Nilesh Sahaya is convinced he has acting in his genes. After all, he is Sanjay Dutt's nephew.
Nilesh is yesteryear actress Zaheeda's son; and can legitimately lay claim to being part of a film family that goes back four generations (from great grandmother Jaddanbai to her daughter Nargis to her niece Zaheeda).
The six-feet tall youngster caught the attention of filmmaker Deepak Shivdasani (Baghi, Gopi Kishen, Julie), and was signed on for a love story, Ek Duje Ke Liye.
Nilesh has always wanted to join films. "Sanju mama is my idol; followed by Sylvestor Stallone," reveals the 23-year-old.
Nilesh learnt acting from Kishore Namit, and underwent a theatre course from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
But he enthusiastically claims: "My real school has been Sanju mama's films, especially Rocky, Vaastav, Hathyar and the Munnabhai movies."
newcomer seems as excited about his first film, as the director.
"The crux of the story is that you can make any relationship work, if you are hell-bent on making it successful," Deepak Shivdasani says. "Besides the young love story, EK Duje is also the story of a 60 year old man and woman. I am negotiating with Rekha and Vinod Khanna to play the older couple. Nilesh will play the younger Vinod Khanna."
Deepak has also cast Anishka Khosla, who starred in the play, Shobha Yatra. Anisha plays a London-returned girl who falls for the charms of the Dalhousie dude, Nilesh. The film's music will be composed by Sajjad, grandson of renowned music director Ghulam Mohammed (Pakeezah fame). Ek Duje Ke Liye will roll early next year.
Nilesh's actress mother Zaheeda is best remembered as Dev Anand's heroine in the song Churi nahin hai mera dil hai, in Gambler. She also starred in Dev Anand's Prem Pujari.
Text: Dinesh Raheja