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Bad boy turns good: Haroon Kazi strikes gold in stocks

Haroon Kazi, the bad guy of the film Jai Ho, is winning awards in a completely different field

brunch Updated: May 10, 2017 18:19 IST
Veenu Singh
Veenu Singh
Hindustan Times
Haroon Kazi,Jai Ho,Salman Khan
Model-turned-actor Haroon Kazi

Haroon Kazi made a dream debut playing the villain opposite Salman Khan in Jai Ho. That was in 2014. Since then, despite several film offers, Kazi has been busy with his dream job: a stockbroking firm that he set up with a few close friends, the work he’d been planning to do before Jai Ho.

Now, Kazi’s firm has been honoured with an Excellence Award for the ‘Fastest Growing Broker of the year’ by Multi Commodity Exchange(MCX), something that makes him happier than he would have been with an acting award.

“To get an award like this within just one year of setting up a firm is not just a big surprise but also a huge motivation,” Kazi says ecstatically.

Gym genius

Kazi’s Bollywood venture happened by chance. The South Mumbai boy, son of a business owner, had no connection with Bollywood whatsoever, aside from watching movies.

“Salman bhai told news channels that he had to fight against a villain who was even fitter than him!”

Then, in the year 2000, Kazi won the Gladrags Manhunt contest and started modelling for brands like Jockey and Raymonds. Keen to start a business of his own, he decided to study abroad for a degree in business administration.

Working out at Gold’s Gym on his return, he met actor-director Sohail Khan, who asked if Kazi was interested in doing a movie. Kazi was thrilled – he said yes at once. “Then Sohail asked me to train in mixed martial arts for a year, and also do an acting course, after which I was to go for an audition,” says Kazi. “All this while, I had no idea what movie I was supposed to do, and with whom.”

So it was a huge surprise when he arrived for his first shoot and discovered he’d be playing villain to Salman Khan’s hero. “I was totally starstruck and absolutely nervous,” laughs Kazi. “I was so stressed; I didn’t want to say anything wrong or do anything that would have offended Salman bhai in any way. But he made me feel very comfortable.”

Haroon Kazi with Salman Khan in the film, Jai Ho

Arre bhai

Since both and Salman had to be in peak form, they were put on a strict diet. Food became the bond between the two. “Salman’s food used to come from home every day, and soon, I was sharing his meals,” says the 35-year-old stockbroker. “It was mostly chicken and rice, very tasty and very healthy.”

Training also continued during the shoot, though Salman was not as regular as Kazi because he was shooting simultaneously for Bigg Boss. “Once Salman bhai came back from the Bigg Boss shoot and when he saw my lean look he said ‘maine khud apne paon pe kulhadi maar li’. And he also told news channels that he had to fight against a villain who was even fitter than him!” says Kazi.

Haroon Kazi with the recently won award

Now that the firm is doing well, Kazi is thinking about doing films again. “I have signed a filmed with Sooraj Pancholi, where I am playing the bad guy again,” he says. “I prefer playing the bad guy, as the concept of the villain has changed so much. He is not just fit, but has a personality as strong as the lead guy.”

Fitness is a huge part of Kazi’s life, which is why he admires actors like Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan and Ranveer Singh. His ultimate heroes, though, are Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra.

And heroines? “Given a choice, I would love to act with either Shraddha Kapoor or Alia Bhatt,” he says.

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From HT Brunch, May 10, 2017

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First Published: May 10, 2017 18:19 IST