The Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan’ actor spoke exclusively to OTTplay on the occasion of 'International Dance Day'
Hey Sidharth Nigam! To begin with, today is 'International Dance Day'. So, what does the term dance mean to you?
I relate a lot to the film 'ABCD'... Anybody Can Dance’. Dancing and working out are two important that play an extremely important role in our lives. Whenever we dance, we carry a lot of emotions. So, in my opinion, dance is emotion... a form of emotion.
Are you a born dancer or have you been taught dancing?
I've been taught dancing. I was a very bad dancer. I didn't know what the meaning of 'D' in dancing was. But now, I have learnt it.
So when did you first realize that you know you can dance?
I am a gymnast. I remember I was first offered to dance next to Salman Khan sir on ‘Big Boss’ when I was doing 'Ashoka'. That was the first time when I was told that I have to dance to promote my show 'Ashoka' next to Salman Khan sir and Mouni Roy. It was that time when I didn't even know the 'D' of dancing. I never thought that I would ever be able to dance. But, when I came to the industry and I realised that knowing dance is very important for an individual in the industry, thereon I got motivated to learn dance... no matter how and what! I, then, started watching serials... lots of them. And... then, by God's grace, I got an offer from ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, a show that actually taught me dancing. My choreographer Mr. Vivek Chachare had really worked a lot on me and my craft. I remember practicing non-stop for 20 hours a day! I even lost 10 KGs in the bargain... I danced so much! Today, all of this are helping me a lot. I'm not a pro-dancer still, if you teach me the steps, I will learn.
With the kind of dance moves that we have seen of you... isn't calling yourself a non-pro dancer a bit modest?
Actually, if you ask me, Raghav bhai is a 'proper-proper' pro dancer. You play any song, any music... He can dance. But, for me, I need to be choreographed the steps, which I pick up and then I dance.
Can you recall your first ever dance performance?
Whenever there used to be an annual function in school, we children used to get targeted easily and they used to make us sing and dance (laughs). I remember having performed to the hit track of that time, 'Ararra meri jaan hai Radha..." That was my first ever performance in which I did it in front of 100 people! I must have been around sixth or seventh standard at that time. That was my first ever dance performance.
Did you get any award for your school performance?
Not really. There were other established dancers who were properly dancing. I was only standing on the side and was simply shaking my hands! (laughing). But, yes, when I had participated in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’, I had made it to the top four.
And which was your first on-stage dance performance?
It was for ‘Star Screen Awards’. But, by then, I had learned dancing (smiles).
How did your parents react when you told them that you wanted to be an actor/ dancer?
I always wanted to be an actor as I was already a gymnast. I believe that an actor gets to do everything. I wanted to be an actor since I was already a gymnast. An actor gets to do everything from gymnastics to action to singing songs... the list is endless. So, I think I'm very happy that I chose acting as a profession.
You are an inspiration to many So who is your inspiration?
I take inspiration from everyone. In today's times, I look upto and get majorly inspired by the iconic Shah Rukh Khan sir. The reason being that I can relate my journey to him. He has also come from nothing, and he has made his own empire... all on his own.
Which has been your toughest dance that you have done till date?
All the acts which I did in ‘Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa’ were the toughest. But there was one dance in which I had to do break dancing combined with gymnastics. It was a very difficult routine as there was extensive use of the trampoline as well.
Which has been the toughest dance that you have ever seen?
Amongst the many dance forms like the robotic dance, break dance, salsa, contemporary, locking-popping, I think break dance and locking-popping are the toughest.
How many dance forms do you know?
I am comfortable doing any form of dance But, mostly, salsa, contemporary and all the Bollywood style dance are my favorites.
So, ‘what's your advice to the readers and the future dancers on the occasion of ‘International Dance Day’?
I believe that everyone should know how to dance because dance is something which pulls out the best of you and your individuality. I feel that, we all should know dancing and dancing helps a lot, in terms of mentally and physically... 's more therapeutic. You can call it as 'dancing therapy'.
Now you are a dancer and an actor.... fdo you think that actors make for good dancers or dancers make for good actors?
I think the acting and actors are different from dancers. I feel that actors can dance, but it is hard for a dancer to act.
What are your future projects?
After 'Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan', I have been getting few offers. But nothing has been finalized. I am looking for web series and films. I want to play the main lead or a good character as an action romantic hero.
After 'Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan', are you getting offers to play 'kisi ka brother, kisi ka brother-in-law'?
I would not mind playing brother to Salman Khan (smiles).
During the trailer launch of 'Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan', Salman Khan had dropped some cryptic clues about some love affair happening on the sets. Was that you he was referring to?
Arre no ... Salman Sir was not referring to anyone. Sir has got a great sense of humour. He keeps on pulling our legs. I don't know anything of that sort as I am very focused on my work. (smiles)