Rohit Saraf has made a name for himself through Netflix’s web series Mismatched, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar starrer The Sky Is Pink. Riding high on the success of his web series, Rohit opened up about his acting struggle and the deep impact his father’s death had on his life. He revealed that it was his father who encouraged him to pursue acting.
In a candid chat with Humans of Bombay Facebook page, Rohit revealed how he lost his father at the tender age of 11 years. He added that it was his father who motivated him to become an actor. Rohit said, “I have vague memories of going on excursions with Pa when I was a kid–I’d keep posing on the way & Pa kept photographing me. He’d say, ‘Ek din ye actor banega.’ I was creative–I did a lot of plays & practiced contemporary dance. Pa motivated us to do what we liked. He’d say, ‘Education isn’t everything–I want you to live life to the fullest.’ But at 11, Pa passed away. I was too young to understand what losing a father meant; I just knew that if he were alive, he’d want me to pursue our dream. So I sent out my photos to casting directors. The very next day, I was called for an audition! At 15 I believed, ‘it's Pa who’s making this happen.’ So, I dropped out of school; within a week I was shortlisted for the lead role–I moved to Bombay.”
He further added, “Coming from a close-knit family, staying alone was hard–I felt lost. Even on set, people taunted me for my acting skills. 6 months later when the show shut down, I went back to Delhi not knowing if I’d ever return. But I got another show & at 16, I signed my first movie! Although thrilled, I was also apprehensive. But after noticing a man in his 50’s who’d come to set everyday asking for work only to be sent away, I was humbled. I learnt to give my best. But during post production, the movie was shelved. For 2 years, I waited but it never saw the light of day. I was left with no opportunities; I even put on 14 kgs. But I refused to go back home–Mom had told my friends & relatives; I didn’t want to let anyone down.”
Rohit continued and said, “So, I started from scratch & then bagged Dear Zindagi. After, Hitchki & The Sky Is Pink happened. I was nervous while working with Priyanka, but she said–‘You’ve gotten this part because you deserve to be here. So just go for it’; it boosted my confidence. While promoting the film, Mom said, ‘This feels like a dream,’ & I knew I wanted to continue doing things that made her believe that. Then, when my film was screened at the Toronto Film Festival, a woman told me, ‘Your role shifted something in my heart.’ It felt surreal. Still, when I see actors chatting with their fathers during screenings, I miss Pa terribly. But I know I’m living his dream–the one where he knew in his bones ki ‘unka beta actor banega.’”