In my debut film, Jai Ho, I essayed the role of a cold-blooded killer named Arun Singh. He has an intimidating personality with an intense voice and roams around with the pride of being Home Minister Dashrat Singh’s (Danny Denzongpa) son.
I used to work out at the Gold’s Gym in Bandra everyday and that’s where Sohail (Khan) Bhai spotted me. When he asked me if I was interested in acting, I thought why not give it a try and said yes to him. At that time, I had no clue about the project. I was asked to give a screen test and Bhai asked me to undergo special training for six months in martial arts and acting. It was only during the course of my training that I came to know about the film Jai Ho and that my role in it would have me sharing screen space with Salman (Khan) Bhai in Jai Ho.
I studied at HR College in Mumbai, following which I continued my studies through correspondence via Mumbai University. I got several modelling assignments, including advertisements for Raymonds, Park Avenue among others after winning the Gladrags Manhunt in 2000. After doing some projects, I decided to go to New Jersey to complete my Bachelors in Business Administration. I came back to Mumbai and began assisting my father in his fabric business for some time. My parents then went to Pune and settled there. I was living the life of a regular office-going guy until life took a turn for good.
I was nervous and jittery on day one as I had to perform a scene with Danny (Denzongpa) sir. This was the scene after Salman Bhai damages our house and I have to run towards him and say, “Kya hua baba?” The mere presence of Danny sir made me nervous, but thankfully everyone was very kind to me and I managed to focus on my scenes properly.
Working with established and legendary actors in the very first film gives you an advantage of learning from them and during Jai Ho, I got to learn a lot from everyone. It was not just tips on acting or expressions, but even lessons on how to stay grounded despite becoming a successful individual. I personally believe that the process of learning never stops and this project was just a stepping stone in this process.
Not a stumbling block as such, but I was a little sceptical about the crucial fight sequences with Salman Bhai. There were moments when the kicks and punches were quite gruelling. I used to be scared of hitting him, because the fear of hurting him haunted me the most. But Bhai was extremely chilled out and he would just say — “Arey relax, kuch nahi hoga mujhe.”
It has to be Salman Khan. After working with him closely, my respect for Khan Bhai has increased all the more. There is so much to learn from him all the time, be it the way he behaves or how he handles success. It was kind of him to talk about me in the media and say that he wanted a villian, who is fitter than him. That compliment in itself is a blessing.
I have been flooded with calls and several modeling assignments after the release of Jai Ho. But I haven’t signed the dotted lines for any project yet. I will make an official announcement once something concrete happens.