Zayed Khan has been working in Bollywood for over a decade, but admits to having made quite a few wrong choices along the way.
In a candid chat, he opens up about them, his upcoming film, and why his former brother-in-law, Hrithik Roshan, continues to remain an important part of his life.
Your last release, Tezz, was in 2012. Where have you been?
When you do films that don’t justify your role, work or talent for one reason or another, you tend to get labelled. This industry is unforgiving. People come to you with good scripts only if you are doing well at the box office. That’s also when you start thinking that instead of doing multiple films, you should step back and do something that works for you.
Your list of achievements isn’t long, considering that you have invested a decade in Bollywood.
Accepting a statement like that means I’d be admitting that greater things are not in store for me. But, as they say,
Picture abhi baaki hai
But, don’t you feel you’ve made some wrong choices?
I don’t think I worked with wrong directors. What went wrong was that I did too many multi-starrers. Those films did well, just not for me. I didn’t pay attention to movies in which I could solely shoulder responsibilities, and which would have worked towards building me as an actor.
And you now feel that your next, with director Gurmmeet Singh, will be a game-changer for your career?
I have really worked hard on it. My character is that of a simpleton. I dug deep for this character, as he is not cool, macho or entertaining like the earlier characters I have played. I have worked hard on my body language and expressions.
Hrithik Roshan was vociferous about the equation he shares with you at your film’s trailer launch. Did it surprise you
It was touching when he started to speak about me, because he is not vociferous about our relationship. We share an intimate relationship. Our children get along as well. I can call him at any time and chat, and vice versa. He is an important part of my life.
What was Sussanne’s (Khan; sister) response to the camaraderie you two shared?
She was in Pune that day, but she called me and said, "Zayed, I am so happy. I heard your event went well. I know you guys spoke about each other. It was touching." People talk a lot about them (Hrithik-Sussanne), but one must understand that though people can grow apart, they can never stop loving each other. My sister is strong and independent. I don’t know how many people would have the guts to take the step that she took.