Actor Shaleen Bhanot is a familiar face for television viewers. In 'Surya Putra Karn', he played the role of 'Duryodhana' and in 'Sher-e-Punjab: Maharaja Ranjit Singh', he is essaying the character of Maha Singh. He made his debut as a television actor with 'Saat Phere'.
In a chat with Surupasree Sarmmah, Shaleen talks about his decade-long journey in the industry, his love for food and fitness.
You have been in the industry for past 10 years, how has your journey been?
The past 10 years have been a roller-coaster ride for me. I was an average student and my parents were actually worried about my future. But who would have ever thought that a kid from Jabalpur will one day come to Mumbai, get into acting and win so many accolades! Today, I am in an entirely different phase of life.
You have worked in both television and films. Which is your favourite?
Television industry is always bigger than film industry. However, both these spaces have their positive and negative points. To be honest, it doesn't make any difference to me. What matters is how much I am entertaining my audience and their reactions to my acting skills.
Give us a glimpse of your day when you are not working?
Well for me, the days when I am working and the days I am not working are exactly the same. If I am not on the set I would be reading a book or gymming. I am constantly working on myself either by gaining knowledge or working out. Reading is the new love of my life. So most of the time one will see me engrossed in a book. I have started dancing again and spend a good amount of time shaking a leg.
Is there any actor you would like to act with?
If I have to choose one, why not choose the best? I would love to act opposite Al Pacino. Acting is all about reacting and the kind of reactions an actor of that level gives is beyond words.
Are you a foodie, a fitness freak or an adventure junkie?
I am a big foodie and in fact, as we are talking, I have ordered a garlic chicken roll for lunch in Lonavala. I am a fitness freak too because I love my body. I work out so I can afford to eat a lot. (Laughs)
You were a part of MTV Roadies in 2004. Would you like to go back to a reality show? If yes, what kind of show would that be?
The experience of Roadies was an amazing one. There are only two things I have earned from the show - Ayushmann Khurana, who is a good friend, and Raghu, who is like an elder brother to me. I wouldn't mind going back to a show like Roadies but not something like Bigg Boss. I don't want to be watched 24 hours in a confined place, it scares me!
What's on the cards right now?
I believe that one should never stop learning and this is the reason why I will be joining a three-month acting course at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles. I want to rediscover my acting skills. Making an entry in Hollywood is my long-term goal.