Punjab2000 talk to Shiv Darshan about his debut movie ‘Karle Pyaar Karle’
By Jassi Singh Panesar
Jassi – Welcome Shiv, thanks for taking time out for the interview.
Shiv – You’re welcome and I look forward to it.
Jassi – Will be asking you questions about your debut film and also towards the end we will try to drift towards your journey towards acting and personal likes within the film industry as a film fan.
How would you describe the film Karle Pyaar Karle? I would say it is an action packed, very modern, and contemporary and a whole-some entertainer. It has action, romance and it’s got good music and a family element to it. In Hindi cinema, the family elements have been cut off in many of the films lately so all in all a whole-some entertainer, which is modern and fresh.
Is it true that you refused to have a body double for your stunts in the film? Yes, I have done most of my stunts. My character is Kabir who is a daredevil and a biker. Loves living his life and taking up challenges. In my personal life I am not Kabir, no daredevil and definitely not a biker. I got the opportunity to play somebody else that is what actually excited me about this film. There is this one particular stunt that I had to do where I do a bike stopping front wheelie and kiss the leading lady whilst performing the stunt. What happened was that I had to train on a bike in Bombay and get used to performing these tricks so I started training vigorously. Then I went to Bangkok to film the shoot. One the day I was informed that the bike I had practiced with in Bombay, was unavailable in Bangkok, which gave me the shook of my life. I was very determined to do the stunt without the body double. I practiced on the bike that we had from Bangkok. But I was extremely nervous scared not for myself but for my leading co-star because there was this particular marker that I had to reach to carry out the bike performance. So if I would exceed or not reach that mark then the bike would actually go in to the leading lady. But luckily I managed to get on to the mark.
Did that stunt sequence require many retakes or was it a one hit wonder shot? Well we actually started to shoot that scene at 8am and finished filming it at 4pm. That was because I was not used to the bike and had to kind of initially get used to the weight of the bike. Reaching the mark was hard; sometimes I would exceed it or not reach it. The last shot at 4pm I was ever so happy when that took place because it was enough for the day to shoot with the bike.
Any more incidents that you recall having to be difficult but you managed to pull through? Yes, basically I was shooting for my first action sequence and I am not trained in action, I’m personally a trained gymnast. So my action trainer informed me not to worry because he has the best cable system in India. So I wasn’t worried, in this sequence I was meant to run over cars. So I went to shoot and then got informed there that those particular cables were attached to a certain crane, which for logistical reasons could not make it to the set. So that shot has been given without any cables and no stunt double either. But the shot went really well but the problem after the take I realized that I tore my hamstring. The next day I had the dance number for the song ‘O Darling’ and I have taken the whole shot with painkiller pills.
Was it your own choice to all these stunts? Yes my own choice but it certainly not the wisest decision I have ever made. Because as an actor the lightest mistake can be a problem for the rest of the film. So as an actor, an actor should avoid risks as much as possible. As this was my first movie, so the excitement was there but in the future I don’t I will ever be able to do it. But as an actor I see it as a big responsibility for everybody because if the actor gets injured then the whole shoot can go on to a stand still. Producer can have internal cost loses.
Was it difficult to maintain your acting mindset for the scene where there was a real life tiger being featured? That is a scene I would always remember, we were shooting for the song called ‘Teri Sanson Mein’ all over Thailand. One particular shot in the song that we were doing in the Tiger Temple and I had to walk with the tiger. Before the shot I was informed that the tiger was not sedated and then informed by the trainer that I am supposed to walk along the tiger but not come in the vision of line of the tiger because if I do then there is a high probability that he will attack me. He also told me was to try and finish the shot because it was time for the tigers feeding time. So that flustered me and I was really nervous, I made sure that being nervous was not being shown on camera. So luckily when I was performing that shot I managed to get through it.
What made you get in to acting? Actually I come from a film family, always wanted to be a part of the Hindi film industry. Probably pursued and become a technician, a distributor or anything related to movies but not as an actor for sure. A particular incident that took place was when my father was shooting for Talaash in 2003 starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor. For some reason Akshay Kumar could not do his shot. So my father called me up to be a body double for Akshay. I went on set, they chopped my hair off, I wore his jacket, put make up on me and the shot was simple. I just loved being there and it was a good experience being in front of the camera. From there onwards I started to pursue acting. I worked on myself, I was really big and fat so I started going to the gym regularly, doing gymnastics and working on my acting skills.
So what acting trainings did you undertake? I went to acting classes, went to Kishore Namit Kapoor acting school and also Anupam Kher’s school classes, took number of classes and in fact I took dancing classes too. Spent 3-6 months for Indian classical Kathak dance form. But felt there was something still lacking so I went to New York and pursued a popular academy there and did some dancing classes too so was there for almost 2 years there in New York. Once I came back from New York and felt well prepared and groomed for the film industry, oh and during my training years of preparing myself, I always kept on top and up to date with movies by analyzing films, actors and great directors on filming the cast. My film education was on all that time. My father asked me what kind of cinema do I want to be a part of for my first? So I told him I want to do this really modern contemporary wholesome entertainer. So that was taken in to consideration for Karle Pyaar Karle.
Did you have that extra pressure because your father is in the film industry? Being honest of you, I never felt pressurized. I only felt that I owe it to my father for fulfilling the trust that he has in me. Also there are more than 200 technicians to trust me so for me that was a big responsibility to fulfill their trust as well.
Now that you have a movie coming out, how much of your life has changed? Oh my life really has changed, I have been promoting the movie for a month and have been going on roadshows all over the country. I started my journey from Ahmedabad, went on to Jaipur, Patna, I went to Delhi and came to Chandigarh. It has been rally awesome and good opportunity to interact with people so they know me better. The past 1 week every day it’s been 2 or 3 hours max and the funny thing is I am not tired. I actually like this experience and lifestyle. I am a disciplined guy who likes to work out and eat properly but this has been crazy and I like the craziness.
Are there any other projects coming up? Right now my movie will be releasing so I am really focusing on that first and keeping my fingers crossed hoping everything goes well and then plan my future from there on wards.
What and who inspires you the most? My father and my passion for the cinema and acting drive me. If you want to talk about actors who inspire me then I would say Mr. Dev Anand Ji for his masterpieces and creative style and of course Amitabh Bachchan has to feature in the list of actors.
‘The Film Round’ – for fans to know more about you not as an actor but as a film fan)
Favorite film – Satyakam
Favorite director – Vijay Anand
Favorite actor – Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan
Favorite actress – Madhuri Dixit and Shidevi
Favorite on screen pair – Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha
Favorite villain – Amrish Puri from Mr. India and Gabbar and Sadashiv Amrapurkar.
Jassi – Thank you so much Shiv for your time and wish you all the best for your debut film. It was great speaking to a newcomer and getting to know about your journey into Bollywood.
Shiv – Thanks for the opportunity and I hope we do not disappoint the fans in London. It was really fun making this film so I hope you all do enjoy it. Thanks once again for the interview.