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Zayed Khan: I never took my career seriously

Last updated on: October 13, 2009 14:52 IST

'I never took my career seriously'

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Nithya Ramani in Mumbai

Zayed Khan has been a part of several big films like Main Hoon Na, Dus and Yuvraaj but success has always eluded him, as an actor.

He hopes that all that will change with Blue, this Diwali's big release. Starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Lara Dutta with cameos from Katrina Kaif and Kylie Minogue, the film is directed by first-timer Anthony D'Souza.

Zayed talks to Nithya Ramani about his experience of working with the cast and where he thinks his career is taking him.

What is Blue about?

It is an underwater adventure film. It is about a few people, who go in search of treasure. Since it is an adventure thriller, I can't say anything more about the film. You must go and watch it.


Image: A scene from Blue

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'It felt awkward to dance so close with Katrina'

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What do you think made director Anthony D'Souza cast you in the film?

When I met him and asked what the character would be like, he said 'you'. He wanted someone who was arrogant, cocky, and with loads of attitude. I was like, 'gaali de rahe ho ya tareef kar rahe ho (are you abusing me or praising me?).'

Nobody knows Anthony was an assistant to (Hollywood director) Michael Bay (Pearl Harbour, The Rock, Armageddon, Transformers). Now, he is making a Rs 90 crore film -- the producer has that kind of belief on him. When you work with him, you will realise no other person in this industry has done such homework as he has and has such commitment to the job. He has a scientifically well done script, with locations and everything sorted out perfectly.

Being a water baby was another reason why Anthony took me in the film. I don't know how many people can do water stunts like me.

Are you paired opposite Katrina Kaif?

Watch the film, yaar. Everybody thinks Akshay Kumar is the villain. But it's actually one of us. If I say anything, it will spoil the fun.

I had to train myself a lot. And knowing that I would be with Katrina, I had to look better.

We had a funny situation when I had to do a romantic dance sequence with Kats. I know Salmanbhai well and know that Katrina is his girlfriend. That respect is there. So it felt awkward to dance so close with her. When I held her in my arms, she was like, 'why are holding me like I'm your sister!' When I had to do intimate scenes with her, it was really weird.


Image: A scene from Blue

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'It never feels like Sanjay Dutt will overshadow me'

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How was it working with Kylie Minogue? It seems you gifted her a sari.

I didn't want the media to know this. To work with a pop diva, who has just recovered from cancer and was looking so positive and great, was great! I just wanted to gift her something that she would not forget. She's a very normal person. I didn't believe I would dance with her. If she was in India for a show, I would be among the crowd, screaming my lungs out. It was great dancing with her. I got to do some amazing dance steps and even lift her.

Did you ever feel that you may get lost in a film starring Akshay Kumar and Sanjay Dutt?

Never. If I think that way, I will never succeed. I will be finished. People said the same thing when I was doing Main Hoon Na. They said Shah Rukh tujhe kha jaaega (Shah Rukh will eat you up on screen).

I think everybody has two or three roles that sticks out in their careers. Whether it's Sanju in Munnabhai or Shah Rukh in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or Salman in Hum Aapke Hai Koun...!. Those characters always stick in your mind.

So Main Hoon Na was a milestone for me. I am waiting for my next milestone. I have done four films with Sanju and it never feels like he will overshadow me.


Image: A scene from Blue

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'I might get into direction'

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Where do you see your career going? You have been a part of good ensemble films but your career hasn't really taken off.

I don't know. I'll tell you when I get to know about it. I think it's luck. There are a thousand others who are better actors than me but I have been lucky.

You tend to lean towards action films like Blue, Mission Istanbul and Dus. Why is that?

You will see me in romantic roles henceforth. Since I was born in the industry (Zayed's father is actor-filmmaker Sanjay Khan, who was famous for his television serial The Sword Of Tipu Sultan), I took most things for granted. I would call stars 'uncle' and 'aunty'. I used to think films were a hobby. I never thought of it as a career.

I have been a blessed child and did not have to be a part of this rat race. But it's high time I realised things and took films seriously. So I'm doing that.

Since I have a great experience with great directors and actors, sometimes I suggest ways to take a shot when the director gets stuck. There is a director inside every actor.

When will we see you directing films?

You never know. I will not throw away that possibility. Being born in a family industry, all we talk is films. I am very filmi and might get into direction.

What next?

Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene. I play a geek, a darpok (coward). So you will see me wearing fat-framed glasses. I don't raise a finger on anybody. In fact, I'm scared if somebody raises a finger. I am doing more films like this.


Image: A scene from Blue

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'Ash is the only person I don't mind waiting for'

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How was it working with the stars of Bollywood?

Esha Deol (Chura Liya Hai Tumne, 2003) is a pal. We've known each other since our toddler days.

Ash (Shabd, 2005) is a wonderful person. She's the only person I don't mind waiting for -- even if it's five hours -- because after she comes out of her van, she looks gorgeous.

Sanju (Shabd) is like my big brother. I have great regard for him. I love Salmanbhai (Yuvraaj, 2008) to death. I have spent so much time with him that I know him from every angle! He is the most misunderstood guy in the industry. He is a man with a golden heart.

Shah Rukh (Main Hoon Na, 2004) opened me as an actor. He helped me a lot during Main Hoon Na.

Akshay (Blue) is someone I would call General if we were in the army. He is the fittest guy in the industry now. He's a thorough professional. There is a lot to learn from him.


Image: A scene from Blue

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