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From one screen to another

Shilpi Madan Nov 19 2017, 2:35 IST
Zuber K Khan

Zuber K Khan

He is the dishy Manpreet Singh Bedi from the popular daily soap Kasam. An engineer by education, an actor by default. Meet Zuber K Khan who has his sights set firmly on the silver screen with his next release The Dream Job.

"I always wanted to be an actor," he admits. "I was passionate about cricket when I was young but then the stress of studies took over during my teens. Despite playing at the district level in the sport, I dropped out of the team. Instead, I set my sights on acting, and at some point in my life, began dabbling in modelling assignments," shares Zuber.

Of course, he completed his studies as an engineer for the sheer happiness of his family. Gradually, he learnt many skills and attributes to make the cut, gaining proficiency in martial arts and dance forms.

So, how did the telly change his life? "Manpreet's role has won me unbelievable recognition. The character has given me immense popularity. It has taken me into the living rooms of people and beyond. Wherever I go, people recognise me and want to click pictures with me. It drives home the unbelievable power of television. Although I am an introvert, especially when it comes to speaking with female fans, I quite enjoy the attention. In fact, once a girl asked me to hug her just to confirm if I was really standing in front of her," he laughs.

"I feel blessed to get so much love from people. Once, a lady came rushing to me, calling out my name from across the road. She was with her husband on a motorbike when she spotted me and asked for a picture with me. It was a little embarrassing, but I cherish every interaction with my fans. They have made me who I am today," he says.

Zuber is known best for his telly outings in Life OK's Crime Series, Supercops Vs Supervillains, Sadda Haq and Kumkum Bhagya. He shot for several ad films and even a Punjabi music video 'Kacchiyan' that ruled the charts up north. After winning several titles in the world of modelling (Mr Madhya Pradesh, Mr Bhopal and Mr India Worldwide in 2012), he dived into the world of films with Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, Soul, Munna Bhai Sallu Bhai, Woh Kaun Thi, and now The Dream Job.

"I play an aspiring investment advisor who turns into a business tycoon in the film. The movie centres around love, work and breakup. Through my character Mukesh Mahajan, the thought process of the youth in India is mirrored clearly," Zuber shares.

Talking about his preparation for this role, Zuber says, "My biggest challenge with this role was that I needed to dedicate two years of my life to this project. I would literally walk, talk, eat and drink like Mukesh to get into the skin of the character. The prep routine involved two months of continuous workshops, a rigorous gym training and up to 12 hours of dance practice in a day, covering salsa, jazz and hip hop!"

His background in theatre, under the tutelage of the renowned exponent Habib Tanvir, held him in good stead. "I have worked in theatre, television and movies. All these platforms are different from one another. As per my understanding, there are three key elements: theatre gives you liberty as an actor. Television brings in fame, widespread recognition and money. Yet films are something everyone desires for ultimately. I am lucky to have had a chance to work in all fields," he confesses.

The city of Mumbai has taught him valuable lessons and it is the place where he clearly belongs, even though his hometown Bhopal "runs through his veins." I believe in the motto 'Live and let live!'" he says honestly. "What powers me is the desire to focus on my own self rather than competing with others."

What's next? "Well, I have been going through several scripts. I have also turned down a few offers as I am very clear that I want to sign on projects that will showcase my versatility," he sums up.

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