By Justin Rao
Mumbai (PTI) Since Saif Ali Khan’s Sartaj Singh lost his thumb on season one, every time the actor would shoot with Amruta Subhash for “Sacred Games 2”, he would tell her, “what a performance! Thumbs up… Without a thumb”.
Today, Amruta is thrilled that her portrayal of RAW agent Kusum Devi Yadav aka KDY on the show has received love, acclaim, and ironically, several thumbs ups.
“The feedback has been great. People have started calling me ‘Yadav Saab’ now. The way the character was shaped up in the writing is the reason why it worked. You might be a good actor but if you don’t have good content, you can’t do anything,” Amruta told PTI.
The actor, 40, said content means the world to her and she will never compromise with it.
“I have said no to more work than accepted. Good content is my lover. I can’t have a relationship with bad content. In that sense, I have had fewer relationships.”
On the Netflix India original “Sacred Games” season two, Amruta, as the Kenya-based RAW agent, uses Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s gangster Gaitonde for the larger good of the country, until he snaps out and everything crashes.
Amruta’s portions feature in both, the past — directed by Anurag Kashsyap — and present, helmed by Neeraj Ghaywan, where her character undergoes a huge transformation from a young powerful agent to an aged powerless woman.
The actor said shooting for sequences with Nawazuddin and Anurag was “like home coming” as she has worked with the duo in “Raman Raghav 2.0”, but filming for the older version of her character was challenging.
“Portions with Neeraj were more challenging because of the age factor. I had to portray KDY in a different zone and it was challenging for me to capture that. I had many inhibitions because it was in a totally different zone.”
In her later portions, KDY — who Amruta said is internally strong — struggles physically and no more wields the power she earlier did.
When asked, what does that phase do to her emotionally, the actor said, “It’s very frustrating when, once you were powerful but now you can’t do the work because you’re powerless. At the same time, in her challenged conditions, she helps Sartaj.
“Sometimes your goal is so strong in your mind that it surpasses your body condition. That was my take for KDY. That even if she’s physically in a challenging condition, her love for India is so strong her mind is overtaking everything.”
To portray this duality, the actor said she had two different approaches for her character who has bottled up all her emotions.
“I played powerful KDY with calm. Even when her loved ones are killed in front of her eyes, she doesn’t show her emotions. I thought, sometimes when you’re working you suppress certain things which affect you. But they remain inside you.
“All that comes out later with Sartaj when she breaks down in the scene. The only time she does. If KDY was in her earlier physical state, she wouldn’t have cried. That crying shows how much she had suppressed. That’s her life which we didn’t see except for in that one scene,” she added.