The crew is surprised, delighted and confused by Shahid"s constant antics, playful and most uncharacteristic of the actor who likes to stay aloof on location unless with close friends. But on this one, Pankaj forbade Shahid from maintaining a distance. Mingle, mix and enjoy were the brief that Shahid took dead seriously.
Shahid, who began shooting for Mausam in Edinburgh on Monday, gave the unit a surprise by appearing on location without the beard that he has so carefully cultivated before leaving for the long schedule.
Apparently it was felt that facial hair is not quite what youngsters like to see their teenage idols sporting in films. There"s a long list of failed heroes in recent cinematic history with facial hair, Ranbir Kapoor in Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year, Salman Khan in Heroes, Aamir Khan in Mangal Pandey to name a few.
“Yes, Saif"s brief part as a Sikh in Love Aaj Kal and Akshay Kumar"s Singh Is Kinng did work. But those culture-specific parts were not targeted at the audience that Imran, Ranbir or Shahid connect with. Audiences in the younger below-28 bracket prefer their heroes clean-shaven," says a prominent source from the Mausam unit.
Consequently Shahid appeared beard-less on the first day of schedule, much to his co-star Sonam Kapoor"s delight. According to an eyewitness she told Shahid he looked much better without his beard.
Living up to his role of a happy-go-luck kal-kissne-dekha airforce pilot, Shahid has been living it up in Edinburgh. According to his dad the director Pankaj Kapoor"s brief was, “A pilot in the army flies a Rs.300 crore plane but he can never be sure the expensive baby he rides won"t let him down. He therefore extracts the maximum juice from every moment of life."
Shahid is seen doing exactly that in Edinburgh. Members of the crew are delighted by the change in him.
“Shahid is completely into his character. Long before we began shooting, he lost his natural reticence and restrain. Suddenly he was out of his shell. And how! Shahid is boisterous extroverted and constantly up to some prank or the other. At first he was afraid to pull out all stops and let go. His father assured him it was fine," says the source from Edinburgh.
About living his life cockpit-sized Shahid says, “I can"t really tell you how my character behaves. But yes I"ve a new look. No beard. I"ve been practising hard to stay in character from long before shooting began. It"s hard but finally satisfying to be someone the actor is not."