Best known for his boy-next-door roles in shows such as Kya Mast Hai Life and Navya, Shaheer Sheikh chose an unconventional route last year. He took up the role of Arjun in a show based on the Mahabharata.
In this interview, he talks about the challenge of looking the part, how the role has enriched him as a person and the rumours of link-ups with his co-stars that have been doing the rounds lately.
Most young actors tend to play romantic roles at this stage in their careers. Why did you choose to do a mythological show?
This wasn’t just any mythological show. It was the role of Arjun that attracted me. I always wanted to play a warrior prince; it was like a dream.
Also read: Mahabharata with a twist
Did you feel any pressure to perform well since this character has been played successfully by other popular actors on TV in the past?
My only concern was whether I would be able to do justice to the character as my Hindi was not very good. I had to read up a lot. I worked hard on my body language, diction and personality. The eight-month workshop with other actors was very helpful, as we shared thoughts and discussed the epic from every character’s point of view.
You had to grow your hair quite long for the show. Was it tough to maintain?
It was very difficult to manage when we were shooting outdoors. The hair would fall on my face at inopportune moments, and we’d have to shoot those scenes again. But I also got many compliments; some people even asked me what shampoo and oil I use.
After playing a strong mythological character, will it be tough for you to choose your next role?
I don’t think so. I feel I have become a better person after doing this role. Playing this part was tough as I could not relate to the character. While, on the other hand, it’s easy to play a modern character as you have seen them around in your everyday life.
You have been linked to your co-star Pooja Sharma and Smilie Suri...
(Laughs) Smilie is a good friend, but I hardly had any scenes with Pooja. I can’t even say that Pooja and I are friends. I don’t know where all these rumours come from. But they didn’t create any misunderstanding between us.