Kabir Singh: What do you love about your life as an actor?
Rebecca Abdel-Messih: I looooove how you’ll never play the same person twice. I say that acting is like travelling in a time machine, it takes me all over the world. I’ve recently been in Coram Boy, a world set in the 1800’s England and now The Spoils is set in 2015 New York and I’ve just learnt so much about the history of the countries. I’m yet to play an Aussie! That’s probably my next project.
What are the similarities between you and Reshma and what drew you towards the character?
I definitely can relate to her culturally, being a first generation Aussie myself, I understand sometimes being caught in two different worlds. Growing up with strange foods and a different language to people I went to school with. But my God, I love how badass she is! Something I’m definitely not haha but I admire her determination and passion not only in her career, but when standing up to Ben. I wish I could just kick him honestly.
What is your favourite part of the rehearsal process?
I love everything about it. The crew and cast are so fun, we can be serious one minute and having a laugh the next. I also love learning about my character and what makes her tick.
What does Kalyan bring to the table for you in this relationship?
He’s a sweet guy who wants the best for Reshma. Every woman’s dream. He brings security, goofiness and loyalty. Also damn how good’s that man bun and facial hair!
If you had to meet an actor dead or alive , who would it be and why?
Robin Williams! I honestly just want to give him a hug.
Rebecca Abdel-Messih: What do you love most about playing Kalyan Mathema?
Kabir Singh: Kalyan is a tender, innocent soul who has come this far on a scholarship to NYC because of his own hard work. What I love most about Kalyan is how proud he is of his Nepalese culture and shows it off constantly through his cuisine. I think he has very strong roots embedded in him but also has the openness to learn about other cultures and accept them for what they are. He is a hustler and a hard worker. A place like New York City will eat you alive if you don’t hustle and I think he doesn’t need to be told that, it is already embedded in his being from the get go .
How important is it to Kalyan to find someone like Reshma?
Although Kalyan is an independent man, having a partner alongside him is important. He has found that with Reshma who is successful, smart and strong minded. She voices her opinions about Ben which at times, Kalyan does not. The two compliment each other and even though Kalyan is somewhat a genius and will go through life doing great and important things, he has other ideas about how life should go and that is to settle down and have a family. For that reason Reshma is very important to Kalyan. Yes he loves her and wants to start a family with her at some point and the fact that he has found her, and she is close to his heritage, is from New York and is a doctor has a lot of draw points.
Is there hope for Ben?
There is always hope. Ben is a misguided soul with past traumas and just hasn’t healed, so he keeps pushing them on other people, especially Kalyan. Maybe because he comes from money and has a deluded sense of film making you may think there is no hope for Ben, but he has redeemable qualities at times and if he chooses to focus on those positive qualities then maybe there is hope for Ben just yet.
What would your ideal dinner party look like?
My ideal dinner party would consist of my closest friends and I would cook for all of them, take shots of vodka with every bite (Russian style) and be plastered before dessert.
What do you love about acting the most?
The idea to be able to explore your emotions and your opinions and ideas in a safe space. What I love the most is that it gives you a platform to really explore a characters mentality, physicality and emotional availability. These three things make a human being and to explore someone else so different from yourself, that you really have to dig deep and find emotions and experiences within yourself and draw parallels that you never thought was possible. Acting is doing the impossible sometimes and that’s what attracts me the most.
Rebecca Abdel-Messih and Kabir Singh can be seen in The Spoils by Jesse Eisenberg.
Dates: 29 Jan – 8 Feb, 2020
Venue: Flight Path Theatre