The value of passion and persistence

Published On: December 15, 2017 10:24 AM NPT By: Ashma Chhetri

Saugat Malla, who we got to know as the extraordinary ‘Haku Kale’ from the blockbuster movie ‘Loot’, is a successful theater artist and movie actor. After struggling for years, Malla has now come a long way, winning over even the critics by his exceptional performances in movies like Kagbeni, Kabaddi Kabaddi, and Mukhauta to name a few. But this shy actor isn’t one who regularly makes his presence felt in the media so there’s a lot that we don’t know.

The Week’s Ashma Chhetri quizzed Malla to get him to open up a little about himself and his journey so far.  

How has your journey as an actor been till date? 
After I came to Kathmandu, the very first thing I did was take admission in an acting school. After being trained for six months, I then entered the theater scene where I got the chance to further hone my acting skills. After being a part of theater for more than ten years, I was finally cast for the character of ‘Ramesh’ in the movie ‘Kagbeni’. But you can’t say the struggle ended there. It was actually the beginning of a whole new struggle as acting in movies is so different from acting on stage. My journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been meaningful and I guess that more than makes up for the hard times. 

What is it about the Nepali movie industry that fascinates you the most?
To be honest, the fact that I’m a part of it is the one thing that amazes me every single day. The movie business is such that many are struggling to get a tiny role in a small project but I have managed to create a space for myself and people have appreciated me too. My reality is often hard for me to believe and accept which is perhaps why I don’t take it for granted. Other than that, the whole movie industry is one whirlpool of fun and excitement. Actors are doing good work and the Nepali audience has been very receptive and it’s been fascinating to watch that unfold.   

Is there a role you desperately want to play?
During my initial days in theater, I never cared about the story. I always wished to get chosen for specific roles. But now I have realized that the storyline of a movie is what’s important. If it’s a good plot, it doesn’t matter what role you portray. You will leave a mark. It’s because of this that I don’t focus too much on bagging a particular role anymore. I just want the script to be good.  Also, when the script is good, you naturally feel like doing justice to your character. 

What would you be if you weren’t an actor?
Frankly speaking I never thought of doing anything else but acting. From the time I was first introduced to movies, I was determined to be a professional actor. And now that I have come this far, I cannot even contemplate doing something else. Being an actor is who I am. I can’t think of myself as anything else. 

Tell us one thing your fans don’t know about you.
This is embarrassing but I’m very forgetful. I often forget important things and that lands me in awkward situations. I’m like that in both my personal and professional life. If someone tells me something, it stays with me for two minutes before I let it pass and it’s because of this I often forget being told things. There have been times when I have forgotten entire meetings and appointments. It’s gotten me into a fair share of trouble. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
First and foremost, I have realized the importance of persistence and never losing interest in your work. Also, you have to be driven by your desire to succeed. I’m at this stage in my life because I never considered acting as a second option. It was always my first priority and, for me, nothing could ever match up to it. You have to believe in your vision. Also, I believe that nothing can be achieved until and unless you are wholeheartedly committed to it. And once you start working hard to attain it, your efforts will definitely pay off. 

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