Kafas actor Mikail Gandhi on balancing work, school: My time management is good
Mikail Gandhi talks to HT about his new show Kafas and how he went on to work on his role. He also talks about handling fame and studies.
Actor Mikail Gandhi is slowly becoming a popular face in the OTT space. Not many recognise him now as the little Sachin Tendulkar from the Master Blaster's 2017 documentary is a teenager now, but Mikail is actually making his presence felt with few films and shows almost every year. The 15-year-old is now seen in the newly released series, Kafas, in which he plays the onscreen son of actors Mona Singh and Sharman Joshi. Also read: Sharman Joshi on casting couch: ‘It is very tough to pick someone up who is powerful and rich’
Kafas is the story of a victim of child sexual abuse, a case of casting couch in the film industry. And Mikail has delivered a brilliant performance almost unbelievable for a kid his age. In an interview with Hindustan Times, he shares his experience of working on the Sony LIV series, directed by Sahil Sangha. He also opens up about his life as a child actor and more. Excerpts:
Why did you say yes to the role in Kafas?
Honestly, I gave the audition thinking it was just any other audition and I got selected. Then I spoke with the director, understood the script. I liked the story and found it to be really unique. Not many opportunities come like this with such a nice storyline. So I took the role and I am happy that I did because its a really nice series. I know people are going to enjoy it.
You are so young and the performance you have delivered is so convincing. How do you do it?
My performance was, all thanks to, all the support I got from my parents, the director, the ADs and the co stars. Before the shoot, we had many, many readings and workshops together, all of us, and that really helped build a bond and to understand about each other's characters. That really build a good base on which we could work on during the shooting of the series. I have to give all the credit to those countless workshops which helped me a lot.
What is the best memory you took home from the shoot? Were you pampered on the sets since you were the youngest?
No, honestly I was treated with lots of respect and professionalism and I will always appreciate that. Everyone treated me very well and I was really satisfied with it. I will always remember this and be grateful for this experience.
How did you start as a child actor. Who introduced you to ads?
When I was six months old, my cousins were doing small time ads and they gave me as a reference. I got selected, it was for a baby soap I think. And from there, one ad to another and then another and then my first movie. Then I did a couple of more movies, shorts and features. Then my first web series. Then I did a couple more and now I have landed here with Kafas and I am so extremely happy.
You played the young Sachin in his documentary, Sachin: A Billion Dreams. How did you land that role?
That was really special to me. I was told that 300 children had auditioned alongside me but I got selected. So I am very grateful about that feeling that I was given some recognition. It was great meeting Sachin and was a great experience.
Do you also play cricket?
(laughs) I used to, long ago, like during the film's release years ago, but now I play other sports such as basketball and swimming. I don't take cricket that much.
What do you do when not acting? How do your classmates treat you in school?
Currently I am in 10th standard so I am little preoccupied with my boards. Whenever I am shooting, I give my all and don't focus on anything else. But when I'm not, my time management is good, I study and take care of everything. In school also, everyone treats me with a lot of respect. I'm really appreciating that no one treats me differently and am very happy about it. I like to sit in with my classmates, all my friends at school who are really supportive and happy about this new Kafas series. It's all going great.
What does being famous mean to you?
Honestly, when I am with the people who have been with me my entire life, like my schoolmates, my teachers, my family, it doesn't make much of a difference. When I am shooting, it feels really great, like the entire shooting experience. But when I am at home or at school, when I am just doing my normal things, there is not much difference to my normal life and I kind of like it like that. There should be a balance between living a normal life and fame. And I'm very happy about that.
So what are your future plans? What is your Plan B if you your acting plans don't work out well?
Personally, I would love to become an actor. I'm going to do everything in my power to try and make sure that happens. God forbid if that doesn't happen, I would love to become a chef and open a restaurant because I love cooking.