From walking the ramp to featuring in critically acclaimed films – how would you describe your journey so far?
Walking on the ramp and modelling was one of the most crucial things in my life. I started that right after college and I was 20 years old with no money when I came to Mumbai. So modelling was my lifeline. Modelling was very important to me because I was able to survive and have a decent life in the city of dreams. Because of it, I was not desperate to pick up just any project and was able to wait a couple of years until the time came when I was offered a good film, which did really well on the international festival circuit and also won two Filmfare nominations.
I also got the acknowledgment that I was on the right path and the decision that I took was not wrong. The journey has been tough, but modelling was something that kept me alive back then. And now because of the movies that I’ve chosen like ’G Kutta Se’ and ‘Ek Duaa’, the kind of work that I am thriving to do and looking forward to doing is keeping the artist inside me alive.
You are a fitness enthusiast. How important do you think is fitness, especially during lockdown and pandemic?
Fitness is a lifestyle. When I talk to my friends about fitness, a lot of them say they don’t get time or are too busy, but for me, this is not acceptable because it doesn’t matter how busy you are or how tired or sleepless you are, one has to take time out to eat then why not work out also? Fitness is important for your overall health and it’s just not about the way you look, it is also about your mental health as well. And especially during these unprecedented times where people have been stuck at home and are not able to do much, which has been mentally affecting them. Fitness can help us stay happy and healthy.
Is there anybody from the industry you particularly admire in terms of fitness?
I admire a lot of people from the industry. Sonu Sood has always put fitness first. Hrithik Roshan is someone I admire for the work ethic that he has. He is ever ready and in the pink of his health. Vidyut Jamwal is also somebody I look up to because of the awareness that he is trying to spread through his YouTube channel. Milind Soman also is definitely someone that I look up to. When I am above 50, that’s how fit I want to be.
Do you have a bucket list of actors you would love to work with?
I would have really loved to work with Irrfan Khan and obviously with Dilip sahab. However, sadly both of them are not there anymore. Both were my favourites. I would also love to work with Naseeruddin Shah, Hrithik sir, Farhan Akhtar, Pankaj Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta ji and the list just goes on. These actors elevate you as a performer. So, for me, just working with them would be like a dream come true. I would be honored. And obviously we have some beautiful leading ladies like Kriti Sanon, Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma who are all amazing. I don’t know in what capacity I will be able to work with them, but I have a feeling that it will be amazing.
Entertainment has shifted to streaming platforms in the past one year. So, is there any recent movie or series that impressed you?
The most recent show that I watched is ‘Peaky Blinders’. I just started Peaky Blinders like a month back and binge watched all the five seasons in one go. It was amazing. I think it’s one of the best series that has been made with beautiful set designs and the acting is just out of this world. Everything is just up to the point. And there’s another one ‘Better Call Saul’. It’s a comedy thriller. It is a really well made show. Even ‘Gullak’ is a beautiful show.
There’s a series but it is still in pre-production so I am not allowed to talk much about it. It’s a period show and I’m really excited about it. I am doing workshops to prepare for the role. I might start a movie with my first director Rahul Dahiya. Most probably it’s going to be a film, not a series. He is also the writer of the movie. The platform has not been decided yet, but hopefully by that time the theatres will open up, because honestly the feeling of going to theatres to watch a movie is being sorely missed by all.