After doing guy-next-door roles in films like Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge and Mere Dad Ki Maruti, actor Saqib Saleem is happy to shed his boyish image in his upcoming release Hawaa Hawaai.
Saqib, 25, will be seen playing a friendly skating
coach in the Amol Gupte directed movie. The actor said this
role was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him.
"I am not a trained actor and I am lucky that I have
always worked with those directors who inspired me to perform
well. Amole sir is also one of those who helped to bring out
the best in me. My character is not a stereotypical coach,
rather he is a friendly teacher whom all the kids love,"
Saqib told PTI.
The actor, whose sister Huma Qureshi is also a budding
actress in Bollywood, had to meet real skating coaches to
prepare for his role.
"My character is a collaboration between my visit to
skating schools in Mumbai and Amole sir's inputs. I needed to
get the terminology of coach right, so I met two skating
coaches in Mumbai. I spoke to them, understood their psyche
and incorporated them in my character," Saqib said.
In the film, Saqib shares the screen space with Amole's
son Partho who has won a national award for his debut
performance in Stanley Ka Dabba.
"I was like an elder brother to Partho on the sets. I am
a fan of his, but I feel audience will love him more after
watching Hawaa Hawaai. He is one of the best child actors in
India and shooting with him was fun. Our small unit was like a
family," he said.
Hawaa Hawaai is a tribute to people who dare to dream.
The film, which is currently in its post-production stage, is
expected to hit theatres on May 9.
Before starting the shoot, Saqib was a little apprehensive
about his on-screen chemistry with Partho and other child
actors in the film.
"I was worried in the first week before working with
these immensely talented kids in the film. I was constantly
under the fear that what if the kids didn't like me. My
character in the film is mature but at the same time friendly.
So, to be friends with them I used to go one hour prior to the
shoot timing to form a bond with them," he said.
The Delhi boy feels he has evolved as an actor.
"I had no Bollywood aspirations. I wanted to be a
sportsman but destiny had something different for me. I am
happy with the way my career graph in showbiz has shaped up in
these years. I am getting different roles but I am not in the
race to do many films because I believe in quality rather than
quantity," Saqib said.