New Delhi cricketer’s Saqib Saleem’s childhood ambition was to play for his country but destiny had something else in store for him. He left his bat and pads and started in the glitzy world of modelling and found his real calling in acting.
He made his debut with the Mujshe Fraandship Karoge followed by Mere Dad Ki Maruti. He won wide praise for his role as a homosexual in Bombay Talkies and got critical acclaim for his performance in Hawa Hawaai. Lately, the actor has been in the news for his music video Tum Ho Toh Lagta Hai along with Taapsee Pannu.
He is the cricketer named Viraj Sharma modelled after Virat Kolhi who goes missing in Dishoom, triggering a devil-may-care hunt by John Abraham, Varun Davan and Jacqueline Fernandez. In an interview the actor said he is happy to achieve the ambition of playing for the country in cinema. “So when this film happened I thought this is my dream – to be somebody who I always wanted to be. When I read the script, Rohit (Dhawan, director) and I were discussing that we should model the character on somebody so that it becomes easier on us. So Viraj Sharma was modelled on Virat Kohli”. He had met Virat Kohl at an IPL match and told him he was playing the cricketer’s character. “He seemed interested and said he would watch the film.”
Explaining how he came to do a music video Saqib Saleem said: “I always believe that music videos and web series are opportunities for actors and technicians, who haven’t been able to do films together, to collaborate and make something exciting. I have never worked with Taapsee before, so I thought ‘let’s try this’. I got a call from the makers who told me that the song has been composed by Amaal (Malik) and sung by Shaan. When I heard the song, I liked it, it was a nice melody. So, I did it, and people have liked the chemistry between Taapsee and me”.
Now you are doing a film together? When we were shooting for the video, we used to speak about how we should do a film together and now we are doing it. It’s a love story and we are shooting in London.
Explaining how he met the actress the actor says “We had met at a couple of events. They were formal meetings. I didn’t know anything about her. But she is from Delhi and so am I. I don’t know whether it was that connect, but when we started shooting and got talking, we just couldn’t stop. The director had to tell us calm down and concentrate! Taapsee is an easy person to work with. When you are working with somebody, especially on a love story, you have to know the person and connect. Otherwise it becomes difficult to emote. During the making, we realised we had a lot of things in common – the way we look at films as well as other things. She seemed to be on the same wavelength, which made it easy to shoot”. – CINEWS