I played 'mind games' with Anurag Basu to extract information about 'Ludo', says Rohit Saraf

Justin Rao
·3-min read

Mumbai, Nov 9 (PTI) Director Anurag Basu is not the one to dish out details about his script, says actor Rohit Saraf who resorted to playing 'mind games' with the acclaimed filmmaker on the sets of 'Ludo' to get a sense of the story.

The dark crime comedy follows four different stories and also features Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Pearle Maaney, Inayat Verma, Asha Negi and Shalini Vats.

Saraf, who made his Bollywood debut in 2016 with Gauri Shinde's 'Dear Zindagi', said he initially felt insecure on the film set as he was acting alongside 'massive talents' in the ensemble cast.

'I was pretty insecure in the beginning. For an actor who hadn't done too much work, who's aspiring to be big, when you get to know you're in a film which has eight other massive names alongside you, you tend to get nervous.

'It starts to become a more daunting experience than an enjoyable one. That's what happened in the beginning,' the 23-year-old actor told PTI in an interview over Zoom.

Saraf said the prospect of being directed by Basu in a film populated with characters was tempting, but the filmmaker had not given him a full brief for 'Ludo'.

The actor, whose film credits include 'The Sky is Pink' and 'Hichki', plays Rahul, an homeless man working at a shopping mall who finds a suitcase full of cash.

'You're an underdog, you don't have money, you work in a mall and you'll go crazy when you receive money. Do you want to do the film?' Saraf recalled the pitch Basu made to him.

So once on set, the actor started playing 'mind games' with the 'Barfi' director to extract more information about the script.

'Before I started, I was excited as there were no apprehensions. But after I joined and the process started, there were days I was performing next to Pankaj sir, Pearle, Aditya and Sanya. I'd get so intimidated because they're all such massive talents.

'I'd get nervous and try to play mind games with Anurag sir, ask 'What would happen next, how would we approach?'.' Saraf soon realised Basu wouldn't reveal any major aspect of the script to keep the actors 'fresh'.

The actor said 'Ludo' is a 'magnificent' film because the actors didn't know what they were doing.

'He didn't give us enough time or content to over analyse it. Magic happens when everything is spontaneous. I liked the way of working. We trusted his vision and completely surrendered.' Saraf's track in the film is mostly silent, with hardly any dialogues.

The actor said his biggest fear was not being able to convey the character's emotions to the audience as Basu wanted him to speak through his eyes.

'It's far easy where I have to deliver with a dialogue, that way I have words to back me up. It wasn't easy at all for me, it was a nerve-wracking, daunting thought: to be able to drive an entire story without saying a word.

'I am not professionally trained as an actor. I've learnt on set with different directors I've worked with. But as I progressed in the film while shooting, the mind block disappeared because of his conviction in us,' he added.

'Ludo' is set to be released on Netflix on November 12. PTI JUR BK BK