Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Journey Continues: Darsheel Safary on Life After Taare Zameen Par (Exclusive Interview)

Edited by – Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief)

Written by – Jasni Salim 

Interviewed by- Robin Tyagi (Sub-editor) 

Darsheel Safary is a well-known name in the Indian film industry. As a child artist, he played the lead role in the critically-acclaimed movie, Taare Zameen Par, for which he received immense appreciation and won multiple awards including the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Later on, he has also worked in other projects such as Bum Bum Bole, Midnight Children, Kutch Express, etc. Recently, Enigmatic Horizon had a conversation with the actor and got his insights on his first movie, his acting career, and other facets of his life.

You got fame at a very early stage of your life by the playing the character of Ishaan Awasthi. What was the most challenging aspect of playing this character in Taare Zameen Par?

Actually, I was quite small while playing that character….in fact, I was only nine years old at that time and the challenging part for me was making the character believable on camera. I was very lucky and fortunate to be surrounded by so many experienced people because due to their guidance, I was able to pull it off.  I was briefed in an easy language that is easy to comprehend for small kid.

If we talk of your recent launch in Amazon Mini TV Show Small A, Capital A, people would want to know whether you face any challenges while changing over from Ishaan to a romantic hero.

No, not at all. Actually, I love acting. I have always been very passionate about acting. For me, the most important thing is the story or the script. I felt Capital A Small A was very sweet and I was very happy to be a part of it.

How tough it is to shift to a romantic character, considering that the audience have a particular kind of memory for you?

I cannot think about that so consciously, I don’t think any actor should do that also. Basically, an actor’s duty is to ensure that once you get a character, try to do justice to it by being sincere and honest to the role. So, I never thought consciously that I have to shift the attention of my audience or something like that.

At the tender age of nine years, Darsheel Safary was working with a senior and famous actor like Aamir Khan. Was Darsheel nervous at the time?

I should have been, but well, I was not at all nervous! I was actually very excited and happy. In fact, I would like to thank the cast, crew and everybody over there as they didn’t let me feel nervous. They shot for about two to two and a half months and not for a single moment they made me feel conscious.

How did you prepare for the role? Did you prepare yourself or got some help from the crew members, director, producer, etc.?

The main help was provided by Aamir uncle and  Mr Amol Gupte. They used to brief me on individual scenes, the authenticity, goal, emotion that it carried, etc. At times, when I couldn’t do it, they used to show me how to do correctly. Later, when I got used to the role, I also started providing them some ideas and they did incorporate some them.

Are there any memorable moments from the movie shooting period of Taare Zameen Par that you still cherish to remember?

There are plenty. In fact, for me the complete shooting of the movie is memorable and it is hard to pick individual scenes! I still remember the school name where we shot, the hotel, even the room number, where we stayed, even the receptionist of the hotel! One of the best memories I have is when Aamir Uncle took me on a ride in his Mercedes car.

Taare Zameen Par was perhaps the first movie that criticized the Indian educational system. Do you feel any challenge at your own level in the school or college that you have attended?

I didn’t find any challenge regarding those aspects at my level whatsoever. The challenge that I had to face was that I needed to balance my studies and my movie career. I wouldn’t say the movie criticized anything but brought an important lesson to the viewers.

Despite a huge hit, you have been away from the film industry or acting for a decade. What is the reason behind it – education or something else?

I took a conscious break after entering college. I wanted to enjoy my college life, friends, social life. Acting was always there. I discovered theatre acting and from 2015 to 2019, I consistently worked in professional theatres. I did four comedy plays and performed pan-India and overseas. Earlier, I didn’t have that much knowledge…skill, and thus, I joined theatre. I did it for six to seven years and got to understand what a good story means. After the Covid scenario, when I did my first movie, Ho Jaa Mukt, I was much more confident, more fulfilled.

Are you in touch with your co-actors like Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra, etc.?

Yes, I am.

On your upcoming projects, can we see Darsheel in web-series, OTT or new movies?

I have recently done a movie with Prateek Gandhi, based on Jyotibaa Phule. The movie is named Phule. There is a murder mystery, called Tibba, with Adah Sharma, Sonali Kulkarni. It is something unique which you have never seen before! There is another one for which shooting has begun in Kashmir. I have also shot two web-series, In one, there is Rakesh Bedi, Dilnaz Irani and many others. The other one is with Anshuman Malhotra.

We know you from your on-screen characters. How is Darsheel Safari in real life?

I am an over thinker, I love music. I love writing too. I write stories, concepts. I even like to direct. In fact, I love creating. I love acting, being in my space. I even took up theatre for some time, just so that I could explore acting more. I would say that my life is a movie.  In fact, I may write my autobiography in the future.

What suggestions would you give to youngsters who are interested in acting?

You will have to dedicate your entire life towards acting. See, it is not about glamour, fame, money. It is about why you want to do it? If you are sure about it, you will get your fulfilment.

You gave an interview regarding gaming online….do you play online?

Earlier, I used to. I played Call of Duty, Asphalt, etc… Sometimes, I played PubG etc. But later, it became a distraction for me.

What will be your lessons to youngsters on gaming?

For relaxation, it is ok, but not as a priority. If your career is not gaming, focus on your passion and your career. Try exploring other things as it can be an addiction. People may also become irritated around you, if you spend too much time gaming. You need to consider others as well.

If at all there is a problem in any role, who do you look forward to for guidance?

First, I try to learn from myself, before I ask the director, or any co-actor, etc. Then, at times, randomly I will ask any of my friend and 99 percent of the times, the answer does come. The key is asking a question, nothing else.

Thank you very much for your time! It was a pleasure to have you!

Thank you to you as well, for having me!

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