Model turned actor Aftab Shivdasani has completed 21 years in Bollywood. Not many are aware that Shivdasani was selected as the Farex baby at the age of 14 months. He started his acting career as a child artist in films, including, Mr India (1987), Shahenshah (1988), ChaalBaaz (1989), Awwal Number (1990), C.I.D. (1990) and Insaniyat and many more.
The dimpled actor has carved a niche of himself with the roles in the industry. His body of work makes him one of the most versatile actors we have in Bollywood. On the personal front, Aftab, welcomed his first child, a baby girl, with wife Nin Dusanj a few months back.
The actor is so true to his craft that even pandemic didn't stop him from working. He was among the first few actors to resume filming after the Maharashtra government issued SOPs for shooting amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, despite taking all the necessary precautions on the sets of his recently released web series Poison 2, the actor contracted Covid-19 and was home quarantined.
In an exclusive conversation with IBTimes, Aftab Shivdasani opened up about his experience of battling the deadly virus, shooting for Poison, completing 21 years in Bollywood and embracing fatherhood and more.
On Battling COVID-19
By God's grace, I am back to normal. From the moment I contracted the virus until I tested negative, it was a challenging phase for me. All I can say is you have to have faith in yourself. It's never good news when you hear that you have tested positive for Covid-19, you start wondering what will happen, what will be the outcome? How will you recover? And it's very easy for panic to set in. Then there are steps before you get to know that it's severe or mild. I had mild symptoms and had to be on antibiotics for 5 days, and I felt better on the 4th day. I was normal, but until you do the tests, and you are negative, you don't get a clear idea. The ones who have good immunity recover healthier and better. All I want to say is eat healthily, eat good, build your immunity. Apart from the medication, you must have vitamin c and zinc.
On making his web debut with the Poison
I have been trying to work with Zee 5 from a long time but it didn't happen. When Poison was approached to me, I loved it instantly. The story is author-backed for my character. And it's an action thriller which is something that I wanted to do for a long time.
I know Vishal from a very long time, he is an old friend. He has worked with me as an AD in Vikram Bhatt's film. And I am glad that the film has etched out perfectly. It is one of the strongest characters that I play. There is a mystery element attached to it. It's a very important show as Poison season 1 did well.
On completing 21 years in journey
I have worked extremely hard and I am doing so. A lot of people cut corners, I have never done that from 1999 till now it's been more than 21 years, and it's amazing. I am selfless and passionate about my work. I haven't screwed people. I don't play games, I don't make strategies and I believe in the mantra honesty is the best policy.
On gauging the success of web series
We shot the web series of Poison like a film. Yes, commercially both are different, we don't get to see the numbers and business that the show has made instantly, while in films its instant gratification. And as an actor, I would like to do be part of both web as well as films.
Shows you like to watch on the web
At the moment, I am watching my daughter fall asleep, watching her grow. My wife and I usually watch shows together. We love sci-fi, thrillers, comedies. As a viewer. I love horror but my wife is reluctant to watch but I drag her.
With rising cases, are you scared to shoot?
At the moment I am in London and will be here for some time. But had I stayed together while shooting I would not be scared as I will take all the necessary precautions and stay in a separate room after the shoot.