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Kathmandu Connection actor Amit Sial: Prefer to go a bit unrehearsed on set

Amit Sial discusses how he relies on instincts rather than intense prep as he turns protagonist for Kathmandu Connection

Amit Sial in Kathmandu Connection

Beginning his career in 2006, it wasn’t until his 2010 offering Love Sex Aur Dhoka that Amit Sial got noticed as an actor. He followed it up with some forgettable roles, only to be back in the spotlight for his promising turn in the Inside Edge franchise. Now, the actor slips into the khaki uniform for SonyLIV’s Kathmandu Connection. Loosely based on real-life incidents, the Sachin Pathak-directed series showcases him as an inspector dogged by controversy as he investigates three murder cases. In a chat with mid-day, he talks about playing a protagonist for the first time and shooting amid the pandemic.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

What convinced you to come on board Kathmandu Connection?

I have played cops before in a few series, but here I am the protagonist who happens to be a cop. There are several layers to the character; he is obsessed with the job at hand rather than his personal life, which is incomplete disarray. That was interesting. 

Did you feel the pressure of shouldering the series?
I have never let myself feel any kind of pressure. I love doing what I do. A lot of energy goes into the preparation of each role, and you are involved almost every day in the making of the series. That said, I have never liked charting out [beforehand] how I will emote in a scene. When you go on the floor, you change rapidly to adapt to everything around you. Over the years, I have learnt that [once you’re in front of the camera], you should follow the heart of the story, and figure how your character fits into it. I am the kind of actor who prefers to go a bit unrehearsed on set.

Is the series based on reality?
It is loosely inspired by true incidents, but it has been fictionalised and the characters’ names have been changed.

Is this the first series you shot for during the lockdown?
I have been working since July 2020. We finished A Simple Murder, which received positive reviews on release. Kathmandu Connection is my third or fourth outing post the pandemic. We’ve been shooting [adhering to safety norms] and the producers have accountability. So, I knew I was in safe hands. Additionally, I take precautions as much as I can. I practice steam inhalation twice a day, with eucalyptus oil in it. Another nuska is having a concoction of turmeric, ginger, and honey.

What is your take on the age-based classification of OTT content?
We, as human beings, always adapt to everything and will adapt to this too. But the level of freedom has been exploited to a certain extent. That said, it is also true that we have become too judgmental. Hopefully, we will find a balance between the two extremes and be able to churn out the story [we wish to tell].

Has the ample exposure on OTT translated into more film offers for you?
I have been offered roles in feature-length films, but I am being choosy. Nowadays, I am getting offers to play a cop, an intense character or a villain. People enjoy stereotyping you. Of late, whenever someone offers me a cop role, saying he has a backstory, I refuse it immediately. But if I get a [promising] role in a film or series, I won’t miss the opportunity.

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