. I feel the nepotism debate is a little harder to argue over, considering the current crop of young actors because they are all such good performers.
A lot of celebrities are very vocal about their opinions on various issues on social media. What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of social media? 
Social media is an excellent tool for communication. Certainly one of the good things about such mediums is that you can actually clarify your stand when you are sort of facing rumours and being misunderstood. The bad things are that you are susceptible to all kinds of nasty trolls and frustrated people who are just out to show their frustration and you get subjected to that sort of hatred which is inhuman.
Celebs seem to be caught between speaking too much and not speaking up at all. Do you feel as someone in the spotlight you have only to entertain the public or is there a social responsibility as well? 
Power and responsibility go hand-in-hand. If you don't want to take responsibility, you can't have freedom either. The two come together or they go together. Freedom means you will have to be responsible for every act, for every breath; whatever you do or don't do, you will be responsible. 
What advice would you give aspiring actors?
There is nothing better than waking up knowing that you are going to do what you love and not what other people want you to do. Fight for what you want, give your best everyday, believe in your dreams, work hard, do not listen to negative people and above all, enjoy every second of this amazing adventure. Keep learning. You are never done growing as an artist. You have to work hard and focus on acting. 
Have you ever been to Dubai? What are your thoughts on the city?
Dubai is a city with some outstanding landmarks, and endless shopping opportunities! I recently came to Dubai for work where I was joined by my wife and son. We celebrated his fourth birthday and went from Legoland to the dinosaur park and aquarium. My son had a blast! I think it's one of the most kid-friendly places in the world.

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