Monday, August 20, 2018
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Saqib unplugged
PHOTO: PRADEEP TEWARI

Saqib unplugged

In Chandigarh, a city with whom his love affair is grand, talented actor Saqib Saleem shares how success and failure are relative terms; the trick lies in never letting your passion fail20 Aug 2018 | 12:51 AM

In Chandigarh for TEDx talks, as the rather garrulous Saqib Saleem spills the beans on a host of subjects, he also reveals the person behind the actor.

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Nonika Singh

In Chandigarh for TEDx talks, as the rather garrulous Saqib Saleem spills the beans on a host of subjects, he also reveals the person behind the actor. The person who in his charming way would steer the conversation, than be guided! From nepotism to saying yes to the part of a homosexual in Bombay Talkies to the trolls that trailed him post-Race 3, he talks nineteen-to-dozen sans filters of any kind.

Sure, Race 3 is milestone for it made him known in parts of India he had not reached with his earlier films. By Salman Khan standards its collection of Rs 170 crore at the BO may be below par, but he laughs, “It’s more than all my films put together.” Indeed, it’s also a first when his acting skills came under scanner and failed to impress critics. No wonder when he shared his perspectives on success and failure at GGDSD College Chandigarh, it all came from the heart. 

Online web

Rather philosophically he muses, “Is success having five million followers on Instagram?” Like many, he too is caught in the social media’s vicious cycle and like many a public figure he too is trolled. “I am ready to take trollers head on. My only entreaty to them is; bro show me your face, give me your name. Don’t hide behind the cloak of anonymity.” But, alas, he says in India everyone has an opinion on anything and everything. 

“The other day, I overheard a man saying this is how Virat Kohli should hit a cover drive! Imagine telling that to the best batsman in the world.” 

Amidst the deluge of opinions, however, one voice that he pays heed to is his sister Huma Qureshi’s. Debuting almost in the same year one thing the brother sister promised themselves was to be upfront about each other’s performance. So what did dear sis have to say about Race 3? Well, well for once he is not telling. But seriously in a regular commercial actioner how else could he have played his part?

Gut feeling

Prior to Race 3, he confessed to being a commercial baby who grew up watching blockbusters. Things haven’t changed today and he insists Race 3 has opened new doors for him and soon, very soon the producers will be making the announcements. There is no set guideline, which makes him say yes to a film. “The gut feeling works best. My intuition never lets me down, it’s only when I hold back and analyse critically, as I did with Dobara, that things flounder.” 

Of course, when Karan Johar offered him Bombay Talkies his knee-jerk response was no, till he realised the film, made to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema, was going to be part of history. Today, he is not only proud of the film, but also dying to work with Johar again. “For no one explains it better than him. I could even hear background music when he narrated the script. Besides, he gives equal importance to all his actors.” 

Road ahead

Saqib’s wish-list of directors is rather long; from Rajkumar Hirani to Anand L Rai to dear friend Mudassar Aziz, who incidentally did offer him Happy Bhaag Jayegi, there are a whole lot he would love to work with. An actor of nine films, his journey has seen peaks and troughs. But, as he says, “You succeed and you fail, but your passion shouldn’t fail.”

While growing up Akshay Kumar was the only actor whose poster adorned his walls. Today, he thinks, Akshay is the most bankable star. “I would love to be in his space, but we all know there can be only one Akshay, one Salman, one SRK and hopefully someday people can say one Saqib.” Inshallah! 

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com


Nepotism exists

“Yes, nepotism exists but tell me which field is free from this bias? Besides, is it Varun Dhawan’s fault that he was born to David Dhawan or that Alia Bhatt is the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt? Ultimately, they are judged on the dint of their talent and hard work”. 

Digital medium

“Digital medium is not the future, but the present. But you can’t clone the success of phenomenal shows like Sacred Games. So I am waiting for the right project.”

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