'I can skate to save my life'

'I can skate to save my life'
Despite his boyish charm, Saqib Saleem has stayed away from chocolate boy roles and carved a niche for himself with small yet critically-acclaimed films like Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge and Mere Dad Ki Maruti. 

He is back yet again with another interesting offing — Amole Gupte’s Hawaa Hawaai — a movie that revolves around skating. 

Saqib has had a close association with Bangalore. 

“My aunt stays in Koramangala. But I don’t know Bangalore that well. I am aware of Forum Mall and hope to come to the City for a holiday soon,” he reveals. 

All set for the release of Hawaa Hawaii, Saqib hopes that “people like this film more than Mere Dad Ki Maruti”. 

Ask him if he consciously chooses offbeat scripts and he says, “Mere Dad... wasn’t offbeat at all. It was an out-and-out commercial film with an item song. I don’t choose scripts thinking if they are commercial or offbeat. I have done just a few films over the years because 
I have only liked a few scripts.” 

Playing the role of a young skating coach in the film was a learning experience, he notes. 

“ My role 
is so heartfelt that I don’t feel like I have acted at all,” he informs. “I wanted to get 
into the character and it wasn’t easy. My director put me on to two national-level skating coaches and I observed how they interacted with kids. To create a bond with the child actors, I used to go in early to the sets too,” he says. So has he become a pro at skating? 

“I can skate to save my life,” he laughs.  

Saqib terms Hawaa Hawaii as a “library film”. 

“It is a film with a shelf life. There are certain films which collect huge money over the first weekend. They are declared a blockbuster and forgotten about after that. But this isn’t one of those films,” he explains. 

Since the title has been taken from the famous song picturised on Sridevi in ‘Mr India’, Saqib was elated when the Bollywood diva came for the trailer launch. 

“I have grown up watching ‘Mr India’ and it was extremely encouraging when she 
said that she really liked the trailer,” he says. 

The actor will soon be seen in Mere Dad Ki Maruti 2 and an untitled action film. 

Not many know that he is the brother of popular actress Huma Qureshi. Unlike other Bollywood families that say they don’t talk about films at home at all, he says, “We talk about films all the time. We are obsessed with films. I actually make it a point to watch one film a day if I get the time.” 

His recent favourites have been 'Oculus’ and ‘Queen’.

“While watching a film, 
I don’t visualise myself in a particular role. But I’d love to work with younger actresses like Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra and Shraddha Kapoor,” he sums up. 

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