»   »   » "The highpoint of working as a child artist was that I was doing something that 99% of kids my age would not do" - Aftab Shivdasani

"The highpoint of working as a child artist was that I was doing something that 99% of kids my age would not do" - Aftab Shivdasani

Courtesy: IndiaFM

Monday, April 24, 2006

He is portraying a real-life character in his forthcoming film Ankahee, which reflects the story of Vikram Bhatt. It deals with Bhatt's relationship with actress Sushmita Sen. Extra marital affairs are like a sin for Aftab, who believes in the sanctity of marriage. IndiaFM talks to him about his forthcoming film Ankahee, his views on marriage and extra marital affairs and many more things...

Tell us something about Ankahee.
It's the story of extra marital affair. There is a couple who has a six year old daughter. I play the husband and come across a Miss World. She enters his life coincidentally and of course this sparks an incredible chemistry that develops into affair. He tries to balance it, which of course he can't. The Miss World is completely obsessed with him and somewhere down the line he falls for her. It's not as simple as it sounds. It's more of a screenplay and performance oriented film. It's not a triangular love story with an extra marital affair. It's got a lot of emotions. It's very intense and something that is easily identifiable by anybody who has possibly gone through an affair post marriage. It's a scare to people who think that there marriage is safe.

Do you think that these complications are the cause of break ups in marriages?

I think the reason for the break up of marriages is that the partners get bored of each other. They realize that they are missing out on the excitement of their life. There could be thousands of reasons of why a marriage could break up. What's scary about the story of Ankahee is that there is nothing wrong in their marriage or nothing wrong with the wife. She is beautiful and enterprising. She is the perfect wife and the perfect mother. Then how could their marriage fall apart? That is what Ankahee deals with. This all is highly circumstantial and something natural. It's going to scare lot of people who feel that everything is perfect. Then one fine day something happens.

Since you have worked with Esha in her first movie, do you think she has matured as an actress?
Definitely! She has done a fantastic job. It is something that a lot of people would die for. I don't think in her entire career she has got something as impacting and as great as Ankahee. It's something that will showcase her talent. It's very strong and impeccable and something that any actor would die for. It has shades of grey. Since she plays the other woman, obviously people are going to point fingers since she destroys the marriage. But then of course, from her characters point of view, it is circumstantial because everybody wants to be happy. She is looking at the wrong guy and that's the only difference. She is going to shock a lot of people.

Do you support extra marital affairs?

No I don't, obviously. It is like committing a sin. I would want to believe that there would be a reason why somebody would look outside a marriage. If those reasons can be fulfilled or can be sorted out without looking out side, it's a very ideal situation. Otherwise it is scary.

Is it true that Esha is playing Sushmita's role?
No. It's just that for the sake of speculation people are saying it. I won't deny the fact that there are a lot of incidents in Ankahee that are inspired by Vikram's life. These are incidents of the past. It has been structured in a particular way, because it's a film. I mean, he is a self respecting guy. He did not want to show everything of his life onscreen. But of course, there are incidents that are inspired from his life.

You are a lucky mascot for Vikram. Every time you guys come together, there is always a certain chemistry...
We have grown together since Kasoor. He taught me a lot. I have matured as an actor. Kasoor was a school for me, followed by Awara Pagal Deewana and Footpath. And now we have done Ankahee and Speed together. I did a guest appearance in Deewane Hue Pagal for Feroz and Vikram. Then I did a film called Tumko Meri Kasam with Rani which never took off. Now I am waiting for a film called Red which will start soon. We have grown together. We are comfortable with each other as an actor and director. We grew as friends, and as individuals. We have an incredible understanding. We can bear each other so much (laughs). An understanding is necessary for this kind of work, or else it would not look so convincing.

How was it working with Amisha Patel again?
Very good! She is one of the few people who I have done many films with. I did Suno Sasurji, Kya Yahi Pyar Hai and now I am doing Ankahee. We have matured like friends. Our friendship has gone to a different level. We have an understanding and are very comfortable with each other. Also, we have grown up together in South Mumbai and our parents know each other. So obviously that makes a great difference.

Tell us something about the music. How musically involved were you?
I am a sucker for music. I live on music. In fact my ambition is to compose someday but that I will leave for a little later. I love music and can't breathe without it. Pritam's music is doing so well. Was there any involvement from you regarding music No honestly I have no involvement in music of Ankahee. It is entirely Vikram and Pritam's section. But I heard the music and I love his music. It's completely my kind of music. It's commercial yet little different. It has got a feel to it, which is very sweet very hum able and listenable all the time.

