With his small stint in ‘Baby’, Sajjad Delafrooz always strived to be on celluloid in Bollywood.
Mumbai: With his small stint in Neeraj Pandey’s ‘Baby’, Iranian sensation from Shiraz city of Iran, Sajjad Delafrooz always strived to be on celluloid in Hindi films. His hardwork paid him off quite well in the form of YRF’s grand action film 'Tiger Zinda Hai' where he got to play the most powerful villain Abu Usman in the recent times. In a conversation with Deccan Chronicle, Sajjad takes us down the memory lane- his journey in Bollywood, working with Salman Khan, how he bagged 'Tiger Zinda Hai’ and more. Excerpts:
How difficult was it for you to play an antagonist in 'TZH'?
When I got the news about the film, it was after two and a half months of audition. I was at my cousin’s house and I got a call from YRF. I went inside the room and was very calm. The casting assistant informed me that I have been signed on board to play Abu Usman, the baddie opposite Salman Khan. That was the moment when I decided that I have to show Mister Ali (Ali Abbas Zafar) and Mister Chopra (Aditya Chopra) that they have made a correct choice. I had to bring my experience of previous years and prove myself. I have been trying in Hindi films since 6-7 years and being a part of a film like 'TZH' was truly great.
So you had no qualms of doing your first Hindi grand film as a villain?
I did so many different roles in different languages. For me, to do different kind of roles is most important. If we talk about Abu Usman, the character is entirely different from the ones I had played in the past. It was very challenging for me to play it. I like to push myself by doing different roles.
Not many people like Salman Khan get beaten up by a villain, you had such things in mind before?
It’s not only in India. It is the same opinion around the world for mister Salman Khan. I always used my unconscious (mind as a person) on the sets. I let that character play and act. But when you realize that you are opposite Salman Khan, it has lot of excitement ahead. I couldn’t wait to share screen with him. He treats the people around him like family. Salman is a very caring and giving person.
How far has your life been changed as your role of Abu Usman is very well received?
For any artist, the biggest appreciation is to be praised or seen. I worked so hard for so many years in films and television but I couldn’t be recognised. But today I see people appreciating my art. It is a beautiful feeling and very fulfilling.
Do you feel 'TZH' has opened doors for you in Bollywood?
I always knew that Bollywood is my place. I was planning since long, but didn’t know when, where and how. As an artist, you have to try everyday. From hereon, my life is changing and has changed in fact. We have to go through so many scripts as an actor and it is a long process so I will announce it once things will get finalised. All these years I have just learned to be patient.
What kind of roles you want to explore here?
Romance is definitely one of the genres that I want to do it here since I am an emotional person.