Living up to your father�۪s footsteps can always be a difficult task. Shiv Darshan is following his father Suneel Darshan�۪s steps in to the Bollywood film industry with his upcoming release ��Karle Pyaar Karle�۪. One thing is for certain that Mr Darshan is committed to the cause and has undergone film training to perfect his art. Playing a dare devil in debut film, Mr Darshan has pulled out all the stops to ensure that it is a debut to remember, going as far as doing his own stunts without a body double. BizAsia were given the opportunity to interview Shiv Darshan about his upcoming release and ask him just how difficult the stunts were.
You have done a lot of your own stunts in this film. Did you enjoy doing these?
Shiv Darshan: ���To be honest, it took a lot because I am no dare devil. I had to get used to the motorbike. There is one particular stunt which I spin the bike around and kiss the heroine. So I had to do a lot for this and get used to the bike. In Mumbai, I had to rehearse the bike scenes. When I got to Bangkok, I realised that the particular bike that had been rehearsing with was only in Mumbai, it was not available in Bangkok. I was adamant that I want to do the stunt myself without any body double so I started rehearsing on the new motorbike early in the morning and I was a bit scared, not for myself but for my co-star Hasleen Kaur. There was particular mark where I had to stop the bike and even if I was a little bit off, there would be a good chance that I would crash into her and it wouldn�۪t be too good for her. Luckily I went on the right mark and the result is in front of you.�
What was it like working with Hasleen Kaur?
Shiv Darshan: ���It was fabulous and real learning experience for me. Although this was her first movie, when you see her on screen, she comes across as a seasoned actress. She is very helpful and supportive. You know being a beauty pageant winner and having a modelling background, helped me. I have never done modelling as such and she coached me, letting me know which angles were good and how I should pose. She was very supportive and a dedicated hard worker.�
While shooting for the film, did you find the stunts the most difficult part of acting?
Shiv Darshan: ���Definitely. We were filming a song sequence for Teri Sanson Mein and the shot was that I had to walk with a tiger on a leash. Before we took the shot, I was informed that the tiger had not been sedated. Then the trainer gave me the leash and he said do whatever but don�۪t come in the line of sight of the tiger or there�۪s a chance he will attack you. So I was really scared and nervous and I had to make sure that this didn�۪t show on camera. In the shot, I had to look like a dare devil bad ass.�
Did you always want to become a Bollywood actor or be involved in the Bollywood film industry?
Shiv Darshan: ���You know coming from a film family, I always wanted to be a part of the Hindi film industry but acting was not my first choice. There was one particular incident, after which I decided that I wanted to pursue acting. What happened was that my father Suneel Darshan was shooting this film called ��Talaash�۪, starring Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan. For some reason, Akshay Kumar could not make it on set so my father called me and said I need you on set right now.�� I come on set and he said that I need a body double for Akshay Kumar. I was only in final year of school so I was really impressed. I had to wear Akshay Kumar�۪s costume and the shot was really simple. It was wide shot where Kareena was dancing and I was in the background. I really enjoyed those two seconds and from that incident onwards I decided to pursue acting.
���Once I decided to pursue acting, I started working on myself. This may sound like a Bollywood clich̩ but I was really fat and I had to become really fit. I started going to the gym and gymnastics. I underwent acting training in Mumbai Anupam Kher sir�۪s acting academy. I took dance lessons and I also pursued Indian classical dance in the form of kathak for three months. Still I felt that I had something lacking. So then I went to New York and pursued acting at the New York Film Academy. Once I came back, I felt I was more prepared for the industry and better moulded as an actor. That is when my father asked me what kind of cinema do you want to go into? I told him that I wanted to be part of a film that was a fresh contemporary wholesome entertainer so ��Karle Pyaar Karle�۪ was scripted according to that.�
Do you feel a lot of pressure to succeed coming from a film family?
Shiv Darshan: ���I personally feel that there is a responsibility from my end that I need to maintain the quality and standard of cinema that comes from my family. I feel responsibility towards my father but also towards the 200 technicians who have worked on this movie. They have supported me and I need to deliver a successful film to them.�
Are there any particular male Bollywood actors you look up to?
Shiv Darshan: ���I feel that the new generation is really good and very talented and they are doing really good movies. There is strict balance between content and commerce and Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor, both these actors have established a fine balance between them. To do this, I have to work really hard. These contemporary actors, I understand that if you love the Bollywood film industry, you have to be Mr Amitabh Bachchan�۪s fan. I am also a huge Dev Anand fan, I love his film ��Kareeb�۪.�
Do you have any projects lined after Karle Pyaar Karle?
Shiv Darshan: ���Right now, my whole focus is on this film. In three weeks, I have barely slept two hours each day as I have been doing roadshows in Ahmedabad and Jaipur. I want this film to be promoted really well and let�۪s see what happens.�
We wish Mr Darshan and the crew of ��Karle Pyaar Karle�۪ all the best for the upcoming release. The film releases nationwide on Friday 17th January 2014.