Thursday, April 27, 2006
Four films old and Shiny Ahuja has played some real interesting characters in some really offbeat films like Sins, Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi, Kal - Yesterday and Tomorrow. A tremendously talented Shiny reveals that he loves to get into the skin of the character. His passion for acting reflects in his choice of movies.
For his next movie, he is confident enough to portray the role of a Gangster. Shiny speaks to IndiaFM about Gangster and his future projects...
You did modeling before landing into Bollywood. Did you always want to be an actor?
I always wanted to act. I was doing theatre before I got into modeling. I came to Bombay to act. It wasn't that easy to get into films especially when you don't know anyone here. Fortunately I came with an acting background. I wasn't too confident that I would get modeling assignments. I started getting modeling assignments. Everyday was tough. But I think that's a part of life. If there is no challenge, there is no fun to it.
What do you think is the difference between theatre and films? Was it difficult to emote in front of a camera?
Actually it is. It has a wider audience. It's a medium through which you need to relate through the person. You have to remember the number of people inside the lens. I also built a relationship with my costars. That comes across on screen.
Tell us something about your experience in theatre. What was your favorite role?
I have been doing theatre, right from my school days. I won the Best actor in the whole of India when I was in college. That was really encouraging and it helped me get into my college. Otherwise my percentage was really bad! My dad wanted me to get into that college. I was good in sports. I used to play cricket, football and volleyball. Acting helped me initially.
According to Sudhir Mishra, you are one of the most promising actors he has ever met. Did it mean a lot to you? Absolutely! Usually, people see your work and they comment on it. You obviously feel good! But coming from a person like Sudhir, it's great! I think he is one of the best directors in the industry. Such a statement coming from him, feels good.
In the initial stages of your career, you did films like Sins, Kal- Yesterday and Tomorrow etc. They are not regular commercial films. Was it a conscious decision?
I got a lot of offers from filmmakers. But I thought these were the most interesting roles. The characters were very challenging. I did them for myself. It's not to entertain anyone or to prove a point. I act because I enjoy doing that particular character. I love to go through the journey of a certain kind of human being. Every time I play the character, it helps me become another person. Now, such kind of roles are coming through commercial cinema as well.
Your characters have a lot of depth. Do you really meet such people or do you just think about them?
I don't do preparations as such, because I am not a method actor. Method is like a formula, especially when I get stuck. Usually, I build the graph in my mind. It becomes easy to portray the character on screen. The greatest thing is that God has made us all gray and not black or white. It's just the question of finding the key inside you and starting from the right point. You just have to go back and change the incident of your life. And when you change those incidents, life can take its turns. Destiny plays an important role in this. It's a fictitious thing in your mind. It's like living a real moment in unreal circumstances. I am playing a killer in the film. There are a lot of interesting aspects written in the script. I just had to find the trigger point from all of them. Once you have them in your mind, you just have to go with the flow.
Talking about Gangster, how much do you love guns?
My father was an army officer, so I have grown up with a lot of guns around me, all the time. I have always had a fascination for them.
Is it true that you were offered Dil Chahta Hai and you refused it?
I didn't refuse the film. Farhan decided to go for an established actor. Earlier he had planned to cast newcomers with Aamir and Saif. I was supposed to play Akshay's role.
Tell us something about the woman in your life.
If I start speaking about Anu, my wife, then I will go on and on. I will never stop talking! But she is not too comfortable with me talking about her! She has a completely different life from me. She has taken a conscious decision that she does not want to be a part of the lime light. I respect her decision. She has her own career. I am really proud of her. She is doing so well. I will continue to support her. She shuttles between Chennai and New York. She is not too comfortable with the whole idea of being in the limelight.
What does she feel about your career?
I feel that wherever I am today, it is because of her. She is really proud of me. In fact, she is a good critic but she knows that I am critical about my self. So she is the kind of critic who eases things out for me.
After winning so many awards for Promising new actor, are the expectations high?
Yes and no! Everybody looks at you in a certain way. Things around me have changed. And I say no because the award is for a film that I shot for a couple of years ago. If I have enjoyed what I have gained, I also have to concentrate on my work now. I hope that the show will go on.
You are playing a cameo in Fanaa. Tell us something about that.
Yes it's a special appearance and I am not allowed to talk about it. Yash Raj Films has a confidentiality policy.
Did you replace Sanjay Dutt in Gangster?
When I came into Gangster, there were so many articles on it. I read a lot of things. Everyone asked me if I had replaced someone or the other. But I was just offered a role and decided to do it, on the basis of the script, role, director and producer. I have no clue about Sanjay Dutt because a lot of people were considered for the role.
Tell us one thing about your character in Gangster that you enjoyed portraying.
There is a lot of anger in this man, which is probably there from his child hood. Some incident has taken place and he has held a lot of things inside him. The graph of the character is from being a bhai to gangster. There is a certain point in the film where his being is challenged. It shuffles when he realizes his entire conception. He can't decide whether he wants to hit or not. It's a fight between his ego and his passion for a woman. He is in a chaos in that one scene. That's what I like the most.
In Woh Lamhe you are apparently playing Mahesh Bhatt's character. Tell us about that.
I am playing a director in the film. The story of the film has been inspired by Parveen Babi and Mahesh Bhatt's life. I am not totally getting into his head because it's a portion from his life. There is a fictitious part as well. So I have to go with the script.
How was it working with Kangana?
I think she is pretty competent. Gangster is her first film and she has done pretty well. I wish her luck.
Tell us something about your next film Rokin How does it feel being directed by female directors?
It's fun to be directed by women directors. It's very different from Gangster and that's what I really like about Rokin. It will be my next release after Gangster. I am playing a cardiologist, in it.
Is it true that Anurag has already signed you for his next film?
Yes it's called Metro. It's a sweet love story based in a metropolitan. It's about the life that we guys lead here. It's a very interesting film. It is quite funny to dwell into the dark side of the metropolitan life as well.
What do you do when you are not shooting?
I love watching movies. I am also into bikes and cars. I like fast cars.
Is it true that Vidya Balan walked out of Sudhir Mishra's next and there are problems to find the right actor for it?
That's the directors take. If she doesn't want to do the film, then there's no way that she should be a part of it. I am sure Sudhir totally supports that. He has narrated the script to me and I think it's a brilliant role. I am not sure why Vidya made the decision because it is a brilliant role for any woman to play.
Are you a religious person? Which God do you believe in?
Yes I believe in God. I am a devotee of Lord Hanuman
Who is your favorite Hindi movie actor?
Shakti Kapoor and Dilip Kumar
Who is your favorite Hindi movie actress?
Are you a brand freak?
Where do you shop from?
Usually when I travel
Do you shop for yourself?
What colors do you like?
Green, Pink, Blue
Do you have a dream role?
There are so many. I like Seven. That's a very good role. Then I would like to do the film Legends of the Fall.