He’s found his calling in Bollywood even though he belongs to a well known political family. And while everyone thinks he’s had it easy as a debut actor because he is Salman Khan’s brother in law, what they don’t know is that Aayush Sharma was warned by bhai that if he fails to impress him or the family then he would not launch him. That, of course, is history now because, impress he did, with his acting skills and he’s on his way to becoming a star( though he says he’d rather be an actor than a hero) with his debut film Loveyatri which is just around the corner.
He’s honest and doesn’t shy away from admitting that whatever he is today as an actor is because of Salman bhai. He still hasn’t lost the small town hill boy charm and humility in him. Polite and a thorough gentleman, here’s presenting Aayush Sharma the boy next door from Loveyatri, in conversation with HotFridayTalks.com.
Aayush, now that your debut film is just around the corner, what are you feeling?
“I think I am numb and I am counting days. Every day I wake up and I feel the days are getting closer and every day when songs are being released there’s nervousness and excitement. Inshallah, the reviews have been good and I hope the love continues and they hold on to it 20 days more. I am just too blank right now.”
Did you always want to become an actor?
“Everybody told me I should be an actor. My teachers at college would say you should be an actor but I used to think I know nothing about acting so dancing acting and me were not happening. I was an introvert and had never acted on stage also before. It was only when Sohail and Salman bhai told me that I should be an actor. When Salman Khan one of the biggest superstars in the country told me I should then I thought why not. After all, I was young only 24. I started giving it a thought and then I joined acting classes etc.”
How did you decide to become an actor?
“It was when I started assisting in films that my horizon opened. There are so many people working behind the camera, trying to make a good film for people to watch. I started with Bajrangi Bhaijaan, the film became so big and the response was overwhelming, and it was close to my heart. I felt that it was my film even though my name was not there in the credits since they wanted to hide my name. I somewhere down the line wanted people to love me and know me like the kind of love they showered on bhai.”
How did your journey with films begin?
“I was assistant for almost four years for films like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Sultan and Tubelight, the set became normal for me. I would always give the mark for Salman bhai when they would set up the camera. I would try to read his lines etc. After bhai would come on the set, I would observe him and see how he would do the scenes. That exposed me to the way films worked. I travelled with him for four years day and night and that exposed me a lot to minute things about how films were made, how they worked etc. I learnt a lot from there. I credit me being comfortable and at home on Loveyatri to my experience in those 4 years.”
Why did you choose Loveyatri as a debut film?
“When people know that you have come from SKF Films they expect you to break walls, jump on cars and beat people up. So people from the industry would tell me things like oh! You’re quite thin in real life, ‘coz they had this preconceived notion that they have that anyone coming from SKF Films would be huge and muscular. But I never wanted to be launched as a hero but wanted to be launched as an actor. Loveyatri is a relatable film, my character is relatable. I could not imagine myself in any other character. The film brings a smile to your face and I was sure that this is the film I want to be a part of.”
If not an actor what would you be doing?
“I am in love with the world of movies so if not an actor then maybe I would be an assistant director, or a line producer or anything to do with the movies. This love for films came to me after Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Before that I was completely directionless, all I thought of was how do I stay on in Mumbai after college since I am from Himachal and I love Mumbai so much. I am a proud Himachali but Mumbai is home for me now. My family has given me so much love, they have never made me feel like a brother in law but more like a brother.”
How supportive has your wife Arpita been with your decision to get into acting?
“Arpita has been extremely supportive. I am a bad dancer and she would always encourage me, then there were days while training when I had doubts; when I would feel whether I am really cut out for this. I would ask her do you think I have it in me to become an actor? Do you think people will like me? There were also days when Aahil was coming and I would think whether I was doing the right thing by fiddling with my career etc. She used to always tell me just have faith. Today when my film is about to come out, she has seen me dance in the songs and she had tears in her eyes and said ‘Finally I don’t need to defend you anymore, you have proved yourself. The faith I had in you 4 years back is what the people have in you now, that means a lot to me.”
What was Aahil’s reaction when he first saw you on the screen?
“Aahil is a smart kid. He knows his mamu is something to do with the camera and he is also very comfortable in front of the camera but when he saw me on screen he was quite surprised. He saw me on TV looked at the TV and looked at me and then asked papa?”
From a simple boy from Himachal to being an actor in one of the biggest productions. How does it feel?
“The fact that I am an actor is yet to sink in and that’s happening slowly. I am enjoying everything that is coming to me in my life as an actor. I am enjoying the kind of love and appreciation I am getting and my film is getting. When people come to me for pictures I still find it odd but I am enjoying the love.”
Did you ever think of debuting with some other production house, other than Salman Khan Films?
“SKF is one production house which stands for the legacy of Salman Khan and today I am what I am because of him. I owe everything to him and even if a script would have come from someone or somewhere else, I would still take it to SKF Films and ask them to produce it because I would be getting that because of him! I would rather be a part of what he stands for.”
Was Salman an inspiration?
“He’s an inspiration to millions and millions and millions of people. He’s been working every day since the last 30 days. Every day getting up and doing what he does, he only takes a break the last five days of the year around the time of his birthday. He has the energy every day to go out there and keep working. That is something that has driven me, that kind of dedication to his work.”
If you are to work in a remake of any Salman Khan film which one would that be?
“To begin with, I don’t think I would ever be able to act like him or fit into his massive shoes and I would refrain from it. But if I had to then it would definitely be Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I am a huge fan of that film of his.”
What kind of advice did Salim Khan sir give you?
“The only thing he would say is that make films that the whole family can go and watch together. By the end of the day, movies are supposed to be enjoyed by families together. He also told me to walk with confidence and be confident about what you do. Even if you are doing bad and doing that with confidence people might just like it!”
Lastly, would you like to share your experience on the first day you went on the set for the shoot? What were you feeling?
“I had a sleepless night. I woke up with the thought that the first day of my journey starts and I hope it is not my first and my last, that it is the beginning of many films. There was a lot of chatter on the set about how Salman’s brother in law is being launched and this is the guy etc.etc. I just wanted to give a perfect take and I thought to myself that if I gave more than 5 retakes then acting was not for me. In my mind, I kept calculating my retakes (LAUGHS). But I managed that. I then messaged Salman bhai at the end of the first day of shoot and said thank you for giving me this film and he sent me the sweetest message back saying; ‘I bless you form this day forward that you will never be out of work, every single day of the year you will be working and have no time to go for a holiday.’ That was the sweetest blessing and I hold it close to myself and hope it comes true.”
Inshallah, we hope so too. Team HotFridayTalks.com wishes you all the best and many many more films to come!