After that, you participated in the Mr World title. How was the experience?
That happened in 2004 in Istanbul, Turkey. I prepared aggressively for six months for the Mr World title. People from 92 countries were there and it was a great experience. I won a modelling assignment for one month there. So, after the contest, I stayed back and modelled for a month. I am one of the few who got a chance to model for Calvin Klein.
Back in India, I quit my job with Patni Computers and started modelling as a professional.
How did you move to the world of films?
My first film was The Angrez, a crossover film which was a huge super hit in Hyderabad. It ran for 300 days there. It gave me the confidence that there are many ways to entertain people and touch their lives. The Angrez happened because I wanted to do some good projects and learn. My emphasis was on learning. It was like doing an Engineering course for four years; a learning process.
Immediately after The Angrez, I got a really good project in television, Antariksh. It was like Star Wars. It was a lot of fun to play the main protagonist where I could do a lot of stunts, martial arts, etc. I am also trained in the Chinese martial art Wu Shu. I did a lot of martial arts, hanging from cables, etc. It was sheer fun.
After Antariksh came Mayavi, a James Bond spy thriller which was again a trendsetter. It was the first ever 3-D television serial in India. It got dubbed in many Indian languages. The film was also dubbed into Mandarin and Korean to be telecast in China and South Korea.
Mayavi won the Jury's Special award at the Seoul Global TV Drama Awards in South Korea, the first time an Indian TV serial did so. You can describe this as an Oscar of TV.
We were the underdogs there. Winning that award was like Chak De India! We sat in the front row. Collecting the award in 2007 was the highest point in my career so far.
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