In Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, I played a full of fun character whose name is Dinesh. I could totally relate to Dino and I feel his personality is a lot like what I was at 17 – 18 years. He is all over the place and does a lot of things without thinking. He does a lot of masti!
I assisted at Dharma Productions, and a week after I quit the job, Arif (Ali) sir called me for a meeting. I was a little nervous, but my mom asked me to go and see how it went. I met him, sat through the narration and within 15 minutes, I knew I wanted to do this film and work an extra mile to perfect the role. So, I went through three rounds of audition and a look test. Simultaneously, they were auditioning other boys as well. But after a good six months, I was informed that I am on board. I was also around when audition for the girl’s part was going on and I would give the cues. After being selected, I attended workshops with N.K. Sharma for a month in Delhi.
As a kid, I would refuse to eat food, run around and be fussy about things. That’s when, my mother used to play the entire circus part of Mera Naam Joker. One look at it and I would quietly settle down. My mom would often tell me, that’s your nanaji. I was so fascinated, that I actually thought my nanaji is a Joker. Otherwise, I was always busy playing cricket or football and would often watch more of sports on television than films. But, I realised that like a joker, I always wanted to entertain people. That’s the reason why I became attracted to this profession. I didn’t know anything about it, because I have always been away from the glamour world and have led a normal life. So, I decided to take up the challenge and tell my parents that I want to give acting a chance. After completing junior college in Mumbai, I went to London for a year and a half for a masters degree in business studies, but I thought I am wasting my time and parents money. So, I decided to invest the next few years to learning a new craft and started assisting Karan Johar on films like My Name Is Khan and Student of the Year, after which I started training.
My entire family was there on the first day of the shoot! We were filming a track called Tu shining at Wilson college, Mumbai. The night before, I couldn’t sleep at all and I was very nervous, especially because the song was composed by A.R.Rahman sir. But, somehow I believed in myself and kept saying, ‘Keep calm. It’s going to be alright!’ When they said, ‘action’, I almost froze with nervousness, but somehow managed to complete the shot.
As an actor, I still think I am clueless and have lots to learn, but the film has definitely taught me a lot. But, one really good advice that I got from our assistant director Tusshar was that, ‘The day you begin to believe that you are doing right, you will always go wrong.’ I realised that I should avoid trying to perfect things and just go with the flow.
Not really! Mostly because the character was extremely relatable and I could connect to his emotions.
It has to be my father, because I don’t think I can be even half as good a person that he is. I look up to him and admire his discipline, which has always helped me in life.
Right now, I haven’t signed any film. I am going to see where this profession takes me. I honestly never had a back up plan, but in case acting doesn’t work for me, I will start my own circus (laughs) or entertain people at home. Also, if I do get an opportunity, I would like to direct a film someday.