Sudeep is a dear friend: Aftab Shivdasani

Aftab Shivdasani

He started his career as a child actor in the 1987 cult film — Mr India starring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi. After which, Aftab Shivdasani was seen in movies like Shahenshah (1988), ChaalBaaz (1989), Awwal Number (1990), C.I.D. (1990) and Insaniyat (1994).

The actor with dimples has since made a mark for himself in the silver screen. It was Ram Gopal Varma’s 1999 hit romantic flick, ‘Mast’ that made him one of the most sought-after actors of his generation.

In his next, the Vikram Bhatt directorial, ‘Kasoor’, Aftab portrayed a negative character and received mixed reactions.

The movie ‘Masti’ (2004), a runway hit proved to be a game-changer for him. Aftab also won an award for ‘Best Comedian’ that year.

After some hits and misses over the years, Aftab ventured into south Indian cinema with Tamil film ‘Chandramukhi Returns’ in 2016, followed by ‘Bhaskar Oru Rascal’ in 2018. He will now be seen in ‘Kotigobba 3’, his Kannada debut alongside Kichcha Sudeep. 

Aftab spoke to Metrolife about his new project, exploring regional languages and more. 

You are making your debut in Kannada film with ‘Kotigobba 3’. How did the project come your way?

The movie came to me through somebody and it got me really excited as Kichcha Sudeep is a dear friend. We both have been talking about doing some stuff together for a really long time. When I got to know that he is a part of the film, I was very happy. Rest is history. We have already completed shooting half of the film. I am playing the role of a cop. Everything is going really good so far.  

You have been exploring various languages — Tamil and Kannada. Why this sudden shift?

Today, the borders between film industries are blurring. There is no division anymore; everything is coming under the umbrella of Indian cinema. Moreover, it is quite interesting to work with people from other film industries; be it technicians or actors. 

What was the process of learning a new language like?

I am actually not learning the language, to be honest. I am just trying to say the dialogues as much as I can. I have somebody who says my lines and I mime it. I find that concept really interesting, it is like dubbing on the spot except it is not my voice.    

You have movies like ‘Masti’, ‘Grand Masti’, ‘Great Grand Masti’ and ‘Kyaa Kool Hai Hum’ to your credit. Aren’t you worried that you are tagged as someone who does only sex comedies?

Not at all. In my career, I have done only four of such movies out of the 55 films I have acted in. I don’ t think I can be tagged so. 

Which genre would you like to explore?

I would like to do action. I like intense films and I am looking forward to doing something in this genre. 

Which one of your films had the most difficult characters? 

It has to be ‘Kasoor’ by director Vikram Bhatt. I had to play the role of a person who was older than my actual age. I was 20 then and I had to play the character of a 40-year-old man and that was a big challenge. Besides, I was playing a negative character. 

How much of Bengaluru have you explored?

I have been here a few times, though only for work. I like the city — its people, food and of course the weather. Having said that, this time I have visited only a couple of hotels and the M Chinnaswamy Stadium (laughs). 

What are you looking forward to?

I have signed two Hindi scripts and I look forward to working on them. However, I can’ t talk much about them at the moment. In the long-term, I hope to work in movies for as long as I can.    

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