MUSBA HASHMI speaks with Eijaz Khan about his latest project, acting journey and experience exploring different platforms
Tell us about your character in City of Dreams?
I play Wasim Khan, a police officer. He has had a glorious past. He realises that at some point of time a Government servant become liabilities. His journey will be shown in the series. People will get to see what he does to get back into the game and what City of Dreams makes him into. The storyline is exciting and set in Mumbai against the backdrop of Indian politics and election. It was great working with the team of Applause Entertainment.
How have you evolved as an artist?
I was a professional dancer before. But somehow ended up acting. Thoughout my journey, the most important thing that I have learnt is to react and not act. In City of Dreams, I have done method acting and have tried to be in the shoes of the character. Nagesh sir (Kukunoor) has always taught me not to act, but be as real as possible and that is what I try to do in all my projects.
You have worked for TV, films and now web. Where do you find yourself most comfortable working in?
Platform doesn’t matter much, but the kind of work you are doing and the characters that you are playing makes a difference. While I was doing TV, I find myself tied up. It is more hectic. In films, there is more luxury but lot of hard work. The most challenging for me is working on a digital platform. Here we have to shoot for a longer time. We have to keep a track of the whole character because the inter-dyanamics of every character changes in every episode and it becomes scary.
What kind of roles attract you?
The grey characters. I don’t know the reason behind this. I have realised that the world is not only full of good people, there are bad ones too. It is good to be the way you like to be. A lot of people have taught me that you are a villian in somebody’s story. So grey characters add a sense of realism in the story. You can’t whitewash all the characters with the same brush — good.
What is there in your check list when it comes to signing projects?
First, the script should be good and compelling enough. Second, I look who the director is. He is the captain of the ship. The whole mood of a film or series is triggered by the director. It is important for me to get along with the director and understand him more than my family. Because I have to portray a life and it is important to be as real and as true as possible, so I need to understand the director well.
Was there a moment when you thought of quitting?
Not at all. I am the kind of person if someone pushes me away, I’ll come right back at him.
Was it hard for you to make a place in the industry?
The hard part for me was connecting with myself. I am still trying to do that. It is now that I have realised that how important self-love is. It has been very difficult for me to be comfortable with myself and fight all the fears of being in the industry. But now, I have been doing it and I believe it will reflect in my acting skills also.
Apart from acting, what else keeps you busy?
I try not be busy. We have been giving a lot of importance to being busy all the time. But sometimes, you need not to do anything. As an actor, we need to experience everything. But my daily routine is to water my plant and take care of my 14 dogs.
What is there in the pipeline?
Right now I am only doing City of Dreams but I believe my pipe should be full after this project. I believe all my dreams will come true after doing this web series.