I play the role of a Rajput prince, Vikram Singh Rathod, who is disciplined and extremely impassive about everything in life. To summarise my character, I would say it is a mish-mash of Christopher Plummer from Sound of Music and Richard Gere from Pretty Woman.
I got a call last January from the casting director at AKFC (Anil Kapoor Film Corporation). They sent me the script and told me it will be a remake of the film Khoobsurat. Soon after I flew down to Mumbai in November 2013, I met Sonam Kapoor. Within half-an-hour, we were already planning the schedule of the shoot.
Prior to acting, I have been a part of the Pakistani rockband — Entity Paradigm, which was formed when we won Battle Of The Bands as college students in Pakistan. I am lazy by nature and had absolutely no planning, owing to this I used music as a distraction in my younger years. I was rebellious in college and music was an outlet for me. I wasn’t really interested in it initially. However, we tried to introduce alternative rock in Pakistan and also performed at Coke Studio Pakistan.
While I am not able to recall my first shot, I was extremely nervous on the first day. Though I have been acting for years, every time I came on the sets, I felt extremely intimidated. Considering that this is my first Bollywood project and I was just getting to know people in India made things a little tense but I slowly eased into it.
I remember it was my birthday on the set and it was around midnight when we took a break and the production unit not only got me a cake but also got my wife and son on Skype. It was very emotional for me to see my family and be able to share the moment with them even when I was in a different country. This has been one of my fondest memories from the film.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks that I faced was language. I often improvise my dialogues and ended up using Urdu words which are not used in common parlance in India. The director, Shashanka Ghosh, had to stop me several times when I added Urdu words like andaleeb etc. Though Hindi has a heavy influence of Urdu, some of the words that I used were not acceptable for the dialogues of this film.
My biggest role model is my friend and director, Asim Reza. We have worked together on a lot of projects. I look up to his working style and his perspective on a lot of subjects.
I do not like talking about my projects at all, rather I want my work to speak for itself. However, currently I am working on a few films back home. While the Indian audience will see me in Khoobsurat, my telefilm Behadd has also been on air recently.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines