Actor Raj Arjun recently joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of its special series NewsX India A-List to speak about his latest project ‘Sai Baba’. In the exclusive conversation, the actor shared about his experience of playing Sai Baba on screen, learning about the spiritual figure in greater detail and depth. Read excerpts:

Speaking about his role and what convinced him to play “Sai Baba”, the actor said, “Well, i have earned enough hated and abuses in my previous roles. I was just craving to earn a love and respect. I just wanted a lot of love from my audience and from my co-actors. I was continuously in search of something, which can fulfil my requirement as an actor, which can satisfy me as an actor. That search made me go through this journey”

When asked if it is true that he was offered this role in the past and he said no multiple times, he responded, “Yes, you would be surprised to know that. I was offered Sai Baba’s role twice before this. This is the third time it is happening and i actually felt that i am not ready to do Sai Baba because i am not literate enough about Sai Baba. Everybody goes through a limited knowledge when he is not into that subject too much until and unless, i was not given that opportunity. I see Sai Baba as one, so that respect is there but i was not too much into it. I was doing pretty well enough to my other roles and that particular category. I wanted to establish myself in that first and then a little later, i wanted to explore this side, but suddenly i got an offer from somewhere. They signed up before and then for the second time.  At that particular time i said ‘No, i am not ready’ because i know it is a challenging role and it eats a lot of things from your heart , from your soul, motion-wise and you have to be at that present moment at that time. I thought i am not prepared but somehow, it was this time to happen, because i said no and then it again came to me. I again said no and then it again came to me. Then finally, the third time it came to me, i thought there is some universal calling because it doesn’t happen usually that one actor, in the duration of two months, has been offered the same role thrice. I thought that it is something happening, i should understand that and i should just receive it. I am really honoured, privileged and feel that i have made such a good decision of my life”.

Learning about Sai Baba’s life through the research for the show, through the preparation, Raj further shared what has made the spiritual guru gain this kind of prominence in our country that people have so much of devotion in him. He expressed, “See, when we look at Sai and what we have tried to label that we have tried to show his human side. We have not tried to show that it is god who is teaching you lessons or it is someone who is so big and he is trying to feed you something. There is no spoon-feeding kind of a thing. If you go back in the history and read something about Sai, what i realised and how i took it, is that he was an enlightened man who was born at that particular time but he was born with futuristic thought. He was much ahead of his time at that particular moment. Gradually when he started growing up, he got happened to meet with such personalities, who had a lot of influence on his life.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube: