Model-actor Muzamil Ibrahim, who was last seen as a sniper in Hotstar web series Special Ops, recently went live from The Indian Express Facebook page. He spoke about the success of Special Ops, nepotism in Bollywood and what’s keeping him busy during the lockdown.
Excerpts from the live session:
How are you coping with the lockdown?
Not too good to be honest (laughs). It’s been a long time and nobody is feeling the best. We actors are used to staying in isolation but this is quite a long period. I am watching films, reading books and finally writing. But I am missing out on my workouts and badly want to get back to it.
What was keeping you away from the screen for so long?
I was preparing for theatre, doing martial arts and had been traveling for my modeling assignments. People who come from non-film backgrounds have to struggle quite a lot to find their place in Bollywood. The OTT space has just come, and I was never interested in television. The kind of roles we want to do never come to us, and we have to constantly prove ourselves. There’s too much nepotism in Bollywood. Even the audience spends so much money watching star kids but don’t go to the theater when our films come out.
A lot of celebs including Hrithik Roshan recently complimented your latest project Special Ops. Is it flattering and motivating when seniors appreciate your work?
It was amazing to see that people love the show. I have grown up watching him, and what else could I ask for than him talking about my work. When I signed up for the web show, I knew it was going to be big, but I was blown away with the kind of reception it received.
How was it working with Neeraj Pandey?
It was sheer pleasure. He is not only an amazing director but an even better person. He is such a gentleman, so humble and yet commanding as a director.
Do you feel Special Ops could have a season 2 or a spin-off with your character?
I am eagerly waiting for the next season to be announced, since the first one got so much love. As for a spin-off, I think you guys should ask Neeraj Pandey about it (laughs). But there was a lot of appreciation that came my way, and it was pretty much in that zone. Avinash was a complete character in himself, and added the action flavour required on the show. I think it’s quite a possibility to create a spin-off with him.
What was the kind of training you undertook to play a sniper?
I didn’t train myself much to be honest. I look pretty badass with a gun (smirks). When I was in Tokyo for modeling, I started training in martial arts. And I have been learning parkour on the Juhu beach for a long time now. After putting in so many years, I had been waiting to do some action.
Can you share some fun anecdotes from the shoot of Special Ops?
I took my co-stars Sana Khaan, Meher Vij and Rajat Kaul for deep sea diving while we were shooting. They claimed they wanted to try it but when they got there, they all got quite scared, especially Sana. It was so funny that she was behaving like a toddler, holding our hands and crying. I am a licensed diver, and so I finally left them and went on my own. It was quite a beautiful experience.
Since you enjoy writing, will we ever see you explore the world behind the camera?
I am quite fascinated with cameras and the process of filmmaking. And since I love writing, I think I will one day make films for myself.
Are you looking at more work in Bollywood now?
I am not too interested, and want to stick to the digital medium. The content on the web is much better. I am so thankful that this place has been created in our industry for people like me who were trying to showcase their talent but never got a chance.
Any actor or director you want to work with?
There are so many of them. As for directors, I admire Anurag Kashyap, Sriram Raghavan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vikram Motwane to name a few. I really want to work with all of them.
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