FYIG recently got to chat with actor Vas Saranga about his experience on Teletoon’s Mudpit, his role as Amar on Orphan Black, and much more!
How did you get your start in acting?
I discovered acting initially through making short films in high school. We had to act in other students’ films, and I discovered that I had a knack for it. People kept encouraging me, putting the idea in my head that I might be better in front of the camera, rather than behind it. When I got to college I took acting classes and I also got coaching outside of school as well. I got my first agent and hit the ground running with auditions while I was still in school.
Was there ever a time you thought acting might not be for you?
I never felt that acting wasn’t for me but I had a burning desire to try directing for a while so I took some time to pursue directing in parallel with acting. After directing several short projects (ones that I didn’t act in) I realized that I loved being in front of the camera much more than being behind it.
I read that Michael J. Fox is your idol. What stands out most about him to you?
I think he has a really unique sense of humour that he infuses into dramatic scenes. It’s just plain fun to watch him perform.
What’s your favourite MJF movie?
Definitely Back to the Future (Part 1 is my favourite).
You’ve appeared in American Pie: Beta House, Flashpoint, and The Strain just to name a few. What has your favourite role been thus far?
My favourite role so far has been playing Amar on Orphan Black. It was surreal to step into a role in the final season of the show. It was a physical challenge working with tracking dogs, and it was exciting shooting scenes with Tatiana Maslany. I got to work with several directors who challenged me to perform at my best in different ways. It was an all around amazing experience and I think the fans are going to like seeing the development of my character.
You also worked on Teletoon’s Mudpit which was a live-action/animation hybrid. What were the differences with working on that as opposed to a traditional TV show?
The main difference was the shift in the level of energy required when going from live action to animation. As much as I thought I was energetic in the live action component, I had to at least double it when I was recording voice for the animation. The show cut back and forth between live action and animation a lot, but we filmed all the live action scenes back to back, so we had to be extra aware of what happened in the animated world before we jumped into each live action scene.
I understand you also recorded an album of songs featured on the show. How did that come about?
When we auditioned for the show we had to demonstrate musical instrument skill and singing ability. The producers wanted to include original rock songs in the show, so they assembled an amazing music production team headed by Greig Nori of the band Treble Charger. We were coached on how to sing the songs by real musicians and we got to record in the vocal booth at an actual recording studio. In the end, the songs turned out great and it was really rewarding to hear the songs played back while we filmed the show. It was really fascinating taking part in the process of recording the music.
Do you have any other musical aspirations that we may see you pursue in the future?
I love playing guitar and I’m hopeful that I’ll get to use my musical talent on camera again in the future. I would jump at the chance to contribute original music to a production.
What’s your dream role?
Like most kids that grew up watching cartoons and idolizing superheroes, my dream role would be to play a character in the Marvel or DC universe.
Would you be interested in working behind the camera?
I’m interested in telling my own stories. I’ve written a screenplay and a tv pilot and I would love for them to be produced. I would probably play a minor character in both and focus on mainly being behind the camera on those projects.
Tell us about what you have coming up.
I’m currently recurring as Amar in the final season of Orphan Black. I play Dexter, a Pentagon crypt-analyst on the new CBS series Salvation, premiering July 12. I’ll be in season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience on Starz this fall, and I just finished filming the romantic comedy Little Italy with Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen which will be out next year. I’m also starring in a really funny web series called Jib & Jab on a Quest that’s currently securing funding. Hopefully, that will be out soon as well. Lots to watch out for!