Iqbal Khan doesn’t mince words. The actor says he doesn’t want to portray a false image of himself. He is clear about what he aims to achieve and is nonchalant about things he doesn’t care about. Calm and concise, the 36-year-old talks about why he does not stress about ratings, and why he has no regrets about his career.
Your salt-and-pepper look has got a lot of attention on social media in the past couple of months.
Most of my roles need me to be clean-shaven. But after a show is over, I grow a beard. This time, I cut my hair short due to the heat. I have grey hair and I didn’t colour them for my last show. People noticed it. I started greying when I was 22, and it didn’t matter to me. I don’t want people to suddenly see the real me and get a shock. What you see is what you get. I have nothing to hide.
Do you get nervous when you start work on a new show?
I don’t. I have become calm and have accepted that certain things, like ratings, are not in my hands. What I can do is work hard and give it my best shot. Earlier, I would get stressed, develop ulcers and get acid reflux by thinking and worrying about work. But I don’t stress anymore.
You have worked across films and TV. Do you want to pursue theatre too?
I got the germ of acting from a play called Karan — The Son Of Surya, which I had done at the National School of Drama, New Delhi. I played Karan in it. That was my only connect to theatre. Then I shifted to Mumbai and it was about survival here. I didn’t come from a family that could send me to New York City (USA) to study acting. I had to pay bills. Given a chance, I would have loved to explore theatre more. But I also don’t regret the choices I made in my career. This job taught me a lot and God has been kind.