Exclusive! Rohit Saraf on 4 years of Dear Zindagi: Feels overwhelming to receive the appreciation for playing a small part as ‘Kiddo’

One of the most promising and fresh faces in Bollywood, Rohit Saraf is currently making heads turn with his ongoing performance in Anurag Basu’s ‘Ludo’ and Ronnie Screwvala’s ‘Mismatched’. The actor made his Bollywood debut in the 2016 film with Gauri Shinde’s ‘Dear Zindagi’ co-starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan. He soon went on to bag films like ‘Hichki’ and ‘The Sky Is Pink’. In an exclusive chat with ETimes, the 23-year-old actor engaged in an endearing conversation, walking us down the memory lane, by sharing his shooting experience in ‘Dear Zindagi’. The movie portrayed Rohit as ‘Kiddo’ – Alia Bhatt’s on-screen brother.

Talking about ‘Dear Zindagi’, the actor reminisces a fond memory, from being on the sets. “So, Gauri ma’am would be behind the monitors and I would be in front of the camera…a lot of times after my take, she would say cut and would laugh with people around her saying that ‘I want to adopt this boy’, (smiles) That’s a very, very fond memory, I have of being on that set because it’s been five years I was 17 or18 when I was shooting for that film.

Rohit also recollects being the most pampered on the sets. “So you know, I was also the baby on set, who’s always looked after. And I’m very, very close to some of the people that have I worked with. I gained a lot from that film, the kind of appreciation that I got for playing such a tiny part, such a minuscule part… ‘Kiddo’ is so so heartwarming, because you know, even right now, for that matter, there are so many messages that I’m getting after people watching ‘Ludo’ and ‘Mismatch’ saying, Hey, we spotted you in ‘Dear Zindagi’.

“So just to kind of get that kind of reaction and the appreciation from people, from the audience is so lovely. I mean, you want that, you know, when I was getting that film, I didn’t even think of the fact that oh, people are gonna know me and people are gonna recognise me. I was just thrilled about being in the same film as Shahrukh Khan himself, Alia Bhatt,…and speaking of Gauri Shinde, she is a brilliant director”, added Rohit.

On an ending note Rohit said, “For me, it was just it was like a candy store experience, where, you know, you are just this little child, walking into a store and just wants everything. And I’m so glad that I was a part of that film, because, in today’s time, where mental health is such an important thing, everyone’s talking about, we spoke about it back then, you know, four years ago. So it was, it’s a great experience, I feel very, very proud to be a part of that film”.

‘Dear Zindagi’ is one of the most loved Bollywood films, focusing on the importance of mental health and normalising therapy. The movie lets one meet ‘Kaira’- a character very relatable to today’s youth, who seeks professional help, from a therapist Dr Jug who gives her a new perspective towards life. Till date, the film has a special spot in every movie lover, allowing one to learn the importance of self-love and acceptance .