By: Asjad Nazir
TALENTED actor Shehzad Shaikh has delivered top turns on television ever since he got his first big break in Savdhaan India: Crime Alert a decade ago.
Since then, the small-screen star has entertained audiences with winning performances in series including Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai, Qubool Hai and Bepanaah. He is currently playing the lead role in hit drama serial Sindoor Ki Keemat, which has been popular with audiences since it was launched a year ago, and will cross 300 episodes this month.
Eastern Eye caught up with the Indian actor to discuss Sindoor Ki Keemat, his inspirations and future hopes.
What do you love most about being an actor?
I get to live a completely different life and then carry it with me over the years. Living those lives, playing diverse characters, and working with lovely people is a blessing. Being able to perform and make a living out of art and creativity is the best thing about being an actor.
How did you feel about landing a lead role in Sindoor Ki Keemat?
Honestly, I was over the moon when I received the call that I was going to be the lead in Sindoor Ki Keemat. I had been trying for the lead for quite some time. I couldn’t ask anything more from God that this, my first lead show, has been running for 300 episodes.
What is working on the show like?
The experience has been like no other. I’ve done more in this one show in one year than in nine years of my career. I have done everything from playing an eight-year child and portraying a woman to being a good lawyer. I have gone through a range of emotions. It has been a challenge and one I have enjoyed.
What would you say has been your favourite moment from working on this show?
There have been so many favourite moments. Every single (story) track, from the beginning to now, has been very special for me. A personal favourite was portraying an eight-year-old in court, when my character suffers brain damage. I have enjoyed the various storylines and scenes with my heroine (Vaibhavi Hankare), including the romance, wedding, and engagement.
Why do you think Sindoor Ki Keemat is so loved?
I’m going to give all the credit to my beautiful heroine and the rest of the cast members, and creative team. I believe they all do a fantastic job. The teamwork has turned this into one of the finest shows on Dangal (TV), which is why it’s loved.
What is your plan going forward?
The plan going forward after the show is to knock on the door of all the production houses I have not approached before and meet all of them. I now have more than 15,000 hours of acting experience, and believe I can pull off anything under the sun, with a certain amount of confidence and humility.
Do you have a dream role?
My dream roles would include international projects, a lot of travelling, musical projects, theatre, TV and film. I’m creating a lot of dream roles for myself and hopefully someday I could collaborate with the right people and make more things happen.
What inspires you creatively?
Certain goals I set in my heart and ones I speak about inspire me. I want to be an Oscar winner and represent India globally. That desire to explore all platforms, whether it is film, TV or the streaming space, and work in global languages like French, Arabic and English, inspires me. I want to work with people from around the world, from Bollywood to Hollywood and everything in between.
If you could master something new, what would it be?
I would love to master a sense of discipline and being happy while being patient. I also want to be slightly more financially literate.
What do you enjoy watching as an audience?
I love to watch whatever is entertaining, and gripping from the minute it starts. One of my all-time favourites shows is Game of Thrones. Recently, I’ve been hooked on House Of The Dragon and a show I enjoy is Ted Lasso.
What else drives you as an actor?
I have inspiration around me as an actor and personal goals that drive me forward. I hope and pray to reach a certain standard. That final goal in my head inspires me to work harder, be more persistent and make a mark in the industry that will be remembered.