British born and raised Asad Shan is not only a VJ on Zing but an actor, model, director and producer! There is no doubt that Shan is a very talented man and in his new movie “7 Welcome to London,” Shan not only co-wrote the script but he directs, produces and stars in movie as well!
With the release of the movie just around the corner we thought it would be a great time to have a little chat and get to know this ambitious star! Check it out!
Urban Asian: I’m sure you’ve been asked this question tons of times but just for our fans we want to know how does an investment banker end up in Bollywood?? With such a drastic change in careers there must be a crazy story behind that!
Asad Shan: There is no crazy story but a real story about someone falling ill in my immediate family which made me realize that life was too short so once they recovered I thought I shall fulfill my passion and seriously pursue this line. Next thing I won the Mr Asia UK 2004 and then off to New York to train as an actor and Mumbai where I landed the VJ position at B4U Music. Who could imagine a boy from Eastham, London with no connections in film world, being offered a main VJ post – that was an instant leap for me and then with it came the modeling and fashion ramp walks.
Urban Asian: You didn’t just dive into acting, we understand that you’ve trained in New York in Method Acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and in Film Performance at the New York Film Academy, what was that experience like?
Asad Shan: Well that really was my first major milestone being accepted to the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where the likes of all Hollywood Acting Gods have trained and from Bollywood we have had Ranbir Kapoor. I had a fantastic time whilst there and like anything you do I made sure I spent all my time learning new things about cinema and acting. I also did workshops with Sanford Meisner School. New York is a dream, the most amazing city, a certain spirit and spellbound feel
Urban Asian: Have you taken more acting classes since then to improve on your craft or do you plan on taking more in the future?
Asad Shan: I think an Actor is always improving himself with everything he does as it’s a profession that requires you to continually grow. So all I can say is that to become the best in my field I am continuously learning from real life situations and thought process remains active all the time.
Urban Asian: Let’s talk about Mumbai! Since you were born and raised in East London, moving to Mumbai must have been quite the change in lifestyle. Did you have trouble adjusting? Now that you’re back in London, what is something about Mumbai you never thought you’d miss?
Asad Shan: No I don’t think I really had any difficulties settling into life there as Mumbai is a very cosmopolitan city and very similar to London apart from the constant honking of car horns. I loved the vibrancy of the city and settled in really well I guess speaking in fluent Hindi helped a lot and of course my friends out there as well.
Urban Asian: Not only do you model, act and VJ you’ve also been a part of a number of theatre productions as well! How is theater different from VJ-ing for Zing or acting in a television show or movie?
Asad Shan: Theatre is all about characterization while Vjing is my own personality. So one makes me be myself and the other I have to give birth to a character. Films are the hardest, you could be shooting the climax scene before your first scene while in theatre there is a flow so both can be as hard and as easy as one another
Urban Asian: How was your experience directing “7 Welcome to London” and have you ever directed anything before?
Asad Shan: Actually I had four different roles for this film right from co-writing the script, producing the film, then directing and acting in it. Being a methodical person I was able to separate all four roles – once the story had been written the producer side of me made sure the money was raised and budgeted for. I think the hardest was the Director and the actor because being a perfectionist the director in me always found the right balance in the actor, where actors can be greedy. I believe UK Film industry and UK Asians are supremely talented and we have a big market here, they just need to work with the right team and well … you will see the results.
Urban Asian: You’ve built your own production company, Iconic Productions UK Limited, from scratch essentially, was it hard to get the company off of the ground?
Asad Shan: Not at all. I suppose when you don’t agree with the products being made, one has to take the drastic step to lead and Iconic Productions UK Ltd has succeeded in that.
Urban Asian: Iconic Productions UK Limited aims to help struggling artists make their big break, so how does it feel to mold the next generation of stars? For a struggling artist what is one piece of advice you would give?
Asad Shan: Artists shall always believe in themselves but also be street smart to know when and where to stop. It’s a cruel world and we will always work with the new talent who deserve it
Urban Asian: Let’s get into some juicy details now, how did you feel when you won the Mr. Asia UK Competition back in 2004? I bet the girls were just fawning over you after that! You were also one of the Top 10 bachelors in Cosmo and Elle India!
Asad Shan: Well I guess it’s like any achievement a bag of mixed emotions from surprise, pride, happiness shock they all hit you and you don’t really remember much other than is it really true. The adulation is always part of this profession but one thing is for sure, if you are attractive, you will get attention but best part is this attention comes with responsibilities … think spiderman … with great power comes great responsibility
Urban Asian: You’re an actor, model, VJ and now a director! Which one do you love to do the most?
Asad Shan: I love being an ARTIST and variety is the spice of life. If you good at different things, then don’t stop and do it all.
Urban Asian: What is the craziest thing that a fan has ever done for or to you?
Asad Shan: Flew from Canada to Mumbai just to wish me happy Birthday in person J so sweet
Urban Asian: What is your favorite clothing company?
Asad Shan: I like Zara and for suits I like to wear Reiss.
Asad Shan: Rass Malai and Ghulab Jaman
Urban Asian: GHULAB JAMUNS! Even though that’s not a choice we’ll let you have that answer. So next question: Mumbai, New York, London, which city did you enjoy living in the most? (*crossing fingers* Please say New York!)
Asad Shan: London as its home, followed by NEW YORK and then Mumbai cos its sheer madness
Urban Asian: Being a native of London, we’re sure you’re familiar with all of the talented Asian artists of the Burban movement. You were even in Kee’s music video for “Janeman!” So which artist is your favorite?
Asad Shan: Kee has a lovely voice, then we have some cool underground artist. Mumzy is a good friend and supremely talented.
Urban Asian: For my single ladies out there who are dying to know, what are some physical quality or personality traits that the future Mrs. Shan absolutely MUST have?
Asad Shan: Beautiful nature, great dress sense and she must love me unconditionally. ANY TAKERS!?
You heard it here ladies! Asad Shan would love a well dressed girl who can feed him Ghulab Jamuns and Rass Malai! We’ve had so much fun interviewing Asad Shan, we’d like to specially thank him for his time. For all of you lovely readers to check out “7 Welcome to London” in theaters March 9th!!