Exclusive: Sacha Dhawan talks films and what it’s like to work with Hollywood actor Will Smith

You’ve seen Sacha Dhawan in ‘The History Boys’ and ‘Being Human,’ now you’re about to see him on the big screen in two very different films


I recently caught up with actor Sacha Dhawan to talk about his role as Paul in BBC One’s upcoming drama ‘Last Tango In Halifax’.  Although that part of the interview will be released nearer to transmission, we also discussed his film projects including a big budget movie ‘After Earth’ with Hollywood actor Will Smith and independant movie ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug.’

Read below to see what he had to say…

What can you tell us about ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’ and ‘After Earth’?

Two completely different films. ‘After Earth’ is with Will Smith and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan who did the ‘Sixth Sense’ and was filmed all around America. It’s a big studio movie with a great cast, loads of special effects, some of the technology they’re using is phenomenal – now the flip side of that is ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug,’ a film that was made from no money and I did it cos I really believed in the project and the director is a dear friend of mine, who also let me develop a character for a no budget black and white movie filmed in Manchester – which is my home town which I’m so proud of. It was such a great job to do, it was nice as it was totally about creativity and no big execs or producers saying “no you can’t do this.”

‘After Earth’ is an interesting concept it was originally Will Smith’s idea and then he developed it with M. Night Shyamalan. It’s amazing, It’s set 1000 years in the future humans has deserted to another planet then its got a lovely beautiful story within that, and also has Will Smith’s real life son Jaden in it. Will is very charismatic and Jaden is really lovely, they make you feel at home. It’s great you think ” Oh my god I wonder what they’re going to be like” but then they’re so lovely and you can see why they’re doing so well, they’re down to earth.

Your Last Tango co-star Dean Andrews is also in Girl Shaped Love Drug?

Yes he is. It was great in Last Tango he hates me, and It was nice to do a big scene with him. We were talking about the low-budget film in Manchester and he said “Are you doing it” and I said “yeah yeah” and he said “I’ll give you a hand doing it” and was I like “god I can’t get away from you” [laughs] it was really good.

You’ve done a few roles that would be classed as sci-fi or fantasy (Being Human, The Deep, Paradox) Is that a favourite genre of yours?

I think it’s just a popular genre and it is quite exciting there are lots of possibilities you can do, and I guess it’s just what has come up. One of my biggest things as an actor is to be as versatile as possible. I want people to go, “oh my god him from that” I think once people can totally believe in what you’re portraying on-screen then your job is done.

Take the characters of ‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’ and then you see ‘Outsourced’ [US comedy series] and they’re two completely different people. I like to do so many different genres; I’ve covered comedy and ‘Being Human’, and then being able to do film, TV and theatre – I’m covering my bases and making sure I’m still acting and getting jobs.

‘Girl Shaped Love Drug’ has its world premiere at the Greater Manchester Film Festival Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM (GMT). ‘After Earth‘ is released in cinemas by Columbia Pictures (Sony) June 7, 2013.

Watch the ‘After Earth’ viral teaser…

Read the rest of Sacha’s interview with Inside Media Track in September.