'It's your talent that takes you places'

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'It's your talent that takes you places'

Though he comes from a family of established film-makers, Bollywood newbie Shiv Darshan is not taking his debut film for granted. From walking with tigers to doing bike stunts, Shiv has literally done it all for his first film! Now that Karle Pyaar Karle is all set to the hit the screens on January 17, Shiv is busy with the last leg of promotions for the film. He chatted with Metrolife on his family and the pressures of being a star kid. 

His father Suneel Darshan is a producer-director and uncle Dharmesh Darshan is also a well-known film-maker. “So it was always a dream to be a part of the industry, not necessarily as an actor though,” he reveals. It was during the shooting of the Akshay Kumar-Kareena Kapoor starrer Talaash that Shiv realised his dream.

“My father was shooting for the film and I had to be Akshay’s body double as he couldn’t make it for the shoot that day. So I chopped my long hair off and shot for a few seconds,” he adds. And as they say the rest was history? He answers, “I actually liked the experience. But once I decided to pursue acting, I had to train a lot as I was obese at that time. So I focussed on fitness.” This came in handy during the shoot of Karle... as Shiv had to do many action sequences.  “For one sequence, I had to jump over cars.

Though there was a cable holding me, it was still scary. I could only do it due to my fitness routines. I ended up injuring myself anyway. The worst part was that I had to shoot for a peppy dance number the next day,” he smiles. 

Then there was another scene involving tigers. “We shot at the Tiger Temple in Bangkok and I had to romance my co-star in front of tigers,” he jokes. “There was a scene in which I had to walk with a tiger on leash and just before the shot, I was told that the tiger was not sedated!” he recalls.

Shiv calls Karle... “an adrenaline-filled, action-packed film”. “I play the character of Kabir, who is always betting and living life on the edge. He is a rebel with a golden heart,” he says adding that the character is nothing like him. Speaking of his co-star Hasleen Kaur, Shiv says he was fortunate to have worked with him. “She is disciplined, helpful and mixes with everyone. As actors, the two of us are totally different. While she is intuitive, I’m methodical,” he notes.

The young actor considers himself lucky to be part of a film family. “I’m fortunate to be exposed to a lot of cinema at a young age and even trained at Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute and Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares. I have also learnt kathak and pursued acting and dance courses in the United States.”

Ask him if it is tough being a star kid and he says it has its own advantages and disadvantages. “Though you get your first break easily, it’s eventually your talent that takes you places,” he answers. Does he feel threatened by the younger lot of Bollywood heroes who are going great guns? “Today’s heroes are striking a balance between commercial cinema and content. They are all doing a fabulous job. Personally, I like Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. Both are very good actors. I think I have to work really hard,” he laughs. 

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