You recently appeared in the newest series of Sherlock. If you could have possessed Sherlock’s powers of logic/ detection for one day of your life, when would you have called upon it?
I had just come back to the UK from being on an 8 month tour of a play. I was still stuck in that monotonous routine; my comfort blanket, which meant my performance ability had become a little ‘rusty’. My first audition back was a workshop for a very high-profile physical theatre company. Upon entering the audition room I wish my logic/ detection kicked in at that very moment when seeing my fellow competitors in an array of yoga poses as they prepared for the ‘physical’ day ahead of them. My logic/ detection would have forced me to leave the room, and fake a sudden illness. Instead, with my tight jeans and slippy-soled winkle pickers, I found myself in an improv situation; the four of us gathered ourselves in the centre of the room, and without a moments notice I launched myself into role play with a desperate need to prove myself, and declared loudly: “I’VE SHIT MYSELF!!!” I honestly, to this day, do not know where IT came from… and to make matters even worse, the artistic director stopped me mid thespian pose and said “I haven’t told you to start yet?!” I crumbled as did the four walls around me… horrible.
What is something you wish you knew how to fix?
If I even begin to answer that we’ll be here allll day… I can already feel my obsessive nature starting to rumble so I’m going to move onto the next question…
Who was the last film maker or writer who you’d never heard of before their work blew you away?
Damien Chazelle. I loved his film Whiplash. I admire film-makers who take on different genres and he’s someone I feel who will continue to surprise us.
What is something that used to annoy you but that you now tolerate or even like? (Or vice versa)
Disingenuousness AKA ‘Bullshit’. I could never smell it a mile off. But I like to think my sense of smell has vastly improved since then so I’d rather cut to chase, or stay well clear of it.
If you could replace any film from the IMDB top 10 and replace it with one of your choices, what would you swap in/ out? (They are: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Godfather (1972), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Dark Knight (2008), 12 Angry Men (1957), Schindler’s List (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), The Good The Bad and the Ugly (1966), Fight Club (1999))
Replace: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Add: Cinema Paridiso
If you could pick one trait from a family member or role model to pass along to someone else, what would you pick?
My mum’s generosity.
What picture best sums up the idiom, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ to you?
I stumbled across an old picture of my uncle, who recently passed. He was the first sibling in my mum’s family to arrive in England from India. He looked pretty cool in the picture, having quickly adapted to the ‘western style’; but it’s the sheer joy in his eyes that will always inspire me. He’d not only made a success of himself, but he’d done this whilst supporting his family back home, and I know it wasn’t easy. I take one look at that photo and I’m reminded of the foundations that my family laid down for the next generation to build upon.
What’s a job you would love to learn about by way of a future character you would play?
Political speech writer.
You must work in any entry-level service industry job for one month, staffed by yourself and three fictional film characters. Where do you work and whom do you work with?
Private Butlers for the Queen: Randle McMurphy, Wednesday Addams, Forrest Gump.
What do you wish you had taken lessons for throughout your adolescence?
Singing, and learning as many languages possible. I wish I had a few life lessons as well, but I guess you learn from your mistakes…
Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.
Sacha Dhawan can be seen now in Iron Fist on Netflix (US).
As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Grooming: Samantha Cooper