Splashing onto the big screen at the tender age of 12 could be overwhelming for many of us, but for Ritvik Sahore, it opened the gates of acting and opportunities. In a heartfelt conversation with Aakanksha Bajpai, Ritvik spills the beans on his life as a child actor and the industry as he sees it now.
A quaint dinner at a Mumbai mall opens the gates of opportunities for a child when he gets spotted by the Assistant Director of a Bollywood movie and bags a role in it. This instance may sound like something out of our imagination, straight out of some Bollywood script, but is the reality of Ritvik Sahore.Ritvik scored his first role as a child actor at the age of 12 in Ferrari Ki Sawaari and has never looked back. He has worked with Bollywood stalwarts like Aamir Khan in Dangal, Hrithik Roshan in Super 30 and is known for his lead roles in web series like Flames, Laakhon Mein Ek, Indori Ishq and many others. Here is a glimpse into his life.
You started your acting journey as a child actor. What has your journey been like till date?
To be very honest, this has all been like a dream. When I did my first shoot, I was a 12-year-old boy and at that time I never thought of becoming an actor. I was in a mall in Mumbai with my family and the AD for the Ferrari Ki Sawaari saw me, and approached us about the film, informed us about the workshop and asked us to come over. So, we went for the workshop and those workshops lasted for 2-3 months where they gave me training and we did a lot of reading. I then got selected for the role and that’s how my journey started. Sometimes I wonder, if I hadn’t gone to that mall that day what would have happened?After Ferrari Ki Sawaari I took a little break because I had my studies and school and my parents wanted me to complete my education and have a good childhood. So, I took a three-year break. Post 10th grade, Dangal happened, and it’s been going good since then.
You have worked across OTT as well as cinema. Which medium do you prefer? Is there a project that is closest to your heart?
I love both the mediums. As it is obvious, my first film will always be special but that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy other projects. During my first film, I was small and hence everyone on the set used to pamper me. I learnt a lot and got to experience new things; the whole experience was very magical for me. I learnt how one whole film is made and what all happens during the process. The whole team was like a family and that experience will always be the most special to me.
I was kind of an introvert during my childhood, but after doing Ferrari Ki Sawaari I realized that in front of the camera is where I shine and feel comfortable. My parents never thought that I would be able to do acting – I never used to do anything in front of any guests either – so doing a movie was a big surprise for them as well as myself. It is quite liberating for me.
“Sometimes I wonder, if I hadn’t gone to that mall that day what would have happened?”
How do you prepare for a role?
I don’t exactly have a technique. But for example, when you go for a shoot, you know the schedule and the mood of your character for that specific shoot, so I listen to that kind of music for traveling. For example, if the character’s mood is sad then I listen to sad music. Otherwise, I read the script and understand the story and the character. I think as an actor you have to be observant; you need to travel, you need to meet different kinds of people and observe their different characteristics. I try to make things as relatable as possible to the character and make them as grey as possible, because people are not black or white. I am not a trained actor; I haven’t learnt acting but have learnt from experiences and hence my acting is very feeling based.
What is one role you really want to do? After doing all the school and college boy roles, I really wanted to explore something along the lines of my character in Indori Ishq. Now, I want to try a little bit of action, which is also something that I am doing in my next role. Otherwise, I don’t have any particular role in mind. I look for a good script and story. I want to work with good scripts and people. So, if I like some script and character, I would love to do it.
In your journey in this industry, has there been a time where you have experienced some major roadblock?
Roadblocks are part and parcel of your journey, no matter their size. I took a break after Ferrari Ki Sawaari to go through with my studies. After that, I was not getting a lot of work compared to the amount of work I was getting immediately after Ferrari Ki Sawaari. I started giving auditions and meeting people, but our country is full of talent and hence it was that phase where I was not sure whether I would get any work or not. Now when I look at it, it was also a bit toxic as I was only 16 at that time and going through so much stress could be harrowing for a child. People should enjoy life and not get competitive so earlier on. In the media field, rejection is pretty hard and on your face; they don’t sugarcoat but say that you have not been selected and it took me some time to accept that. However, I slowly got over it and realized that it is part and parcel of the world, which is bound to happen, and you need to develop a thick skin. Otherwise, I don’t think I can complain.
“I am not a trained actor; I haven’t learnt acting but have learnt from experiences and hence my acting is very feeling based.”
How do you handle toxicity on social media?
I have learnt through trial and error. You feel really bad when something like that happens; at least I used to feel really bad. When you are going through comments, even though 9 out of 10 comments are good, your attention will go only to that 10th bad comment, and then you start self-doubting. I have slowly understood that you can’t please each and every one and that is absolutely fine. Just give your hundred percent in any work that you are doing and be satisfied with the fact that you have put in all the effort. However, one should always take constructive criticism in a positive way and try to improve oneself. Don’t compare your life with others on Instagram. Put in your efforts and you will get the results eventually. Some get it early, some get it after some time; that doesn’t mean you should lose your sanity over it.
“In the media field, rejection is pretty hard and on your face; they don’t sugarcoat but say that you have not been selected and it took me some time to accept that.”
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I can’t reveal a lot but can say that my upcoming project is an amalgamation of stories, where six stories and characters come together eventually. It is a different type of role, something that I haven’t done yet and it includes action. I hope that the audience enjoys it as much as I enjoyed doing it. I got to learn and explore a lot. I recently also shot for another college drama show which is also very interesting and I had a lot of fun while shooting for it.
Anything for our readers and your fans?
I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has always supported me. They have all given me a lot of love and blessings, and I want to extend a warm thank you to every one of them.