Sneha Menon Desai: It’s clearly safe to say that the attention from the ladies has been intense. Just a cursory stalking of your social media tells me that more than 50% of the people who comment on your posts have one thing to say – Hi future husband. How is your mom dealing with the barrage of rishtas that are coming your way?
Rohit Saraf: Mum can officially start taking up jobs as a stalker. She’s on social media a lot more than I am. I wake up in the morning, which is usually after she does, but now when I walk into her room, I see her on my Instagram account trying to see who’s commented. She’s like: Rohit, tumhare ek fan ne ek bohot hi cute comment kiya, ki woh pooch rahi hai ki tum apney birthday pe pizza kaatna chaahoge ya phir cake. I’m just like: Mom, you need to stop doing this, it’s very embarrassing. She says she’s become this ‘worldwide mother-in-law’, which is very strange to hear.
SMD: I got an Instagram message from an absolute stranger who demanded that I do a solo interview with you because you got 225k new followers on your Instagram after Mismatched. This is a very interesting new metric to measure success.
RS: I don’t know what to say to that, because that’s not fair. I don’t think I want to weigh my success or my failure according to the number of followers I have.
SMD: But can you ignore it?
RS: Absolutely not, absolutely not. These are people who’ve thought that there is something in me that they want to follow and I absolutely love them for that. I cannot tell you how reassuring and how comforting it is to know that there are so many people there to support me. It’s fabulous and I do not discount that at all, but at the same time I’d like to believe that they are following my Instagram handle for the person that I am, not for the work that I’m doing. Of course my work is a massive medium, because of which they got to know about my existence, but there are lot of people whose work I absolutely love and I don’t miss anything that they do, but I may not necessarily be interested in what they’re like as people.
SMD: What I’m very curious about and I’m sure a lot of girls reading this would want to know – how similar are you to Rishi?
RS: I’m very similar, to be honest, I’m a hopeless romantic. The only, only thing that’s not similar between the character Rishi and I is that he’s looking to find his partner at the age of 18. I was only looking for new projects and I’m still looking for new projects. I’m not looking for a life partner.
SMD: What happens when there are two successful projects that happen back-to-back, is it true that the phone doesn’t stop ringing?
RS: No, it’s not true. My phone doesn’t ring. My Instagram notifications blow up every morning, but I’ve put that also on mute now, because it’s very overwhelming to wake up to that. I’m waiting for the phone to ring. You hope that the two projects that you’ve done give you more work and that’s where I’m at right now, just waiting for something materialize.
SMD: Can you tell us when we’ll see you on screen again?
RS: Sooner this time. My last two releases were October 2019 and then November 2020, I don’t think you’ll have to wait that long for the next one.
SMD:When you get so much love in a particular genre, like romance in your case, do you feel like you’ll end up gravitating towards it again because it almost feels like a safe space?
RS: I’ve always, always wanted to do a lot of romance, but that’s got nothing to do with how I’m received in it. Of course it’s reassuring when you love something and someone tells you: Hey, we love the fact that you love that because it loves you back. However, now I’m going to be very, very careful of the number of projects that I pick up that are just about romance because I feel like that might just limit me and I might get too comfortable and too monotonous. I don’t want to do that. The journey has been really kind and if it continues to be kind, then I’ll hopefully have different characters to portray, but now, it will be a conscious decision to not to just stick to romance because I don’t want people to, at any point, look at me and say that I’m limited and he can only do that.
SMD: You’ve been around for a while, but now you’re seeing what you’ve dreamed of – you’re on hoardings in Bombay.
RS: Yeah, it still happens to be one of my most cherished memories. The one thing that I’m most excited about now is auditioning. Earlier, I wouldn’t know what auditions were happening, now I’m hoping that at least I’ll have access.