Danish Sait: I am not a superstar, even the word hero scares me
Danish Sait talks about his career, working on French Biriyani, why he is comfortable with the digital space, and more
From Jaya to Ramamurthy avvare and Didi, the lockdown has seen Danish Sait bring a unique flavour to each of his fictional characters who have taken centre stage this lockdown. Now, he is raring for the release of his upcoming film, French Biriyani on Amazon Prime Video, on July 24. Danish is relieved that it’s releasing on the medium he is most comfortable with.
“I am not the kind who can draw masses into theatres. I have experienced a theatrical release with Humble Politician Nograj, so I know better. Growing up, I wished to see myself once on the 70 mm screen, which I have accomplished. Now, every film that I do is a bonus,” he says, adding that he has always advocated the power of the internet and digital platforms. “It works well for me that my film is releasing on a medium that I love to watch. This gives people the option of watching from the of their homes,” he says.
While he has created a sensation with his series, the RJ, TV presenter and actor doesn’t think it’s the same when it comes to the silver screen. “It’s different being on social media. You can’t really pull that crowd into the theatre. The kind of stuff made online is something that can be watched on phones and at one’s convenience. There is no specific morning or noon show, and definitely no first-day-first show. Entertainment on the phone is almost free, but going to a theatre as a family requires one to shell out at least Rs 2,000. I know that I can’t draw that kind of crowd because I am not a superstar. I am just a talented boy, who wants to do something,” he says.
The film created by Puneeth Rajkumar’s PRK productions is jointly produced by Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar and Gurudutt A Talwar
It all started out quite by chance when director Pannaga Bharana went over to meet Danish with a caricature of his. “He wanted to see a similar character on screen. When the story was ready, we decided on Puneeth anna (Puneeth Rajkumar), who heard the script and shared a few ideas, which were incorporated,” he says, calling the film a comedy of errors. “It’s a fun film, which will guarantee you laughs.”
According to Danish, the process of making people laugh is soul-stirring. His role of an auto driver required him to observe a lot, all of which he has brought into the character. “I don’t know whether I can pull off every role. Unlike people who have a method, I usually switch on and switch off,” says Danish.
Mention driving an auto and Danish recalls a funny incident that took place during the shoot in Shivajinagar. “I was standing on the road playing my part when someone came up to me, wanting to know whose film this is. After I mentioned Puneeth Rajkumar, his next question was ‘hero kaun?’ I was embarrassed to say that it’s me, so pointed out to someone else. The word hero scares me,” he says.
Having shared screen space with Sal Yusuf, Disha Madan, Mahantesh, Asraf, and Rangayana Raghu, Danish recalls the times on the sets. “I really hope to associate with Panna again. Sal Yusuf and I have done improv together for years. Disha is incredibly talented. Rangayana Raghu is a genius who commands respect because of his acting skills. I like sticking with a team, because I believe in building an eco-system, and not just working on one project and moving on,” says Danish.
Ask him the best piece of advice he has received from any star, and he says, “Puneeth anna told me, 'Danny, continue doing what you are doing, and don’t stop that. Just continue hustling, and when a film comes, do it and get away.' If I had fallen into the trap of saying I am an actor or star, I don’t think I would have done half of what I am doing today.”
Before signing off, Danish reminds us of the disclaimer the team is putting out prior to people watching the film. “Don’t expect French Biriyani to change anybody’s life. Just watch it and laugh out loud,” says Danish, adding that increasingly people are looking for ‘perfect cinema’. “However, a film can be imperfectly perfect. It does what it has to do. Here is an entertainer with a bunch of characters sharing their journey.”