What do you think music composer needs to make his music popular?
I think originality, lots of creativity and courage to do something new that is what a music composer needs. A music composer needs conviction.

What do you think of the music scene in Bollywood?
There are lots of guys doing music their own way. There's Pritam, Vishal Shekhar and Salim Suleiman who compose music very differently. They are very talented and do slightly alternative kind of stuff. They did Bhoot and Kaal and that is my kind of stuff. Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Sandeep Chowta have it all. A. R. Rehman is just fantastic and I am a big fan of his.

You were completely kept out from the promotions of Shaadi Se Pehle. Why so? Did they want you to be the surprise element of the film or something?
No, honestly it was not my film. All the guest appearances that I have done are for relationships. It was basically supposed to be a surprise. Deewane Hue Pagal was for Vikram and Firoze because I had done Awara Pagal Deewana for them. Shaadi Se Pehle was for Satishji and Subhashji because I worked with him when I was a kid in Mr. India. That time I was six years old! So doing a film with them after 20 years was exciting. I did it because it was pleasure doing it. I just did six scenes in the film.

You weren't seen much on the social circuit off lately...
It just that professionally, nothing was happening for a long time. I just don't want to be in eye of the media and be seen in social functions and parties, which I don't like to go to myself. I don't like to be on camera too much, especially when I am not working. I believe there's a certain time one needs to be one's self. Professionally nothing was happening and I decided to lie low deliberately. I am not in the lime light. I just want my work to speak for me. I am work oriented and will do whatever that needs to be done for the film. Other than that, I am not trying to get attention.

Tell us something about Darwaza Band Rakho.
Darwaza Bandh Rakho will be out at the end of the May or first week of June. It's a black comedy. It's basically about four guys who kidnap a builder's daughter to extort money. They put her in a Gujarati vegetarian household. She is a spoilt chic who's most excited about being kidnapped. Everybody who enters the house becomes a hostage by the end of the film. There are forty characters in the film. It's like a zoo. My character is a small time Tapori guy, who wants to make it big soon.

Tell us something about your forthcoming films
I have Ankahee followed by Darwaza Band Rakho. Then there is Speed with Vikram Bhatt and Harry Baweja and Jaane Hoga Kya. There is another film with Vikram called Red. Also, there is one untitled film with Abbas Mastan.

Tell us the most enjoyable part of being a child artist
I think it was a high of doing something that 99% of kids of my age would not do. And obviously it gave me a lot of exposure in front of the camera.

Which is your favorite Hindi movie?

Who is your favorite actor?
Amitabh Bachchan

Who is your favorite actress?
Madhuri. Nobody compares to her.

What does Aftab do when he is not shooting?
Basically I just catch up with the things around. There are dubbings, meetings or script narrations etc. Apart from that, I love to chill out or just being with friends. I also enjoy traveling and sports.

What kind of sports?
I love to work out. I am a fitness freak. I used to play a lot of cricket, badminton and snooker. I even play today regularly. I am most regular with snooker. So whenever I am not shooting, I try and catch up these sports somehow.

Do you watch a lot of sports?
I watch lots of cricket. I feel that none of the sports have the exposure that cricket has in our country.

Who's your favorite cricketer?
Sachin Tendulkar always! I also love Bryan Lara.

Are you a brand freak?
I like both branded and non branded stuff.

Where do you shop from?

What is important for you? Being stylish or being comfortable?

Are you a gym freak?
Yeah. I am

How many meals do you have in a day?
I used to have four meals. But now I have proceeded to five or six. I am training for the film called Red.

What kind of food you eat normally?
Now I am off everything! I am high on proteins and low on carbohydrates though, I do involve them in my diet. No junk, fried food and sweets for me.

What is your favorite food?
Oriental, Thai, Chinese and Japanese.

What about traditional Indian food?
I enjoy Parsi cuisine.

What does Aftab do on his day off?
Nothing! I love to do nothing. I sleep, watch television and hang out with my friends.

Do you have any dream role?
I have always wanted to do a war film or a historical film.

Is there anyone in Bollywood who you are dying to work with?
Ram Gopal Varma, again and again. 

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