Child Actor Darsheel Safary gets candid with Hindustan Times.
I believe you’re still attending school?
Yeah, we’re doing some advance lessons for standard eight. School will shut for summer vacation on April 29. I don’t mind the extra classes but I’m sure looking forward to the holidays.
It’s been a year-and-a-half since Taare Zameen Par released. Was Bum Bum Bole the only film you shot for?
No, I worked on a Disney film too. But that’s it. My main focus is my studies. I never miss school. My portions were shot during the the month-long vacation.
Tell us about Bum Bum Bole
The film is about sibling bonding and how far a brother can go to make his sister happy.
Did you have fun while shooting for the film?
Totally. The set was always buzzing because of us kids. We would play all day.
And when did you shoot?
Whenever we were not playing.
The film also features National Award winning actor Atul Kulkarni. What did you learn from him?
(Chuckles) Mimicry. Seriously, he’s excellent at it. Other than that, I learnt how to deliver my lines with expression and without fumbling. Before every difficult scene, Atul uncle would give me tips which I followed to the T. They really helped me a lot. You will see a much-improved Darsheel in Bum Bum Bole.
Like Aamir Khan during the making of TZP, did Atul become a part of your kiddie gang too?
He did. We would be on PSP (Portable Play Station) and ONO all day. Atul uncle was hooked too. He was a lot of fun.
Your co-star in the film is five-year-old Ziah Vastani. What’s she like?
She’s cute and talkative. She was also on PSP all day. Havov aunty (Ziah’s mother) is really nice. She was sweet to me.
In real life, how far would you go to keep your sister happy?
My sister, Neivi, is just eight years old. She’s fun to be around with. I’m still pretty young myself but I know she is my responsibility. I will do anything and everything to make her happy. Now and always. I have to, you know. After all, I’m her big brother.
‘My friends are still the same’
I have had the same circle of friends from before Taare Zameen Par. And these buddies treat me in the same way even today. We were all thrilled when my debut film was sent for the Oscars. But my becoming an actor has not made a difference to our relationship. They’re still very close to me.
‘Salman uncle has a great body’
I love Salman uncle’s (Khan) body. When Tanay (Cheda) and I went for Dus Ka Dum 2-Children’s Day Special, he made us sit in his vanity van and gave us lots of chocolates. During the shoot, we sat in his room. He cracked jokes and shared some body building tips which I will put to use when I am a little older.
‘I haven’t decided on my career’
It’s too early. I haven’t even passed out of school yet. I don’t know where my interests will take me. How can I plan my career at this stage? I’ve worked with three different actors. If you were to ask me who is the brightest and the smartest, I’d say, me, Darsheel Safary. Ha ha!
‘It’s fun walking the ramp’
I’ve done it a few times after Taare Zameen Par. And it was loads of fun. I could see so many people looking at me, with smiles on their faces. Guess that was because I am still a kid. In fact, I got to do the show because they needed a child like me that day . I’m hoping some other designer will too.
‘I speak to Aamir uncle sometimes’
After Taare Zameen Par, Aamir uncle (Khan) and I did an ad together. It was so much fun getting back to work with him. He’s extremely encouraging. In the last one-and-a-half years, I’ve rarely spoken to him. I call him before my exams and ask for his blessings. He had told me to take my education very seriously, which I do. I had also spoken to him before starting Bum Bum Bole. It was my second project after TZP. My parents have been in touch with him all along though.