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Saqib Saleem: Before Race 3, filmmakers said I looked too young in front of female actors

Actor Saqib Saleem reveals that he had to overcome a lot of hurdles to be in the secure position that he is today. After Race 3, he’s now in the running to play the villain in Dabangg 3.

bollywood Updated: Jul 24, 2018 13:20 IST
Rishabh Suri
Rishabh Suri
Hindustan Times
Saqib Saleem,Bollywood,Race 3
Saqib Saleem was last seen in the film Race 3.

With a hit film like Race 3 in his kitty, actor Saqib Saleem is a relaxed man now. While he had to beef up for the film, he says that it became very important since he was facing a big roadblock.

“Everyone had earlier started saying ‘tu young hai, we can’t always cast a new girl opposite you’. You start looking young in front of the [present] female actors. I was like theek hai, shave karna shuru kar dete hain, I should make my hair grow long,” reveals Saqib.

Read more: Saqib Saleem reveals what originally brought him to Mumbai, and no, it wasn’t acting in films

The actor was yearning for a change in this line of thought. “It’s very exciting for an actor when people start taking him differently. I am being honest, I was quoted somewhere saying ‘Race 3 is my second innings’. That’s not what I meant. What I wanted to say was that life before Race 3, and after it, is very different. I am talking about the fact that the moment I signed this film, there started a new timeline in my life.”

I don’t believe in showing off. 😝@yash_v_bhadauria

A post shared by Saqib Saleem (@saqibsaleem) on

Race 3 got mixed reviews from fans and critics with some even writing off the film, but Saqib isn’t complaining. “In fact, people started acknowledging the fact that I existed. This is because sometimes you are doing films of a certain size, these small-budget films which are nice, but not reaching out to the masses. If I go to Indore, nobody recognises me! So I am like ‘Okay, my films have been appreciated, and done decent business, but why is this happening?’ In all honesty, I want every Indian to love me. It’s as simple as that,” says Saqib, who has done films such as Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (2011), Hawaa Hawaii (2014) and Bombay Talkies (2013).

“After this film happened, everyone has been telling me that what Race 3 could do was it automatically reached out to so many more people, more people see you, and if you are talented, even accept you,” adds the actor.

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First Published: Jul 24, 2018 13:20 IST