There might be a rally of stars in the television industry but Shaheer Sheikh easily sits on one of the top slots today. In a career spanning about 13 years, he might have done just a handful of shows but each one made him a bigger star and gained him respect as an actor. Be it youth drama Navya, or playing the warrior prince Arjun in Mahabharat and more recently, the contemporary love story Kuch Rang Pyar Ke, Shaheer aced his roles and won hearts from all quarters. With the actor turning 34 today, we asked him how the last year had been for him. Saying that it had been wonderful, he also shared that he has his plans set for the coming one. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Shaheer said, “It was a great year but I realised that one needs to enjoy life. So I have decided that I will live and love more and make the most of this year.”
Standing tall at six feet two inches, the youth icon, who was on his way to becoming a lawyer found a calling in showbiz and there had been no looking back for him. The stardom and love came as a surprise and it only made Shaheer work harder. “I think I got carried away and was continuously working. But now I have decided to give time to myself and my hobbies. I recently went on a vacation alone and had a great time; I really want to explore more now.”
Reminiscing his career span, the actor stated that he had been lucky to have done quality work over quantity. “In a time when TV is criticised for its content, I had been blessed to be a part of some really out of the box shows. I have worked with creative smart minds who have gone against the trend and made some amazing shows. Be it Navya, Mahabharat or even more recently Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi, all these shows have been a bold move by the makers and I feel proud they chose me as the lead,” he quipped with a sense of satisfaction in his voice.
Currently, in Jakarta for a project, Shaheer has been the flag bearer towards opening the doors of Indonesian market for television actors. Tell him that, and he smiled to say, “It has been a great experience and I am so happy that this could happen. Through this move, we have actually broadened our horizon and market. Now we are approached for work from all quarters across the world, for they love our shows so much. Interestingly, I hadn’t met so many actors from our industry in India than I have here. It’s a great experience working in a different industry and you get so much love, which is quite humbling.”
While he has been associated with non-fiction shows in Indonesian television industry, he clearly steered away from it at home ground. Ask him that and the Jammu born chuckled to share, “Not that I don’t want to do reality shows but I feel I am an actor and acting is the best I can do. But if there are good opportunities and interesting formats coming my way, I would definitely think about it. I love adventure and dance, so maybe I can do something related to that.”
Shaheer smartly divides his time between the two countries but we wondered if he ever has the pangs of insecurity of someone else taking up charge in India during his absence. “Not at all, I would be actually very happy if someone else fits into my place and brings in something new to the table. It’s always good to have a healthy competition rather than feeling insecure, I would instead love to work with someone like that. Collaborating with like-minded people is always a treat,” the actor said.
When asked to share his success mantra, Shaheer quipped, “I think I was never trying to beat someone or walk on their path. I was comfortable with my own self and my path. Luckily for me, I found some really amazing people who matched my energy and approach towards work in the best possible way.” Raring to make his comeback in another different show, we further quizzed him if the buzz regarding him playing the lead in Ekta Kapoor’s rebooted Kasautti Zindagii Kay is true. “Well, all I can say is that I am in talks with a lot of people but nothing has been finalised yet. I am looking out for work that would excite me and something that I haven’t done before. My fans expect a lot from me and I want to live up to that, and would only take up my next show when it satisfies all my creative requirements.”
Shaheer is one actor whose love life has been splashed all over the newspapers. He is linked to almost all his co-stars but it doesn’t deter our ladies man a bit. “I don’t know where these rumours come from and I don’t even try bothering about it. People announce my engagement and marriage and I sometimes feel clueless about my life (laughs). But trust me I am someone who would never hide my relationship and would talk about my ladylove whenever I find her,” he concluded with a smile.
Here’s wishing Shaheer a wonderful year ahead and hoping to see him back on TV soon.