After Upen Patel cooked up a storm with late celebrity chef Tarla Dalal, the model turned actor became a familiar face as a supporting actor in films like Namaste London and Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani. He was recently seen in Ek Haseena This Ek Deewana Tha. In a tete-e-tete with indianexpress.com, the 35-year-old actor spoke about work, and how his ‘heartthrob’ status takes away from him being an actor.
Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha happened some months back. What are you doing now?
Honestly, right now I am looking at scripts. I am looking out for something great at the moment. I am not jumping or diving into anything. I think, today, with the kind of reactions the audiences are giving to our cinema, it is important to choose good content. Gone are the days when you would do two films then take a break, or bring in rotation, today the audience wants quality content, so I am focusing on that now.
Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha got mixed reviews, but some we’re pretty nasty.
I didn’t get any negative reviews or response from anybody for it actually. Infact, I got great response from people. I know the film got some bad reviews, but people have appreciated my work. For me, I can’t go for one review. I would go with majority of the reviews, and those were positive. I have worked with great talent in the industry. I worked with Shankar last year. He is one of the very revered directors in the country. For my film I, I was nominated for a film award down south. If you look at my graph, I have worked with Rajkumar Santoshi, Abbas Mustan, Ashwin Dheer and likes. So, I won’t go by one review or what one person said about me or my films.
Does your heartthrob status affect work today?
It is really nice to be liked for how you look and your physique. But I think sometimes my physical attributes comes in my way. It took some time, but now people are starting to notice my work and effort. But I want to grow as an actor and as a performer. I want to be known for that. At times being known as a ‘heartthrob’ takes away from the body of work I have done. People talk about my looks more than my work, and a Rajkumar Santoshi, Vipul Shah, or Shankar would not cast me for just one reason, right? I want people to believe in me as an actor.
If you were waiting for that one thing, that one movie or role. What would it be?
I always ask myself the same thing that what is that one thing I am looking for, that one character I want to portray. But then to be honest, I just want to be a part of cinema that has the kind of content that is engaging and entertaining. I don’t mind doing controversial characters, or characters that have depth, but I want to play characters that have a graph, and that connect me to the audience. The movies I recently watched like Hindi Medium and Mom, I really loved those films, I want to be a part of films which have a connect.
You’ve been around for quite some time now. Have you been as successful as you expected to be?
I think I have a long way to go, for someone who came out of nowhere from UK to become an actor in India. People know me. That’s success for me. But true success lies in the fact that I am doing work, I am doing what I love – acting, and I am enjoying it. But I have bigger dreams, and there is so much I need to do.