The youngest actor in India to be nominated for Best Actor alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Darsheel Safary established new levels of acting for a child actor in Taare Zameen Par. After some significant roles as a juvenile, he is now back to his chosen vocation.
Excerpts from the interview:
Ques: It's tough to believe you are now all grown up?
Darsheel: Ha ha. Yes. I am 19 now. Though I am still recognized as the kid from Taare Zameen Par (TZP), the memory has now blurred, thankfully.
Ques: What have you been up to since TZP and the other films you did as a child?
Darsheel: After my phase as a child actor, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to continue as an actor. I wasn't sure of anything. My Dad told me to take a clean break from acting. In Class 11 and 12, I just enjoyed my school and friends and studies.
Ques: Then the acting bug bit you again?
Darsheel: Yup. Once an actor always an actor. In college I found myself doing a lot of amateur theatre, also 30-35 street plays. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be nothing but an actor now.
Ques: How did you get the chance to do the play that you are going to be doing at the National Centre Of Performing Arts?
Darsheel: When director Abhishek Pattnaik offered me a chance to share theatre space with stalwarts like Dalip Tahil and Ananth Mahadevan in a play called Can I Help You?, I didn't have to think very hard before accepting the offer. This was just the kind of challenge I was looking for to take me into mature acting.
Ques: Tell me about your role?
Darsheel: I play a character called Rikhab who is an aggressive fast bowler. I know fast bowlers are aggressive any way. But Rikhab's aggression goes beyond the cricket field. He is angry, he is resentful; he is seething from inside...until something happens to him. The character has fantastic growth during the course of the play. I feel very lucky to have got this role.
Ques: Are you looking at a career in Bollywood?
Darsheel: Oh absolutely. But I am not in a hurry. I am only 19. I won't sign a predictable teenybopper debut where I have to dance and sing and romance a chick. I want a debut as a leading man that would be a worthy follow-up to Taare Zameen Par. In the meanwhile I am committed to my play for two years.
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