‘I am waiting for the right moment’ — Darsheel Safary
When Taare Zameen Par released in 2007, it made Darsheel Safary (then a 10-year-old) an overnight success, setting a challenging benchmark for the youngster for his future projects. Surprisingly, in the 10 years that he has been in the industry, TZP remains his only commercial movie. “Many people ask me why I haven’t had any more mainstream commercial roles. I am actually waiting for the right moment. I can’t take a decision like that without thinking properly, as it can be a key moment in my life. So yeah, I’m taking my time while waiting for the right script,” he says.
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Mumbaikar has not been sitting idle. He has established himself in the theatre arena, as well as directed a short film, besides making guest appearances in TV shows like Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. Talking about his transition into theatre, he says, “It changes you as an actor. You learn and grow in every show. I really like seeing the live reaction of the audience. It’s like writing a test and knowing the result then and there itself. It keeps the artiste and person in me humble.”
Darsheel’s debut on stage was in Abhishek Pattnaik’s play, Can I Help You?, in 2016, where he played the role of a fast bowler. “We had workshops for around five months. Abhishek introduced me to many methods of how to go about acting in theatre, all the way to the minutest detail. And, because I played an aggressive fast bowler in the play, I had to watch interviews of Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar.”
Currently touring with his next play, Two Adorable Losers, Darsheel was recently seen in Chennai, essaying the role of a psychology student in the play, while his co-star Abhishek (director of Can I Help You?) will play a professor. Directed by Murtuza Kuttianwala, the play is a production by Out of the Box Production and is presented by Act One Scene One (both Mumbai-based groups). “I’ve come to Chennai a couple of times and it is always fun here. Chennai is rich in culture, as is the rest of Tamil Nadu. They pride in various art forms and their performing arts, so I am very excited to perform for such a culturally rich audience,” says Darsheel.
The play portrays the relation between the teacher and student, while they attempt to tackle a common problem — inferiority complex. “The most important aspect of the play is that the encouragement leads to surprisingly unexpected results, which suits me, an eternal optimist. The positivity of the screenplay and knowing that this could change the thought process of the audience was a responsibility that I was willing to shoulder.”