Saurabh Raj Jain: I don’t think about being compared to the actors who portrayed Krishna before me

Confident about his craft, TV actor Saurabh Raj Jain, who plays Lord Krishna in mythological drama Mahabharat, says he didn’t find the role challenging because he was focused and didn’t get distracted by comparisons

“People were fixated to certain characters they played. What matters to me is the role I am given and how convincingly I portray the character on the screen. I don’t think about being compared to the actors who portrayed Krishna before. Playing Krishna was not a challenge,” said Saurabh on the sets of the show.

Decked up in heavy jewellery and his costume, the tall actor sat down for the group interview on the Hastinapur Darbar set after giving a shot with his co-star Pooja Sharma (Draupadi). Although the sets are erected near the beach here, it was quite hot and the actor quenched his thirst before he started fielding questions.

The 32-year-old said that the new Mahabharat is different from the one directed by BR Chopra 20 years ago in which Nitish Bhardwaj had played Krishna. “It was a different time and age. The technology is much more advanced now with cutting edge computer graphics. The scripts are also more detailed. Our team has made an effort to tell the story in a different manner,” he said.

This is the third time Saurabh is seen in a mythological drama, following his role as Vishnu in Jai Shri Krishna and Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev. Talking about his character, he said: “The element that describes Krishna best is water. Just like water everything about Krishna is calm and serene… Whatever he says has a rhythm to it. This was something I had to work on. While, I got into the practice of talking like Krishna after a certain period of time and also perfected the gestures and movements with practice.”

Why a mythological show? “Why not? I have done fictional shows in the past. When the character is well written and has substance, it does not matter whether the show is fictional or not,” said the actor seen in shows like Parichay and Uttaran.

He is not afraid of being stereotyped. “There is no stereotyping now. It used to happen years ago when there weren’t many channels and people would get stereotyped in one particular look. Nowadays, we have a lot of channels and hence a lot of opportunities for everyone to broaden their horizons.”

Saurabh along with his co-stars shoots in the humid climate fully loaded with costume, jewellery and sometimes weapons. Although they dress up in an air-conditioned room, they have to shoot in the hot and humid weather. But weather conditions have not taken a toll on the actor. “It’s very hot here in Umargaon, but this is part of work. Our job is to entertain our viewers and we enjoy doing it. We have shot a sequence where the war is about to begin but Krishna is making efforts to stop the war and approaches the Kauravas and Pandavaas with a peace proposal,” said the actor.

He is contented with the audience’s response. “People are liking my work and have appreciated it. They love getting photographs clicked with Krishna.” Saurabh said he attended actor-director Rajat Kapoor’s workshops to hone his acting skills and even read a lot of books. “Rajat Kapoor had conducted workshops, which I had attended whenever I had the time. I also read a lot of books by different authors with different interpretations and points of view like Palaces Of Illusion, Jaya and Difficulty Of Being Good.”

When asked about his bonding with co-stars, the actor said, “We are all united like a family. It is our second home.” Of course, there is a spiritual side to his personality. “I do not worship any one deity in particular. I don’t know whether I am religious or not but I know I’m somewhere connected to god,” said Saurabh.