You had made your debut with Jaana Lets Fall in Love. Didn"t you?
I would not say that Jaana Lets Fall in Love was my debut film, because it was made by my father in just a meager budget of seventy five lakhs. I would say that it was the first film for which I had faced the camera as an actor. It was a wonderful experience for me to work with senior actors like Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman and learn a lot about the craft at such a raw age, in Jaana Lets Fall in Love.
How did you bag the offer to act in Tum Milo Toh Sahi?
To be honest, I was signed by producer Nikhil Panchamiya to do another film. When the film did not materialize, I volunteered to go through an audition when he told me that he was planning to launch Tum Milo Toh Sahi. I auditioned and was selected for the part.
What is Tum Milo Toh Sahi about?
Tum Milo Toh Sahi is actually my third film as an actor, if you exclude Jaana Lets Fall in Love. I would count Fast Forward as my first film and Click as my second. It is a humorous film with a message that to be honest to others you have got to be honest to yourself and there is no right way to do anything wrong.
How would you describe your role in Tum Milo Toh Sahi?
In Tum Milo Toh Sahi, I play the role of Bikramjeet Singh, who comes from a border town near Delhi, whose father is an ex army officer, who wants his son to join the army even though the son wants to do a course is mass communications, by migrating to Mumbai. It is about how though he realizes that life is very fast in Mumbai, Bikramjeet does not give up his goal.
How did you prepare to get into the skin of your character in the film?
Let me confess that I could relate a lot with my character in real life too because I too am honest towards work like Bikramjeet in the film. I too love my parents and do not give up easily. Kabir Sadananand, who has directed Tum Milo Toh Sahi, wanted me to put on a little weight and learn to speak Hindi with a Haryanvi accent and in general look sweet to play my part in the film. To know how a boy who is in the army would walk and talk and behave in general, I made it a point to watch a lot of films with an army backdrop like An Officer and A Gentleman, a Tom Cruise film whose title I do not remember, a Steven Spielberg"s film, besides Saving Private Ryan. To be honest was by itself a sort of preparation for me as an actor.
In what way did Kabir help you as a director?
Kabir gave me a lot of time to get into the grove of my character. He conducted a workshop for almost a month only for me. Kabir told me that my character was his favourite one. Work became easier for me because Kabir is also young like me. I should also confess that work became easier for me because Kabir is also young like me.
Why did you accept a film like Click which did not click for you?
I know I did not have any major role in Sangeet Sivan"s Click since it was an out and out Shreyas Talpade oriented film where he had the major chunk of work besides Sada and Sneha Ullal. I did the film honestly because I was desperate for work, especially since I was sitting at home after Jaana Lets Fall in Love proved to be a debacle at the box office.
Do you agree that it was a mistake on your part to have done Click?
I realized that it was a mistake on my part to have done an insignificant cameo role in a film like Click only after I received the offer to act in Anjum Rizvi"s Fast Forward in which my co-actors were Bhavana Pani and Akshay Kapoor. Yet I would not say that it I regret having done the film because honestly I had total faith in Sangeet Sivan and hence I took the risk and even today I stand by him, though the film flopped at the box office, like Jaana Lets Fall in Love and Fast Forward.
To what extent have you evolved as an actor from Jaana Lets Fall in Love to Tum Milo Toh Sahi?
I should say that from the time that I had faced the camera for the first time for Jaana Lets Fall in Love to Tum Milo Toh Sahi, it has been a fantastic growth for me as an actor. When I recently watched myself in Tum Milo Toh Sahi, I felt that all these struggles as far as I am concerned has indeed paid off. I am of the opinion that if any one works hard and believes in his or her dream and does not give up, he or she would really succeed in realizing his or her dream and face big time in life, come rain come shine.
What went wrong with all the films which you did till now?
When a film of yours does not do well at the box office, everything is wrong with it. I cannot pinpoint. May be the films that I set out to do were not good. An actor has to take all kinds of films in his stride and move on. It is as simple as that. Today even the biggest of the corporate companies make films, which do not click. I believe that you get just one life. Hits and flops keep on coming and going. You cannot stop living because your career is not hot and happening. I have been strong enough to reach wherever I have reached and hope I reach further as an actor.
What did you learn from your failures?
You learn with both success as well as failure. I have learnt a lot from failures. I tasted failure from a very early stage in life. I lost my father, the late Shahrukh Mirza, who was the director, who had launched Inder Kumar and Isha koppikkar. If he were alive today, my career would have charted an entirely different course.
How difficult was it to work with Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia?
Contrary to the notion, both Nana Patekar and Dimple were not at all temperamental. In fact, on the sets I was the most spoilt brat. Both Nana and Dimple were not only prepared and professional but also very patient with their co-actors, because they are seasoned performers.
Is it true that you do not have any film on hand after Tum Milo Toh Sahi?
Yes. I have survived for four years in this industry after the release of Jaana Lets Fall in Love which was released way back in 2006. I have no other film on hand as of now after Tum Milo Toh Sahi but I do not panic because I feel that life itself is a big risk.
Rehan Khan tells this correspondent that contrary to the notion, both Nana Patekar and Dimple were not temperamental but professional, patient and prepared on the sets.