Child star, Darsheel Safary, is currently the most-wanted child actor. He was signed for approximately Rs 3 lakh for Bumm Bumm Bole, according to industry sources — the highest amount paid to any child actor.
The Percept Picture Company, producers of the movie directed by Priyadarshan, are putting all their faith in the 13-year-old child prodigy, who has opened up channels for other child stars post his 2007 hit, Taare Zameen Par.
Sarita Patil, head of production, Percept, says, "Safary is a great actor. He has amazing foresight and talent for a kid his age. Plus, the movie is child-oriented. It is an official remake of Majid Majidi’s Children of Heaven and Darsheel has done full justice to the role," Patil asserts.
The actor is currently also endorsing Adidas with Bumm Bumm Bole. His brand portfolio includes Horlicks and OYO, a kidswear brand. Safary’s market value stems from the fact that he is the one of the most relatable faces in Bollywood. GM Sumeet Saluja of GlaxoSmithKline (the parent company of Horlicks), is happy with Safary as brand ambassador, as he says: “Darsheel is perfect for Horlicks. He stands tall, strong and sharp in all aspects of his childhood. He is also very popular with kids.”
Safary has also walked the ramp for kiddie apparel brands, Catmoss and OYO and co-hosted the Pogo Awards 2007 with Aamir Khan. Safary, who is currently busy promoting Bumm Bumm Bole, releasing this Friday, truly enjoys stardom. “I like acting and I love signing autographs. I must have signed a million autographs till now,” Safary says.
The young lad says that he manages his studies and shooting schedules without missing movie promotions. “Earlier, I had problems balancing the two. But I like shooting and don’t ever feel like taking a day off. Even with studies, I know I have to finish, so I don’t feel the pressure. If you like what you do, you’ll never feel tired. Plus, I’m a good student and carry my books to my shoots to keep up with my studies,” he says.
Darsheel Safary gets candid about acting in movies and growing up
Are you excited about the movie, Bumm Bumm Bole?
Yes. Very excited. I had a lot of fun shooting for it. It was funny at first because we were shooting on Chroma screen. I kept pestering everybody, asking why we couldn’t shoot in the open. And it was strange, because we were talking to a green screen. But I started liking it later.
You also shot for a superhero movie recently?
Yes. It’s called Zokkomon. I play the superhero, Zokkomon and it’s an action adventure made by Walt Disney. I can’t wait to see what it looks like, because I loved my role.
What have you been doing since your exams got over?
My exams finished on February 26. I had a long vacation after that. I wanted to go on a holiday with my parents, but I had to promote this movie. School opens sometime in June. I hope I get to travel with them before class starts.
You were shooting all of last year for your movies. Did that interfere with your studies?
Not really. I’m a very good student. I always manage to get good grades. At first, I would find it a little hard. But now I get my books to the set and even when I’m shooting, I manage to finish my studies. I have realised it’s important to stay consistent. After all, I’m in the 8th grade now.
Do you get spare time to spend with your family and friends, with your school and constant shooting?
Yes. I am not shooting anything else right now. So I spend a lot of time with my friends. We play X-Box a lot and even cricket and football. I am a regular child.
After Taare Zameen Par, did your classmates, friends and teachers treat you differently? Did they call you a star?
Not really. My friends are very close to me. So are my nana, nani, (grandfather and grandmother) my parents and my sister. My friends also come and visit me on the set sometimes. They watch my shoots and spend time with me. They’ve never called me a star or treated me like one. But I must have signed a million autographs and it always feels nice.
What do you like most about acting?
Aamir Uncle taught me that acting is about being expressive and being in contact with your emotions. I like to understand what I am doing. Now I can relate to the stories that I read in school, during literature class, much better.
So you will definitely be an actor when you grow up?
I’m not sure about that yet. I want to finish school and college before I think about that. I know that I want my own identity when I grow up. I want to be known for what I am good at and whatever I become, not as anything else.
Your favourite subjects: I like History a lot. I love to study and learn about the World Wars, especially the parts about combat. It’s fun to learn about our past.
A movie you recently loved?
I loved Clash Of Titans and How To Train Your Dragon. I called all my friends and told them to watch them. I really liked the action and the animation.
Your favourite actor?
Hirthik Roshan is my true superhero. He has a very good physique and his acting is mind-blowing. I am really waiting for Kites.
Your favourite pastime?
I like to swim and listen to music. Whenever I have free time, I go for a swim or share music with my friends.
This Friday, besides Bumm Bumm Bole, three other films rejoice childhood:
Bal Hanuman 2