Thriving on variety

This light-eyed actor won hearts across the country with his lead outing in film-maker-duo Abbas Mastan’s Taarzan: The Wonder Car in 2003. Since then, he has been wowing fans with his silver screen and telly performances. Meet Vatsal Sheth, the quintessential romantic hero with the alluring smile.

The elder of two siblings, Vatsal intended to become a software engineer but shelved his dream in favour of the tinsel town once he netted the role of Jai in Just Mohabbat. “The biggest triumph for me is the appreciation I have got with the limited amount of work I have done — I have been working since 1998-1999, but I have packed in fewer films compared to my peers simply because I have been very choosy,” he says with his signature smile. “But whatever I have done has met with immense appreciation. That is my real earning as an artiste.”

In 2007, Sheth appeared as Vikram Singh (the ‘older’ Jaisalmer in the movie Nanhe Jaisalmer). Then, Heroes, and Disney’s The Cheetah Girls: One World happened, followed by Subhash Ghai’s Paying Guests, and the Salman Khan-starrer Jai Ho, where he played a cameo.

What netted in resounding applause was Vatsal’s negative role as Shaurya Goenka in the soap Ek Hasina Thi, in 2014. It virtually made him a household name. “You know, television has brought me immense recognition,” he admits. “My first movie did not do very well when it released on the big screen. But when it released on television, it worked like a charm,” he confesses. “In fact, till date, each time it runs on air, it gives the highest TRPs. So, I think that is what is working because when I did my first television show, Ek Haseena Thi, it was quite a polarised projection from my ‘Mr Nice’ image. Suddenly, I was playing a grey character in Ek Haseena Thi. That was a pivotal turning point in my life and in my career trajectory. Sometimes, as an actor, it works to do something completely different from what you are in real life. I took the audience response as a big compliment,” he enthuses. Then adds as an afterthought, “Of course, initially, I never thought I would do a negative role, but my director-producer Siddharth Malhotra insisted otherwise. I am glad he did.” Since then, Vatsal has been continuing with his winning streak on the small screen with his portrayal of the lead character Kabir Raichand in the thriller teleseries Haasil. Another winner that has won him several awards for his notable performance.

“At the end of the day, it is all about getting the right roles and the right stories. Fortunately, I have been getting great roles that challenge me as an actor,” he says. Vatsal’s recent web series Gehrayiaan met with great response online. “The canvas is bigger now, the roles are different across multiple mediums. It is an evolving horizon,” he comments.

Incidentally, the idiot box played the interface between him and his actor wife Ishita Dutta (of Drishyam and Firangi fame) as well. They worked together in the television series Rishton Ka Saudagar — Baazigar in 2016 and that is how their romance bloomed further, with the duo tying the knot last year.

Meanwhile, Vatsal’s love for fitness persists. “I work out for an hour every day and play badminton, swim or play cricket. I strongly believe that there has to be a physical activity of your choice on your agenda for at least 45 minutes or above every day,” he shares. And next on the anvil? “At the moment, I am leaving for a well-deserved, long overdue honeymoon with my wife to get some quiet, quality time with her, far from the arc lights,” says the handsome actor. 

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