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Zayed Khan birthday interview: Fardeen Khan has been through a lot in life. I'm proud of him

Published on Jul 05, 2022 06:46 AM IST
Zayed Khan, who celebrates his birthday on Tuesday, poured his heart out during an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times and spoke about his comeback, film journey so far and being surrounded by his loved ones.
Zayed Khan talked about his career and life with Hindustan Times.

Actor Zayed Khan turns 42 on Tuesday. He is looking forward to a new beginning with the upcoming announcement of his comeback project. During an exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times, the actor opened up about the secret to his body transformation, thoughts ahead of his comeback, lessons from the past, and his equation with Hrithik Roshan, Sussanne Khan and Arslan Goni.


Are you going to count calories on your birthday too?

Rather than counting calories, I count hard work. It’s very important to realise that counting calories and diet can take a toll on you. Your body is your temple. I work out 3 and half hours a day. I get some of my best ideas while I’m working out. I enjoy life and being healthy. I did enjoy eating and going out with friends to have a good time, but sometimes you reach a saturation point. I have children, they are my greatest project, I enjoy spending time with them.

Truth be told, I have to take care of my body, as you grow old. You can’t have butter chicken and biryani every day. Everything is about balance. I have a strict diet. I follow intermediate fasting, with two meals a day—from 8:30 pm to 2 pm. I don’t eat anything in between except coffee or juice. I work out on an empty stomach. I eat wholesome food, and on weekends I can have a pizza and still have my six-pack abs.


When are you going to announce your comeback project?

I can just tell you that I have just finished a film. It’s all ready and a lot of OTT platforms are in the talk to finalise it. It won’t be released in the theatre but sadly I can’t say much about the film yet. I had an amazing time doing it.

Is it Sanjay Khan's project?

No, it isn’t. I’m thankful to my friend Aseem Merchant for the film. He came to my house and said ‘Man why are you not doing films?’ I just said that I want to spend some time with my children.

I read Amitabh Bachchan's autobiography where he wrote about how he came back home from work and apparently Abhishek Bachchan couldn’t recognise him because he wasn’t home enough. It made me feel that it was real. If I am not there for my children during their foundation years what does that say about me? I realised that I need to just spend more time with my family. Now that they are all grown up, I think its’ time for me to get back to business. Is it a good or bad move? I don’t know. I love films and my family. If I have to choose between them, I can only say you will have your kids for a lifetime and films will always be there. If you are with the right people, your film career will go up again.

In the majority of the cases, female actors are seen choosing their family over career…

Between my wife and me, sometimes I am the mummy and other times she is the daddy. I don’t see any difference. It’s a partnership. Honestly, a lot of people attach a stigma to this and call it a woman’s job but I have grown up with three sisters. I know that there’s no difference between a man and a woman when it comes to the pursuit of happiness and success. All these things are man-made, no pun intended.

Has anything changed for you over the years?

When you put too much on yourself with things like how many things you have in your cupboard or cars you own or call yourself best, it doesn’t do any good. I have lost attachment to materialistic things I think. My mother has always told me ‘love something that loves you back’. I grew up with a perception I necessarily don’t feel one needs to be in a shark-like attack mode and kill people with their achievements.

You refer to Hrithik Roshan as your mentor. Do you exchange tips with each other?

Always! We are people who don’t publicise what we talk about all the time. I have known Hrithik since I was 10. When you know people for that long, you know them from within. No matter if you talk every day or not, when you meet you know exactly where to pick it up. I love him from the bottom of my heart. He is one of the most generous, disciplined people I have ever met. He has always been the kind of brother I can speak my heart to. He gives the best advice a brother can. He is honest, critical and sincere. You just can't ask more. My trainer Satya also has helped me in my journey. My wife Malaika is like the wind beneath my wings. You don’t need much to take off again.

Age is just a number. How valid is it when it comes to making a comeback in the industry?

Everybody has regrets. People might say that they see potential in me but I don’t have the answer to everyone’s questions. I did everything either for my family or the people I love. I have never hurt anyone else other than myself. Have I grown up and learned my lesson? Of course, yes. Nobody is kind to you when you are not saleable, that’s the nature of the jungle. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be kind to others and be obnoxious. I have to pick myself up and knock the dust off, keep working with dignity. I am here just like everyone else. Money talks and wealth whispers. Success is like an accident you have to survive. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean it's yours. You have to grow thick skin.

(Also read: Zayed Khan recalls time he 'had no money')

How would you describe Fardeen Khan’s body transformation?

I’m so proud of him. Fardeen has been through a lot in life. For him to come out this way and accept himself and brave up to see life ahead, speaks volumes about his character. I am deeply moved to see how he has humbled himself that I think only life can teach you.

You were recently spotted partying with Sussanne Khan and Arslan Goni in Goa. What are your thoughts on them?

At my age, I find it most important to let people be and live. Whether the person is your brother, sister or friend, just let them be however they want. It’s also important to be there when they need you. As far as Arslan is concerned, I think he is a lovely boy. He has a sweetheart nature. And if that is keeping both of them happy, who am I to say anything? At the end of the day, it's just about what makes you happy. While we are very quick to judge, a lot of people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.

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