Darsheel Safary became an overnight sensation after the release of Aamir Khan’s ‘Tare zameen par’ in 2007. A decade later, Darsheel is a well-known face, not only in Hindi films, but also in theatre. He is in the capital city with his play ‘Two adorable losers.” Nidhi Sinha of Orissa POST interacted with the actor to learn how he entered films and explore his future plans.
When you worked for ‘Tare zamin par’ you were new. Besides, you did not come from a film background. How was your experience?
I am a dancer and one day while I was practicing Aamir uncle came to take some auditions. He saw me dancing and also called me to appear for the audition. During the audition, I sang twice or thrice and was selected for the role. At that time, I was only 9-year-old and, like others, I too dreamt of becoming an actor. So when the opportunity came, I accepted it gleefully.
You were the youngest actor to be nominated for the best actor national award along with Shah Rukh Khan. How did you feel then?
I was a kid then and I didn’t realise the importance of the honour. As far as I remember today, I had gone to play cricket and my mother told me that I was being nominated for the award and it is a great honour. Today, I realise that it was a very big achievement and I thank Aamir uncle for this. Besides, my parents have been extremely supportive.
How did you feel when you went back to school after acting in ‘Tare zameen par’?
When I was back in school, all students flocked me for autograph. I couldn’t go back to class after the break as I was surrounded by so many students. Even after they left I couldn’t go back to class as they had torn my shirt in their bid to take my autograph. All the students were very excited.
What are the changes you find in people and yourself after the release of the film?
Earlier, I was like any other common child, but after the release of the film people recognized wherever I went. Even when my mother sent me to the market to buy something, people stopped me and took photographs with me. Even people who did not talk to me earlier, now wanted to be friends. However, as far as my family is concerned, there has been no change. Everyone has been very supportive. As for me, I became more observant after that and this was a great change in my life. Moreover, then I decided that I will become an actor.
You started with Hindi films. What made you take up theatre?
Abhishek Patnaik called me two years back and told me that he had a story for the play, which he intended to produce in collaboration with NCBA. It is a big theater group in Mumbai and already I was doing a lot of street plays since my college days. So I decided to accept the offer as it would help me to learn new things. It is a comedy titled “Two adorable losers” and will be staged in Bhubaneswar Sunday.
Tell us something about your upcoming projects.
Currently, I am concentrating on theatre as I love doing shows everywhere. I am learning new things from new shows. We are travelling to different states with our theatre. Moreover, I have just completed my education and thinking what to do next… (Laughs)
What is dearer to you – your life before becoming an actor or now?
Now doubt, this life. I am enjoying it. Everything is very different now. Moreover I am serious about acting and want to learn more.
Do you get nervous during live performances?
Yes, I do become nervous. I go backstage and see where my family members are sitting. However, the nervousness is getting lesser frequent as I am getting acclamatised to theatre. The benefit of theatre is that you get the reaction of you audience there itself and this is one reason why I am attracted to theatre.