Sacred Games actress Kubbra Sait says, people want to know if I'm transgender

Updated: 29 July, 2018 08:30 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Having put on a convincing act as Nawaz's lover in Sacred Games, Kubbra says she wants to return for season 2

Kubbra Sait
Kubbra Sait

She had limited screen time, and was posed with the Herculean task of establishing herself amidst artistes like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan, but Kubbra Sait's name is certain to crop up when discussion around Sacred Games comes up. Romancing Siddiqui's gangster avatar, Ganesh Gaitonde, Sait made her character, Kukoo, one among those that stay with you long after the Netflix show concludes.

That her character as a transgender is one that she got deeply involved with is evident when she says, "I am more empathetic and aware now. The implications of [section] 377 [of the IPC], the meaning of transexual, Pride day and LGBTQ, all have a new meaning. Now, everything [transgender roles] will be compared to this [character]. Taking up this role has been a big move."

Kubbra Sait
Kubbra Sait

In a social media-savvy world, success inarguably, can be determined by the place one finds on it. With memes on Kukoo filling networking news feeds, Sait reveals her favourite. "There's one that places my character among the greatest real-life magicians, in a reference to the 'Kukoo ka jadoo' angle in the series." So narrow are the walls between real and reel that Sait says people have been taking to Google to search if she, in fact, is transgender too.

"That according to me is their appreciation. I am a woman who likes men, yet, I have managed to convince the world that I have a willy. I played the character with the same honesty that I played a tree when I was a six-year-old, in a school play."

Even though the significant aspect of her character was its sex, Sait says she hit the jackpot with her act by merely enacting her as another human being. "The character made a passing reference in the book. But, once they saw how it was being played out, they wrote more scenes for me. Most of what we shot was retained. Showcasing Kukoo's humanity was important. The writing is such that her anatomy is irrelevant. Her emotions stay with you, because heartbreak is universal. I had to make her endearing, not trashy. Transgender doesn't need to imply loud."

As much as it won her positive reviews, Sait's scene of breaking down after a heartbreak was exhausting to film. That it was her first scene which got canned was more bothersome. "I didn't know anyone then. I remember, Nawaz took part in one narration with me, and quipped, 'Kahan se utha laye ho iss pagal ko'. Anurag was jumping around on set that day and he randomly walked up to me and asked, 'What's your biggest heartbreak?'" A lover for whom she had once switched cities and arrived in Mumbai was the answer to Kashyap's question. "He disappeared on me when I came here. I called, emailed and messaged him, but he didn't respond. When I met him two years after that, I sobbed in his car. I remember every detail of that moment."

Sait remembers Kashyap's words when she had to cry for the cameras that evening. 'Remember the time when the love of your life left?' he had told her. "Then, I couldn't stop crying. We took seven takes, and I broke down each time. In fact, after the shot, I even hugged Nawaz and cried, as though he was going to leave me." Asked about the role she now seeks, she says, "I started as a replaced actor and danced like a drunk uncle. Now I want the Sacred Games makers to bring me back for a dream sequence in the second season."

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First Published: 28 July, 2018 19:00 IST

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