Vik Sahay is a veteran character actor who’s probably best known for his role as Lester Patel on the NBC spy comedy Chuck. The Ottawa-born Sahay may not yet be a household name, but chances are that even if you never saw his work in Chuck, you recognize him from Canadian TV series This Is Wonderland or from the Roxy Hunter movie series, or from his roles in homegrown films like Amal and Afghan Luke. He’s also appeared in American-produced movies like American Reunion opposite Sean William Scott and in The Rocker with Rainn Wilson. Yep, Sahay is slowly but surely infiltrating your movie and TV screens with even more work on the way in the form of Sean Garrity’s My Awkward Sexual Adventure, which had its premiere at TIFF 2012, and Tim McAuliffe‘s CTV comedy series Satisfaction, set to start shooting in Toronto this fall.
Despite clearly being one of the busiest actors in the biz, Sahay agreed to fill out of this month’s TFS Questions questionnaire.
Name: Vik Sahay
Describe a “typical” day at work: Waking up earlier than death, grabbing a coffee on set, hair and makeup (try not to meet my own gaze in the huge mirrors), run lines and pace or nap in my trailer. Get a knock on the door, walk the magic corridor between this world and ACTION. Rinse. Repeat.
Describe what led you to this job? Hyperactivity, fate, empathy.
What do you like best about your job? The spiritual problem solving, variety, and risk.
What’s the most difficult part about your job? The no rest (other than those quick cat naps).
Is there some aspect of your job that might surprise people if they found out about it? How little of an actor’s life is spent between action and cut, and how addictive that time is.
Role you’re most proud of and why? No one particular role, but moments in each of them where the preparation and the lucid present collide while the camera is rolling.
Any advice for people who would like to do what you do? Ask yourself if you love it or lust after it. It’s too tough to be sustained by lust.
Name your favourite movie genre. Why do you like it? Character drama. Give me a master actor in a brilliant role, brilliantly directed. Heaven.
What is your favourite Canadian film or filmmaker? Well, I just finished working with Sean Garrity, so I will say him. Plus I’ve always wanted to work with Deepa Mehta.
What is your favourite aspect of the film scene in Toronto? How accessible people are.
What aspect of Toronto would you immortalize on film if you had the chance? Chinatown noodle houses in the wee hours.
Movie snack: sweet or savoury? Savoury.
Photo credit: Stewart Marcano