Aftab Shivdasani on his digital debut, Poison 2: ‘Playing a grey character is a challenge and I love it'
Aftab Shivadasani joins a long list of Bollywood actors to shift to the streaming space, with his debut series Poison 2, on Zee5.
The fact that the world of web series often thrives on untold, fresh and new-age stories has not gone unnoticed by actors. Yet another actor who is exploring the format is Aftab Shivdasani, who made a promising debut at the age of 21 (opposite Urmila Matondkar) with Ram Gopal Varma’s romantic-musical Mast (1999). Aftab is now making his digital debut with ZEE5 show Poison 2, an 11-episode revenge thriller web series to stream from 16 October.
Alongside Aftab, the show helmed by Vishal Pandya, also stars Raai Laxmi, Zain Imam, Pooja Chopra, Rahul Dev, and Vin Rana among others.
“I am really excited to be part of such a massive platform, and that, too, in a new format of story-telling. Lot of new content is getting made and with the current situation when the cinemas are closed it is a great medium to be part of. OTT is here to stay. But, of course, you are going to make sure that you are doing the right shows, the right content, and working with the right kind of people,” says Aftab, who plays a character with grey shades in Poison 2.
The plot revolves around two camps’ attempt to take control of a racecourse by winning an auction. Of his character, Aftab says, “He is out to exact revenge on people who had wronged him in the past. There is that mystery about him; he is charming but also ruthless. As the show progresses, the audience learns more about what he has set out to do.”
While it may be easy to associate Aftab with many romantic and comedy flicks, like the Masti franchise, or Awara Paagal Deewana, Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, and Darna Mana Hai among others, the actor would love to play roles that have more than a few shades of grey. “For me, playing a grey character gives me a big high, it is a challenge and I love it. That is the reason I said yes instantly to Poison 2 because that is exactly what I wanted to do,” says Aftab. And his face lights up at the mention of 2001-release Kasoor, a suspense thriller and Aftab’s second Bollywood appearance after Mast. He played the role of a murderer in the Vikram Bhatt film, a performance for which he was lauded by both, audience as well as the critics.
“My character in Poison 2 is something similar to Kasoor. There are certain shades where you don’t know whether he is negative or positive. This is the kind of character I always wanted to do but unfortunately, nobody offered me such roles. I hope people notice me in Poison 2 and I get that acceptance in this role,” he says. “Today actors and filmmakers are not shy of taking risks or experimenting,” he adds.
Though Aftab didn’t have to struggle for his launch, it was smooth and stable, but his career didn’t take off as expected and he would often say that he didn’t have the ‘Hit’ tag. While he does not blame anyone for his choice of films, he does feel that he could have done things a bit differently. “The only thing that I possibly can imagine I could have done differently is to be more out there. Personally, I am a very shy person, I am an introvert. So I don’t go out there vying for attention. I am quite content with myself. Unfortunately, in the show business many people told me that you have to be out there, you need to be visible, you should be seen enough, have a PR.. but I could never understand all this. I feel I was always there, I was just a phone call away, so I couldn’t understand all this. Perhaps that could have made a slight difference, I don’t know. But I don’t have any regrets, I did what I felt was right then and I can’t really argue with myself,” he says.
And when asked about the Zen-like calm that he has been sporting over the last few years, Aftab says, “I think it is my wife’s (Nin Dusanj) influence on me. She is extremely calm and she has had a positive influence on me. My spiritual journey has also helped me calm down. I have become more mature, patient, and relaxed as a person. I rarely have that edgy feeling. Now I know dealing with any kind of situation in the right manner.” This attitude reflects in his response when asked how he looks at his journey of over 20 years, and Aftab shoots back saying, “What 20 years? I haven’t even started (laughs).”
(All images from Twitter)
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