Saqib Saleem, who made a striking Bollywood debut with Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge in 2011, is set for his second outing with YRF’s upcoming flick, Mere Dad Ki Maruti.
The 24-year-old says he aspires to become an actor with a mix of qualities from actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. “I have grown up watching Big B, SRK and Salman bhai. If I can get a mix of them, their best qualities, it would be great. As an actor, I want challenging roles to perform,” he says. Before taking up acting as a career, Saleem explored different options — played for under-19 cricket team, assisted his dad in restaurant business and even tried his hand at modelling. “Acting is what I want to do. I love this career. Everyday is a new challenge. There’s so much riding on you that you need to put your best foot forward.”
Talking about his character in his upcoming film, Saleem says, “I’m playing a Punjabi guy who lives in Chandigarh. Wo thoda loser type hai, as in he doesn’t get what he wants. His philosophy is ‘gaadi honi zaruri hai varna ladki ghaas nai dalegi’. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. We had fun sho-oting in Chandigarh. I worked with actors such as Ram Kapoor and Ravi Kishan. It was a great learning experience.”
He is also all praise for his co-star, Rhea Chakraborty, who makes her Bollywood debut with this film. “You won’t realise it’s her first film. Her confidence is amazing. She was a VJ earlier, so she has great comfort level with the camera. She is a fun person.”
Saleem will also be seen in Bombay Talkies, a project that consists of four short films, made by four directors. “I’m in the part directed by Karan Johar. It also stars Rani Mukerji and Randeep Hooda,” he says. Unlike other actors, Saleem is open about his relationship status. “I’m dating somebody. She’s from a non-film background. It’s been a year-and-a-half now. The best thing is that it’s very real and my being an actor has nothing to do with it,” he concludes.