'I am an actor who works for films'

'I am an actor who works for films'

In the middle of final exams for Std IX, this 15-year old is busy promoting a Bollywood flick and has just wound up shooting of a Hollywood film. This super-talented boy is the well-known child actor, Harsh Mayar who rose to fame from I Am Kalam and bagged the National Award for Best Child Actor for 2010, for the same.

Though a Delhiite, who now travels frequently due to his hectic schedules, Harsh was back in the City briefly for the 24th Annual Day celebration of Shemrock Group, where he talked to Metrolife about his interests and focus in life.

“I wanted to be in the entertainment industry since childhood,” says the child trying to sound all grown up. “My mama (maternal uncle) inspired me, my parents supported me and I started enjoying all the hard work. Mama said, ‘There are many actors but only a few are successful’ a line which stuck with me.”

Harsh tried to follow the saying in real life but tasted failure each time he auditioned. “I kept giving auditions but was never selected. I was disappointed as people taunted me saying ‘When you are not able to achieve anything, why don’t you leave acting?’ Leave apart films, I was not even getting an advertisement after giving more than 150 auditions for singing, dancing and acting.” His hopes received a final blow when he was rejected for UTV’s Chillar Party. So much so, that he didn’t want to audition for I am Kalam.

“I was disheartened when they rejected me for Chillar... and auditioned for I Am... half-heartedly and only because my mother insisted. I was shocked when I got a call from Nila (Madhab Panda, the film’s director) Sir and heard that I had been selected!”
“Nila Sir is my God,” says Harsh today, who was fresh out of theatre then. “He taught me everything and even signed a three film contract with me.” The second in the series was Jalpari and the third is awaited.

Meanwhile, Harsh has completed Chaarfutiya Chhokre where he will share screen space with names like Soha Ali Khan, Mukesh Tiwari and Zakir Hussain, and has been directed by Manish Shankar. “This film is a full on masala story based on child abuse and child trafficking. On the sets, I used to learn from my co-actors as all are senior to me,” he says and adds, “My Hollywood film Desire Of The Heart is interesting where I play the parallel lead and a trouble maker in the story.”

As if this wasn’t enough, he is also doing film production! “A sadhu approached me for a film on a child who is affected by casteism. Since he was not familiar with the industry, I decided to handle production work for the film and will find distributors once its ready.”

Yet, he doesn’t consider himself as a celebrity. “I am an actor who works for films,” he says and dislikes giving autographs to schoolmates but is determined to take up films which have a message. “I am a follower of Aamir Khan, Amitji and Akshay Kumar and want to do meaningful films like them, which are entertaining but have a story with
a message.”

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