Taaha Shah made a successful debut through Yash Raj Film’s Luv Ka the End, followed by Dharma Production’s Gippi. Taaha graciously answered questions for our readers while he works on his next film, Tina and Lolo.
Our readers may not know this, but you are pretty well traveled: Growing up in the UAE and then schooling in India, what is your favorite city in the world? Where would you like to travel in 2014?
Favorite city, I’m sure I haven’t been to that place yet. As of now I feel I’m discovering what traveling is all about. Right now I’m in Malaysia, so that’s the first place ticked off for 2014. And I’m sure there will be a lot more destinations this year. I went to Delhi and Agra too last month, not for work, just for leisure. It was exciting, a whole new adventure. Of course, just two days back I was in Singapore and missed my flight because of the time difference, but I had good company with me so we just caught the next flight. I really wanna travel all over Europe and that too backpacking. Now that’s the fun of traveling. Actually, I have a huge appetite for travel so there is not enough of travel for me.
Coming from a non-filmy family: how did you get your big break working under the Yash Raj Films, Y-films division, in your debut film, “Luv Ka the End”?
The one and only way a beginner should get in is on merit and skill. It was completely out of the blue. Never saw or expected a call, from Shaano Sharma, to come for an audition. It was all of a sudden and that’s the saying right place right time. It’s the blessings of my parents and a little hard work on my part. Of course, the final call is always Adi sir’s (Aditya Chopra) and I’m so glad that he saw something in me to cast me.
Do you feel star kids have an advantage over actors who come from a non-filmy family like yourself?
Of course they do. There is no doubt about that. But sustainability, skill, persistence and most of all luck is not dependent on whether your parents are stars or not. Everyone has to make their own dreams come true. There are so many people at the top who don’t hail from a film background but made it all on their own. The going gets tough, but like I said it’s about persistence. You got to do what you got to do.
The character of Luv Nanda in ‘Luv Ka the End’ is a spoiled rich egotistical guy – easy or hard to play the character?
60 percent of the character is in the script. 20 percent guidance from the director and team. 10 percent on costumes and setting. 10 percent is an actor’s bringing. Every character has its nuances and so did Luv. Parts were hard and parts not so hard, but I loved every bit of it.
It was like working with a friend. She was very helpful (since I was a novice) and I never felt any negative vibes from her. It was an honor to work with Shakti Kapoor’s daughter. I mean who gets to debut on such a level. She has no attitude rather she is extremely down to earth. She has grown a lot ever since I met her. I wish her the very best and that she achieves all her dreams.
Next up was Gippi in 2013 – Favorite memory or story that occurred during filming?
Well, I do know that Riya (Gippi), told my Director (Sonam Nair) that she had an actual crush on me and was actually a little nervous talking to me! It was good that this happened since it helped her and I do our scenes to perfection. If we look back, it seems funny but while you are in it, one has to deal with real life and reel life sensitivities coinciding. But all was good.
What have you been doing since your last film?
As soon as I get time off filming, I put effort into my classes. I finished a course in Image Management. I started acrobatics, functional training, martial arts and dance classes. I joined an acting course from Victorian College of Arts. These are most of the things I did after Gippi. And I love learning, it’s the only way to live life and grow. I feel the need to work on myself every day. There is always a scope of improvement and I like it that way. It keeps me on my toes.
Your newest film, Barkhaa, was announced recently and is described as an intense love story. Can you tell us more about the film? What attracted you to the story and your character? Your co-star, Shweta, is a very talented singer… any chance for a duet with you??
Shadaab’s (director’s) narration was spell-bounding. I could see him narrating and visualizing the whole story as though he was living it. The twists and turns of the story took me on a roller coaster ride. I feel I have broken hearts; now it’s time for me to be the vulnerable one and fall in love again. Touch the emotions that I locked away sometime back. It’s a challenge and I love challenges. Can’t reveal much of the story yet, but I can guarantee it’s worth the wait.
Haha duet with me? I’m not much of a singer! I only train my voice for acting purposes. I would love to learn to sing and hit the right notes etc. But, as of now I’m sure she will do a much better job alone.
Your fans (including myself) love to see you in love stories! What other genre of films would you like to do if given the right script?
Action – hands down is my first choice! Other than that I want to play family dramas on the lines of Hum Saath Saath Hain or Hum Aapke Hain Kaun etc. Also, I want to do comedy, which at the end of the day, comedy is such a genre that the audience can watch over and over again.
Favorite actress you’d like to work with? Favorite actor?
Actress would be Madhuri and Juhi they are my all time favorites. In the younger segment, it would be Alia, Deepika and Priyanka. And Actor would be Amitabh Bachchan sir, Hrithik, Aamir and Shahrukh.
Favorite movie? Favorite food? Favorite place to eat in Mumbai?
Movie: Scarface (English) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (Bollywood)
Food: I’m not much of a foodie, but I love home cooked Biryani.
Places to eat: haha this is a tough one… I carry my food everywhere or else survive on just grilled chicken and salad. But one would be…ummm… ok really I don’t know.
2014 – Any New Year resolutions?
Nope I don’t believe in resolutions. If I feel I need to change, I change in that instant… don’t save it till the end of the year.
Favorite TV shows?
Game of thrones
We wish Taaha the best of luck as he continues to seek his elusive Bollywood dreams!