"Faiz Abu Malik has been the most challenging role," says actor Shiv Panditt whose film Khuda Haafiz releases on Disney+Hotstar
Actor Shiv Panditt who shot to fame with his debut film Shaitaan and has acted in several movies, will now be seen in the role of an Arabian commando in Khuda Haafiz that releases on Disney+Hotstar. The film stars Vidyut Jammwal in the lead role, and is a thriller-action drama.
Shiv portrays the key role of Faiz Abu Malik. Revealing more about how he prepared for it, the actor says, "This has been the most challenging role I have done so far. I had to unlearn what I knew. I had never played a Middle Eastern character ever. So I had to work on my accent, my tone and body language. I had to appear convincing."
The actor says most Middle Eastern characters have always been portrayed in a caricaturish way in Hindi cinema, but his role is close to reality. "The only time I felt such a role was true to its essence was in the film Airlift. Inaamhulhaq's character was as real as it could get. Hopefully, people like and are convinced by my portrayal of Faiz Abu Malik," he says.
Shiv has come a long way in the industry. He's been an RJ, a TV show host and now an actor. He has also acted in TV serials and short films before making it to Bollywood. Speaking on how he has managed such a long-innings in the industry, the actor says, "One needs to be pragamatic in approach when it comes to surviving in this industry. People aren't standing here to welcome you with their arms wide open. You need to be financially, emotionally and mentally stable. When I came to Mumbai over 15 years ago, I worked as an RJ to make enough money. Then when I quit, I got to act in a commercial and didn't have a job for six months. I survived on my savings. I also had my family and friends who supported me emotionally and mentally."
The actor also stresses on how there can't be friends in the industry. "You cannot make people from the industry your family. You need to have friends outside the industry. Work pressure can take a toll on you, so you need family and friends to speak with," he says.
On the work front, Shiv will next be seen in Dharma Productions' Shershaah that's still under production. "I just hope we get to see this film in theatres. OTT releases are great but the excitement of watching it in theatre is what we wait for," he signs off.