Exclusive! Aftab Shivdasani: Film industry is a tough place to be in if you don’t have a support system

Aftab Shivdasani, who made his big Bollywood debut with Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Mast’, opposite Urmila Matondkar in 1999, recently completed 21 glorious years in the industry. The actor has come a long way since then. Despite all the struggles and roadblocks, Aftab feels it is the love of his fans that has kept him going.

In an exclusive interview with ETimes, Aftab opens up about his journey in Bollywood so far, directors he would love to work with, and more. Excerpts…

You have completed 21 long years in the industry. How has it been so far?

Yes, it’s been special in the last 21 years, and like I said I feel I haven’t even begun. The film industry is a tough place to be in if you don’t have a support system. I didn’t, but I had the love of fans and the audience and that’s what motivated and inspired me to carry on despite various rejections. I believed in myself and will always do so. I will always act and aspire for the love and blessings of my audience for as long as possible.

If you were to debut in today’s time, under whose directorial you would have wanted it to happen?

I would have either opted for Ram Gopal Varma again or Rajkumar Hirani. I admire Hirani as a director and love his films. It has been a long-standing dream to work with him.

How have you been coping up with the pandemic?

This pandemic has been challenging for all of us but I have tried to be optimistic and keep the faith that this too will pass. I learnt how to cook, clean, etc during this time as well. I also read a bit, watched shows/films, and connected with friends and family over video calls. But most importantly, practiced patience as that is the need of the hour during these times.

What’s next?

I have liked two-three scripts of films as well as some projects on the web. I will share them with my fans when I am ready.