Rohit Saraf
Rohit Saraf

Rohit Saraf on his new film 'Ishq Vishk Rebound'

I have always believed in quality over quantity. Every film I have chosen has been a stepping stone, and has led to a film like Ishq Vishk Rebound, he said.

He has shared screen space with Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar. He has an impressive following of 3.4 million on Instagram. He has been named the national crush. Yet, 28-year-old Rohit Saraf refuses to call himself a celebrity. Perhaps because his filmography has been noteworthy in terms of content, but not numbers. Since he debuted in 2012 with the TV show, Best Friends Forever, Saraf has done close to 13 projects, including films and web series, mostly in supporting roles. The latest addition to his repertoire is his newly released film Ishq Vishq Rebound, where Saraf plays one of the leads, alongside debutants Jibraan Khan, Pashmina Roshan and Naila Grewal.

“I have always believed in quality over quantity. Every film I have chosen has been a stepping stone, and has led to a film like Ishq Vishk Rebound,” he says, adding, “I am not choosy. I simply believe that every character that I play must take the story forward. And I want to play such roles even if that means giving up on a lot of films. If I constantly do projects for the sake of being visible, I would reach a saturation point and I don’t want that.”

In many ways, Ishq Vishk Rebound was familiar grounds for Saraf. First, it is a romance, a genre that the actor has mastered with two seasons of his incredibly popular Netflix series, Mismatched. The film is sort-of a remake of the 2003 Ishq Vishk, starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao. But, Saraf insists that the only similarity between the two is that they are both love-stories, something that “feels like home” to the actor. “We are not trying to ape Shahid sir. He’s an incredible actor who has already set benchmarks in romance. There’s also Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. But, I believe that there is still a huge appetite for romance in this country,” he says.

Secondly, the film has been directed by the Mismatched director Nipun Dharmadikari. “We have known each other for over five years. I love working with him. He comes from a theatre background and often we would rehearse together before shooting,” he says, adding, “I was too young and inexperienced when I first met him, so his vision was important. And, now I know it’s safe to follow that.”

A poster of Ishq 
Vishk Rebound
A poster of Ishq Vishk Rebound

Saraf’s popularity and picky approach while choosing projects, however, belie his initial challenges. The actor admits that his boyish charm often worked against him during auditions. “I was once rejected because I was apparently too good looking to play a heartland character, and that was just beyond my understanding. I think every producer and director is entitled to their vision, but they shouldn’t be rejecting me on these grounds. But, I also believe rejections only make you stronger,” says the actor, who has starred in several hit films, including Dear Zindagi, where he played Alia Bhatt’s younger brother; The Sky is Pink, where he is Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar’s son. There’s also Anurag Basu’s Ludo, Shonali Bose’s Hichki, Hrithik Roshan-starrer Vikram Vedha and the Norwegian film, What Will People Say?

Saraf may have taken his time to get started, but he is evidently making strides. Following Ishq Vishk Rebound, he will return for the third season of Mismatched, followed by Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumar directed by Shashank Khaitan.

The New Indian Express