The first time one heard of Shiney Ahuja was just before the release Sins in 2003. The film was mired in controversy over the inappropriate presentation of a Catholic priest, played by him.
The Delhi-born lad initially aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the armed forces. But while studying at Hans Raj College, University of Delhi, he enrolled for Barry John’s acting school. And then, moved to Mumbai with a haversack and a couple of thousand rupees in his pocket.
He started out as a model. He also featured in a music video for the Brit-Asian group, Stereo Nation.
Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi proved to be a turning point. Lauded as the Most Promising Newcomer of the year, he was signed up for films like Gangster and Woh Lamhe.
Meanwhile, stories about attitude problems with co-stars made headlines regularly. He’s supposed to have hit Kangana Ranaut during the shooting of Gangster. Their cold war continues.
Esha Deol and he also had a major argument on the sets of Hijack. Even Sushmita Sen and Preity Zinta, who’ve worked with him in Zindaggi Rocks and Har Pal respectively, aren’t on his “friends” list. Apparently, Akshay Kumar and Priyadarshan too weren’t exactly fond of him while working on Bhool Bhulaiyya. A couple of weeks ago, Soha Ali Khan had a showdown with him while shooting for Accident in Goa. Of course, the actor has denied all these rumours.
On a high after bagging the second lead to Val Kilmer in the Hollywood film, Silver Cord, Shiney was looking forward to playing an American. The film is scheduled to start later this year.
He is married to Anupam Pandey whom he met 12 years ago. They have a daughter, Aarshiya, who’s a year-and-a-half old. Anu who was working in the U S, had quit her job and was staying with him in Mumbai.
(Compiled by Hiren Kotwani)