Sana Saeed has been the apple of our eye since we saw her as Little Anjali in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Whilst she gained immense popularity as this iconic character, Sana decided to pursue education and proceeded to study for an advertising diploma.
After education, Sana decided to resume her acting career and we saw her as Tanya Israni in Student Of The Year.
But besides these notable roles, we’ve seen the actor participate in several well-known reality shows including Khatron Ke Khiladi, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Nach Baliye.
Now, Sana has tried her hand at humour with Comedy Circus, which definitely seems to have enhanced her calibre as an actor.
In a special chat, Sana Saeed reflects on Comedy Circus, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and acting career!
How has your experience been performing with Gaurav and Abhilash?
It’s been great because I’ve never tried a hand at comedy before.
It is almost performing live on stage because once we begin our performance, there’s no cutting or editing.
Abhilash and Gaurav are great partners I mean these guys are great at comedy and it gets much easier to work with people who have the hang of things.
You’ve done reality show before. What made this stand out from the rest?
Definitely, I’ve done almost all the popular reality shows that run.
However, I feel Comedy Circus is more closest to what I love to do because I love to act – that’s obviously always going to be my first love.
Doing the show is very helpful because of the lines we have to learn, which we have to in 20-25 minutes.
Then an artist constantly learns how to support each other even though in front of the camera it’s all about you.
But when you’re on-stage and live, it’s very different when you know there are no retakes.
So, if anyone messes up, one has to be in the moment and in control, otherwise, we all look bad together!
I feel that this kind of a format is not self-centred, but it gives that liberty to extend and look out for team members as well.
Being an actor myself, this is something which I’m more confident at.
It is such an adrenaline rush to be on stage!
Plus, it’s a great learning experience especially for someone like myself who has never done theatre before.
I’ve always done things in front of the camera, it has never been on stage so now I have gained a sudden interest in theatre.
We’ve seen you do mostly glamorous roles so far. How has Comedy Circus expanded your skills as an actor?
The only exposure that I have really got is in playing a lot of glamorous roles.
Even when I do dance shows, it’s like you know that you’re brought onto the show to add glamorous content of that particular show.
At the end of the day, I do feel it’s a bit of a stereotype.
But with Comedy Circus, I’ve played a variety of roles from Sambha in Sholay, to a villager who speaks in a Bhojpuri accent.
This just proves that there are so many parts of me that I haven’t got to explore and I should really look out.
When one gets such an opportunity to explore it can really be surprising and give a sense of achievement.
Initially, I was a bit sceptical for doing Comedy Circus.
This is because I thought it was like getting out of my comfort zone, which I always believe and that has really helped me.
There are so many skits on Comedy Circus and I think ‘if I don’t do it now, when will I do it?’ it has pushed me a lot more as an actor than I thought it would.
Even with Fear Factor, I didn’t think I was going to make it through the first week, but I ended up in the top 3.
Every time I’ve pushed myself to do something that is beyond my comfort zone.
I have always outdone something which I thought I could never do.
Even today, you are acknowledged as the little Anjali. Would say this is a burden or boon?
For years on end, I used to think it was a burden.
Growing up, you never understand the importance of things that you do.
When one is mature enough to understand that if your character has a recall factor, it means that you nailed that role.
I grew up as a child responding to both Anjali and Sana. It was exciting!
But then as a grown-up who’s not a part of the industry, when I was in college was like ‘stop with this Anjali, this girl is not me’ (laughs).
For a very long time, I wouldn’t be able to sit through Kuch Kuch Hota Hai because it was so unknowing to watch yourself and I would be like ‘what is going on? What am I doing?’
When I restarted my career, the level of respect rose when people realised that my work experience was in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. That is huge for me.
At that point, I realised that this is working in my favour.
Now when I’m mature enough to understand that my first film was as iconic as Kuch Kuch, it wow and as huge as it is!
I feel so much gratitude because as a child when you didn’t know better I got such a beautiful opportunity to lay down my art. I feel blessed.
I would love to be Anjali forever, it makes me feel that warm now.
Given your experience as Anjali, how difficult is it for former child-artists to shrug off their initial characters?
The way I see it, there is no shrugging off something.
It’s not a fight for me anymore.
Initially, I thought that it would be and I did think that “oh my god, nobody is taking me seriously because they think I’m that small child.”
I just don’t look at that anymore.
I just feel like every time with being associated with the movie and character, there’s only love and respect for what I’ve done.
Definitely, I don’t think it’s something that I need to outgrow or wear off.
Everyone knows that I’m much older now and as experience more things.
I really hope that I’m able to outdo that film because I don’t think that there’s been anything as close to playing Anjali in my career yet.
If I could even match up to Anjali, that would be my big step.
What sort of film roles will you be looking out for now?
More than anything, I’m just looking out for variety and to be able to do a lot of things like with reality shows I’ve done dance, stunts and now comedy.
I feel like I got to breakthrough just doing glamour based content and move on to other things.
I know that I can do more than just glam. It’s just a matter of time that I love something – as in the right opportunity.
You’ve also done daily soaps. Would you consider doing this if you get the opportunity?
I have a schedule in December for Amazon Prime web-series, that’s kind of interesting and I liked the script. Hopefully, we’ll start shooting in December.
I’m open to anything that has a great character and a good story.
There are so many opportunities for actors to do different things and it’s so much more accessible.
The Internet is the new theatre right now – we’re all on our laptops watching Netflix and Amazon rather than going to the cinema because we just don’t have the time!
The Internet is a new age.
Listen to our candid interview with Sana right here!
Finally, what are your hopes and expectations of the future?
I just hope to continue to do stuff that I love to do, to be happy and take each day as it comes.
As well as temporarily looking at goals, but I focus on each day as it comes.
If you do what you love to do, you will achieve your dreams and ambitions!
With that optimism and enthusiasm, here’s wishing Sana all the very best for the future.
Special thanks to Optimystix Entertainment, Vipul D Shah, Rakesh Juneja, Nikul Desai, Barkha Thakur and the entire team of Optimystix for facilitating the interview.