He’s savored by cinegoers as a fair-skinned, light eyed ‘serious’ actor. With just a few but acclaimed films like Hazaaron Khwaishien Aisi, Metro, Gangster and Woh Lamhe in his CV, Shiney Ahuja has camped himself in the bracket of ‘promising actors of today’.
With his new film Bhool Bhulaiyaa just having released, Shiney seems to be heading to shed off his sober image.
In a forthright chat with Businessofcinema.com, this no-nonsense actor who want to be ‘different’, talks about working with ‘Priyan sir’, how directors in the industry function and how what significance do corporate deals hold for him.
Right from your maiden film Hazaaron Khwaishien Aisi to Metro, you have essayed a lot of serious characters. With you upcoming films, are you now trying to break away from this mould?
It will break on its own. Any good director senses a good actor and knows his range. Jahnu Barua signed me for Har Pall on the basis of one shot that he saw in Hazaaron Khwaishien Aisi, although these roles are completely different. Directors like Barua and Sudhir Mishra are creators, who actualize an image and other directors are followers who use the image that has already been created.
Priyadarshan has made a mark as a director in the comic film genre with films like Garam Masala, Malamal Weekly, Bhagam Bhaag etc. to his credit. Are you looking forward to work with him in his trademark films?
Actually I really wanted to do a comedy film with Priyan Sir, but Bhool Bhullaiya is a psychological thriller. So for the time being he offered me this role. I liked the story and my role a lot, so I chose to work in the film.
In any profession if you do the same kind of work repeatedly, it gets boring. I feel insulted if someone offers me a role I have already essayed. I take it personally. It’s a challenge for me to play the role differently. Earlier when I used to work in ad films, my aim would always be to make my next work appear dissimilar from my previous ones. On this basis, I bagged a lot of work in very little time. I didn’t let myself get typecast.
There is so much inside me as an actor that everyone still has to see. < Page Break >
You said you work towards developing your characters differentlyâ€¦.
What I meant was that, it depends on the director. Some directors require you to work on your character before coming on the set. Some directors do not want you to work on your character and come with nothing in their mind.
A director like Sudhir Mishra trusts my instincts and lets me do what I wish to. Priyan Sir doesn’t expect me to do homework whereas Januh Barau requires me to work on my character.
Priyadarshan and Akshay Kumar’s affinity goes back a long way. During Bhool Bhullaiya, did you go through any initial insecurity pangs?
Akshay is essaying a character in the film, and so am I. Every character has a certain prominence in the film. So if Priyan Sir is making a movie he will never favour an actor, he will only favour a character, depending on his importance in the movie. No director will harm his project to please an actor. Friendship and work are at their own place.
Many of your peers are inking deals with corporates. Have such offers come your way too?
If a corporate shows me three likable scripts, I don’t mind signing a three-film deal. In our profession, we worship Goddess Saraswati before Goddess Laxmi. It is a creative line and I chose films on the basis of scripts and not deals. I am not a dealmaker, I am an actor.
Which of your films are you looking forward to now?I am really excited about next year. In Januh Barua’s Har Pall I play a relatively lighter character and Eros’ Highjack with Esha Deol is an outright action flick. There’s one more film which has not been announced right now for which I’ll start shooting in November.