Tuesday, October 16, 2018
facebook

google plus
Life Style

Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 1:05 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 1:05 AM (IST)

‘Not competing with Salman bhai’

Race 3 is a fan-boy moment for Saqib Saleem, which provided him an opportunity to work with and learn from legends he grew up watching on screen

Nonika Singh

With talented and garrulous actor Saqib Saleem, questions are almost redundant. Just throw a word at him and he will spin a yarn for you. The very mention of Chandigarh has him all excited and walking down the memory lane. It was in City Beautiful that he shot for his first film and thoroughly enjoyed his stint. “I remembered geri route by heart; gorged on the best Mughlai cuisine. Those were the days when no one recognised me.”

Today, as the well-known actor of movies like Bombay Talkies and Mere Dad Ki Maruti, he has found his space as also a plum part in hit franchise Race; he regales you with many more observations. 

In the race

First things first, Race 3 might be riding on Salman Khan’s shoulders, but Saqib certainly gets to flex his muscles — acting and otherwise. On the fear of being overshadowed by Sallu bhai, he simply states, “I am not competing with Salman bhai or any other actor in the film.”

Rather, he just can’t believe his luck. For an actor with his ‘middle class mentality’ intact, it’s a fan-boy moment for him; to be working with so many of his favourite actors, including Anil Kapoor. Multi-starrers, he thinks, are paisa wasool films. Indeed, he may have taken a different route to Bollywood but having grown up on films such as Amar Akbar Anthony and Sholay, he quips; “I am a commercial baby.”  Expectedly, when his films don’t do well, he sure is hurt, “for every film is like a relationship, akin to falling in love for the first time and if it ends on a bad note, it leaves you disturbed.”  

For instance, he really wanted his horror flick Dobaara: See Your Evil with sibling Huma Qureshi whom he ‘loves to death’ to click with audiences. But as it didn’t, the lesson he learnt when he landed on Mumbai soil came in handy. He adds, “See the number of times an actor will be rejected will be far more than he would gain acceptance. Hence actors have to be thick-skinned.” That’s exactly why he doesn’t let trolls affect him. 

Troll control

Indeed, the trailer of Race 3 too is a target of trolls. But as he puts it, “As long as it is in good humour, I simply laugh it off.” Like when Mumbai police took off their campaign from the Race 3 dialogue “our business is our business, none of your business”, he was the first one to re-post it. But to the impatient, intolerant, tribe trying to earn mileage by appending their names to Kareena and Katrina, his advice is; never lose respect for others. 

He has tremendous regard and admiration for everyone, especially his co-actors and director of Race 3, ‘the ever-smiling’ Remo D’Souza. “He let me explore myself fully as an actor.” Whether it’s a good idea to change a winning combination; previous Race franchises were directed by Abbas Mustan and had a different cast too, he can’t say for sure. But like all the prequels, he insists the third installment is a full on twists and turns. 

Wish list

On his journey, which began in 2011 with romantic comedy Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge, he is rather wistful. “There have been ups and downs, critical acclaim has come my way but a blockbuster has eluded me.” Will Race 3 do the trick for him… he is keeping his fingers crossed. 

But then this former cricketer knows too well; you win some, you lose some. As biopics are the flavor of the season, one sportsperson he would love to play on screen is Yuvraj Singh. Any more proof that he has a special connect with Chandigarh?

nonikasingh@tribunemail.com

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On