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What is running through your mind, considering this is your debut film?
Well…my mind is on a roller-coaster ride with all the mixed emotions I am going through. Call it excitement or anxiety but honestly, I am very apprehensive of people"s reaction to my performance. Hence, in order to divert my mind I am talking to you (laughs).
What is Black&White all about?
Black&White revolves around two protagonists with different ideologies, which clash, and how they make efforts to understand each other. Black&White also showcases the triumph of the two men who in their own rights fight the wrong of the system. The film also beautifully highlights the living culture of Chandni Chowk.
What does the title of the film Black&White mean to you?
Black-is the colour of malice it defines the heart of one of the protagonists and White-defines peace, the pure heart of another. However, the message conveyed through this film encompasses all the seven colours, which implies that not everything in life is white or black. There are other shades of life as well.
About your character…
The character of Numair Qazi is very intrigue. He keeps questioning himself and creates the turmoil in his mind. It's this turmoil that forces him into isolation inspite of being around everyone. It's his mysterious nature and strong headedness that made me fall in love with the character.
How did this you bag this role? Do you have a filmy background?
I was a stranger to film fraternity until Black&White happened to me. I had done an acting course from FTII, Pune. I got a call from Mukta Arts for auditions and I met Subhashji there. He had apparently, selected my picture among others from all the candidates who passed out from FTII. He signed me for the film soon enough. I guess the tag of FTII put me in a different league as an actor altogether. I am just grateful.
How does it feel to have worked with a veteran director like Subhash Ghai in your very first film?
Oh! It's a fantastic experience and a very warm feeling. I still remember back then how I would die to watch his films on weekends. It was an experience of lifetime and I feel fortunate to have worked with a director of such caliber right at the start of my career. I have a high regard for his vision of filmmaking. He understands the capabilities and potentials of an actor so well that acting in his films is like a cakewalk, that's how easy he makes it. Once he briefs you on a scene, it becomes very simple to envision and deliver his vision on camera. I am just touched by the faith he has in me and I hope I have lived up to his expectations.
What does Subhash Ghai think of you as an actor?
Now, that's something very difficult to answer. Subhash Ghaiji shows so much of confidence in his actors that at the end of the day one cannot guesstimate or predict his verdict about oneself. Frankly, I think Subhashji will be the better person to answer that.
How was it working with your versatile actors like Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah?
Both Anilji and Shefaliji have been excellent co-stars. They had tremendous amount of patience to deal with newcomers like me. Anilji is an epitome of spontaneity he was extremely supportive and encouraging. I had seen Shefaliji in Satya and Gandhi My Father and I think she was mind-boggling. Her sensibility as an actor is highly commendable. She is one actor who got into the skin of the character so well that sometimes it was difficult to differentiate the real from the reel. It was a sheer delight to work with actors of such stature.
What do you think about the music of the film? Which is your favorite track?
The music is simply overwhelming. It's a mixture patriotic and Punjabi numbers. Although it's very different from the contemporary songs of today, but Sukhwinder has done a fantabulous job on it. I relate to that kind of soft and romantic music. My favorite tracks are 'Haq Allah', 'Jogi Aaya', and 'Main Chala'.
Which genre in films you feel is tailor-made for you? Any personal favorite director you wish to work with in future.
I feel as an actor I should explore and keep experimenting with different genres. Moreover, I have begun my innings; I would like to work with different directors to prove my acting prowess. According to me, a true actor is the one who gives his 100% to whatever he does and keeps entertaining his audiences in different avatars. However, if given a chance, I would love to work with Mr. Mani Ratnam Sir and Ashutosh Gowarikar Sir. Unfortunately, since I have been busy with Black&White, I haven"t been able to see Jodhaa Akbar yet, am just waiting to see it though.
Share with us some memorable moments that occurred on the sets.
Well, the first 15 days of shoot were completely crazy. The people of Chandni Chowk had gone hysteric seeing Anil and Subhashji. It was a completely new experience for me to shoot in the middle of such chaos. Very often, I would see Anil and Subhashji traveling in rickshaws, which completely changed my perception of stars. They are so humble and down to earth that they looked one with crowd. Nevertheless, the entire unit had a gala time. The most memorable moment was the first day of my shoot when Anilji welcomed me with a big hug, I felt at home since then.
What other projects have been coming your way since the announcement of Black&White?
I am anxiously waiting for people"s response to my performance in the film. Until then, I am keeping a low profile. But incase I come across a good script then the world shall know. Right now, my concentration is only on Black&White.