Kubbra Sait is one of the contemporary Indian actresses who have the most engaging screen-presence. From radio to live stages to acting in front of a camera, her journey is truly inspiring and proof that success comes to those who persevere. She is multi-talented and has left us impressed with her characters, especially Kukkoo from Sacred Games. The role made everyone stop and take notice of the actress and her immense talent.
We recently caught up with Kubbra Sait and ended up being even more intrigued and impressed by her. She spoke to us about her journey, her characters, her enviable travel stories and a lot more.
Here's how our conversation with Kubbra Sait went...
Playing Cuckoo in Sacred Games brought you a lot of attention last year. Post which we saw a completely different character in Tripling and even in Rejctx. They're quite different but impactful. What makes you pick your characters?
"I realized recently over a conversation with a friend that I am an incidental, accidental actor. I honestly didn't believe that I could be an actor in front of the screen so I've been extremely lucky to receive the opportunities that I have in these intervals. Although it is safe and apt for me to say that it was the role of Kuku that opened doors. In fact, people started seeing my presence as something that had a linger to it. Tripling for me was nothing but a pet project to do because I am a fan of the series. And as far as Rejectx is concerned, the role was just so exciting. I mean, come on, I am not somebody who holds things inside me and decides to take revenge on people. So, it just seems so out of character.
When I received the opportunity to do these different characters, I leapt at them. In fact, the rest of the work that's coming out also you'll see every character is different from the other and I am so excited to not be flatlining with a "Good evening ladies and gentleman" as I did on stage. Because after doing it for seven years rigorously, on various stages in various parts of the world, I said, "Oh God, I can't do this anymore!" But I think I have this beautiful journey yet to experience and see it unfold as it happens through the journey of being an actor. So, it's fair to say I don't pick my characters, my characters pick me.
How do you prep for your roles?
"Every role is different but I rely a lot on the director and the director's vision to lead me to it. For example, the director of Verdict, Mr. Shashank Shah was very clear that I have a certain edge and I'd have to shed it. I'd have to be more inhibited, I had to play more internal and not external as I would any other day. With Kuku I was just allowed to e who I am, with Trippling I was asked not to smile at all. So, it's very interesting how you meet all these different characters in your life and start relating them to people, situations, experiences that you've seen and been in before and you build it forward from there."
What are you working on now?
"I just completed voicing an audiobook which I didn't think I would ever do. I used to be on Radio, I got back to radio after a long time too. But apart from that, I am super excited, like my insides tell me that what we've done is so fantastic. It is definitely going to shake and stir up the audience, through The Verdict - State vs Nanavati where I play Mamie Ahuja. Mamie Ahuja is the sister of Prem Ahuja, who gets shot by a Naval officer, which is a true-life story, a true case. Hats off to Ekta Kapoor and Samar Khan who are the producers of the show. They believed they could take this name, take this story ahead. What you see is word to word as it happened in the books of history. Which is so amazing because I get to play a period character."
Do you think web series' encourage creators to come up with engaging content and experiment more?
"Yes, of course. Just to begin with, the lack of censorship allows you to free your mind. The minute people tell you, "Don't say this, don't say that. Don't do this, don't do that", it restricts your creativity. So as far as you know what you want to do with your creativity in a responsible way, I think the webspace is the way to go. But over a conversation, I recently realised that films were the major let out for someone to be a star or famous for a long time and now web series are doing the same thing. The reason that has happened is that web series give you the reach. More people are watching content that is on-demand and on the go. I guess people are unafraid and uninhibited to consume this kind of content. And of course, if it is good content, no matter who it is from and where it is, people will watch.
So, I think it is a great space to be in for anybody whether you're a technician, an actor, director or a musician. I mean, look at Aloka, Sacred Games opened up a whole new space for background score."
Which international series would you like to be in OR a character you'd like to play?
"That's a tricky question but I think I've been extremely fond of Dexter's sister (Debra Morgan played by Jennifer Carpenter). So, I would love to play her if I ever got the chance. I also watched Killing Eve recently and I would love to be the assassin. She wicked, she's wild and she's crazy! I was moved by 'Pose' and 'This Is Us'. Both incredibly different shows and I would love to be in either of the shows."
Not just her on-screen roles but her social media presence is also quite interesting. We asked her to share some of her travel experiences and tips as her Instagram feed is total #goals for travel enthusiasts...
Do you enjoy travel a lot?
"I dig travel, I think the only reason I work hard is so I can travel hard, honestly. And I love exchanging experiences, eating different food, trying out different cultures, adventure sports etc. So, yeah, I love it!"
You recently took a trip to Bali with your mom, how was that?
"I've always thought my mum's a Baller but I realised just how much so in Bali. We did the infinite swing together. She suggested getting braids and encouraged me to get them too. I never would have because according to me they would have been very touristy but she wore them with so much ease that she passed the confidence on to me."
What are the three things that you've learnt on this trip?
"It has taught me to be honest, to speak my heart. Because I think when people go on a vacation, people try to think of it as an escape from their problems or situations. But I actually used this as an advantage to speak to my mum. There are so many times when you hide things under the carpet (personal or professional) and you think a vacation is going to fix it. But you come back with more baggage. So, I've always thought vacations are a place to neutralise the conversation and actually see and accept the opposite person for who they are and what they stand for."
Travel essentials that one must carry for any holiday?
"I carry a pouch with me that has my headphones, my lip balm, a moisturising face gel, my blush, wallet, passport and house keys. Oh, and phone!"
Your favourite holiday destination?
"I have quite a few but I think I truly enjoyed Greece the most. It was a lot of fun. I even enjoyed Cambodia a lot. So, both these places I did on my own and I love them."
Do you have a holiday ritual?
"I think before I end my holiday, I need a massage. That's one thing I indulge in. I also like to sleep a lot."
Your holiday guilty-pleasure?
"I actually think a workout during holidays is my guilty pleasure. Other than that on vacations, I like eating five to seven full proper blown meals throughout the day. I will just eat anything and everything."
Where are you taking your next holiday to?
"The next one is a work trip to Kolkata. So, if I am there for longer than usual, this will be my chance to explore Kolkata as I've never explored it before."
Any special vacay memories?
"I remember taking a vacation with my mum to Rome. My whole holiday revolved around how much wine we would drink in the bylanes of Rome. We would have Prosecco for breakfast, red wine for lunch and dinner. We actually did that for twelve whole days. It was the most free-wheeling experience and I had so much fun."
Kubbra Sait has many interesting projects in the works and we can't wait to see what she dazzles us next with!