From being compared to Jay Leno to directing his first feature film, actor Shekhar Suman talks on a host of issues and directing his son in Heartless. Read on.
If not an actor, you would have been…
A rock star!
People call you the desi Jay Leno…
I don’t understand that. When I started hosting, I had not even heard of him. It was just another role for me, one where I had to interact with the audience.
What made you decide to direct a feature film?
As an actor, you are always doing what others want you to. But I always wanted to experience the thrill of being on the other side. So, Heartless was planned a long time ago.
What is the best thing about directing your son, Adhyayan?
There is perfect understanding between us.
And the worst thing?
There is none. He gets no special treatment from me or anyone else.
Actor, musician, host, director – which has been the most satisfying role?
Acting and now, directing. With acting, you get a chance to emote. With direction, you get a chance to create.
Do you want to give politics another shot?
No. I have completely avoided politics for a long time.
Two people you would definitely want to interview and why.
I would’ve loved to interview Michael Jackson, but that’s not possible. I think interviewing Barack Obama would be fun.
The best thing about Bollywood.
You can be mediocre and rule.
Who inspires you?
I have always looked up to Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. As a statesman, I admire Indira Gandhi. She never got bogged down by anything.
Your biggest surprise from Adhyayan.
I was very surprised by his acting skills in Raaz –The Mystery Continues (2009). He bought me a Rolex watch with his first earnings, which is quite dear to me.
One song that describes your current state of mind.
Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan from Mera Naam Joker (1972). I had set out to be an actor and nothing can turn me away from it.
Your fitness secret.
My gym is my best friend. I train very hard.
What makes your day?
A good song.
And what ruins it?
A bad song, like some of the current chartbusters. Some of them are quite horrible.
You destress with…
Music. I never miss my riyaaz.
Your dream destination.
The English countryside. I love going there.
Your strategy in a crisis.
To be patient and not try to act too smart.
The last line of your autobiography would read…
"I’m happy I died with my boots on. I wish I could have polished them."
Birthday: June 14
Sun sign: Gemini
Place of birth: Patna
School/college: Ramjas College, Delhi
First Break: Utsav (1984)
High point of your life: Moving to Delhi to study, meeting my wife and falling in love instantly, Utsav, the birth of my first son and my upcoming directorial debut, Heartless
Low point of your life: Oh, so many! Being on my own in Delhi, my father calling me the black sheep of the family and some career setbacks
Currently I am...Really excited about the release of Heartless, a romantic medical thriller
From HT Brunch, February 9
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