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Tried not to think of Dr Homi Bhabha's legacy, greatness while playing the role: Jim Sarbh


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MUMBAI: Actor Jim Sarbh says while he felt honoured to step into the role of Dr Homi Bhabha in the upcoming series "Rocket Boys", he did not want to feel overwhelmed by the nuclear physicist's towering personality.

The upcoming SonyLIV series is described as a tribute to the legends of India's space adventure, Dr Bhabha, regarded as Father of India's nuclear programme, and physicist-astronomer Dr Vikram Sarabhai, founder of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Created by filmmaker Nikkhil Advani's Emmay Entertainment and Roy Kapur Films, "Rocket Boys" is directed by Abhay Pannu.

In the show, "Pataal Lok '' fame actor Ishwak Singh stars as Dr Sarabhai.

The actor, 34, said people at large knew Dr Bhabha for nuclear physics and atomic research, but he had also written books on culture, was a fantastic painter and a brilliant violin player.

The actor said he was more drawn to the still unknown facets of Dr Bhabha's life.

"I feel I am more drawn to rich characters that have many facets.

What Dr Bhabha and Dr Sarabhai did within their field is incredible with minuscule resources, technology and they both paved the way for most of the development that would come.

It is extremely exciting to play this genius but as exciting was the fact that they were also such multifaceted people. It was a delicious character to play. It is my great honour to be able to play him," Sarbh told PTI in an interview.

Playing a personality, with a vast body of work that prompted a huge rise in India's position in the world of science, came with a huge responsibility but the actor said he tried not to think about the legacy of the character he was tasked to portray.

"I do feel the responsibility. I try not to think like, 'Oh his legacy, his greatness' and just try to play a character whose mind works very fast to understand patterns, people and who knows when to lighten the mood with a joke and when things are deadly serious," Sarbh said.

The actor, best known for his performances in "Neerja", "Padmaavat", "Made in Heaven", said he tried to grasp the humane side of Dr Bhabha.

" Like I got back to thinking about 'Neerja' a lot, which was about you looking at a hero and the thing that she did was great but if you see moment to moment, it is a girl trying her best," he explained.

For Sarbh, "Rocket Boys" involved an enormous amount of prep from holding the violin right to learning the complicated technical jargon, besides prepping scenes and doing workshops.

"In an ideal world, I would do same amount of prep with every project but it is not an ideal world. You are busy and you have to decide where you put your time. Also, different projects require a different amount of prep and it depends on director to director," Sarbh said, adding that while "Neerja" and "Padmaavat required a lot of prep, while director Bejoy Nambiar was open to reading the scenes and discussing and finding new approach in "Taish".

Sarbh hopes the show, which follows Dr Bhabha and Dr Sarabhai's journey as they build India's future post-independence from British rule, strikes a chord with the audience and inspires them.

"We have seen military or sports heroes. We don't really talk about scientists.

So much of modern-day communication relies on the kind of research that Dr Sarabhai was doing, to put satellites and rockets up there and do space exploration and create a more unified, connected India.

And Dr Bhabha's contribution to electrifying the country...They are enormous, great men," the actor said.

"Rocket Boys" is set to start streaming from February 4 on SonyLIV.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)