'Sticking to good banners is a necessity'

NEW KID

With rugged looks and machismo oozing, the new-kid-on-the-block, Taaha Shah has arrived! His recent release, Karan Johar’s Gippi, might be receiving average reviews but what matters is the fact that he has worked under the ‘right banner’.

Post the release of Gippi, an elated Taaha shared with Metrolife his journey from being a model in Dubai to learning the business of films in our very own maya nagri aka
Bollywood.

Since childhood, Taaha has craved “recognition. Even in school, I used to play sports but was never noticed. So, whenever I was given a chance to show off my acting skills in theatre, I made sure that I didn’t miss the opportunity,” says Taaha.

He finally caught the attention of shutter bugs while walking the ramp in Dubai and rose from being a “closet actor. Since I did not have formal training in acting until then, I enrolled in the New York Academy and subsequently landed in Mumbai,” where he joined another course in acting and also bagged his first film Love Ka The End in 2011.

The film failed at the box-office but Taaha isn’t worried. “I wasn’t upset because I don’t understand box-office. I was just too excited about it being my first film! Now I have learnt how to base a film,” confesses the young actor who is fast learning the ropes of the industry and chose Gippi because, “it has a very strong social message – about being comfortable in your skin!”

When he auditioned for the role of Arjun, “Sonam Nair, the director was playing Gippi,” he shares laughing and adds that he knew the casting director well.

“It is very important for newcomers to maintain good relations with people from the industry. When you want to place yourself in the market, you have to create your audience. You need to promote yourself like not just a product but as a businessman because the decisions that you make are very crucial. I think a lot about the films I choose.”

His decision to stick with big banners is an intelligent one because, “its not only about making a film but also about distributing it. If I invest my time and energy in a film, I need to think, will it be releasing? Studio backing is very important and that is why sticking to good banners is a prime necessity,” he shares adding that his mantra is to go slow and steady, “I try and do good roles and be a versatile actor at the pace of a turtle.”

But along with the good things, he has also learnt to be “diplomatic. I have been drilled this into my head. Kya karen yaar, aisa public image banana padta hai. Ye industry bahut zalim hai but you get to love it and I love it too,” he signs off looking for grey shades and off beat characters to enact in future.

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