“At 22, my first movie Mast had released, and I bought my first car!” Aftab Shivdasani

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Where were you career-wise?

My first movie, Mast, had released and I was getting lead roles. I was already shooting for my second movie, Kasoor.

And the money situation?

I wasn’t paid too much. My first signing amount was ~10,000. My dad used to handle my finances as I was busy working!

Aftab and his dad share their birthdays on June 25. The duo posing on the balcony of their house
Aftab and his dad share their birthdays on June 25. The duo posing on the balcony of their house

Any romance in the air?

I was single. After my first two releases, I was tagged ‘chocolate boy’ and despite a lot of attention from women, I didn’t take it seriously. I was very shy.

Was our family supportive?

I had a great relationship with my dad and sister, but confided in my mum. They encouraged me to follow my dreams.

The actor on his first solo trip at the Tower of London
The actor on his first solo trip at the Tower of London

What was your focus in life, then?

Getting recognition as a good actor and working on my craft.

What was your fashion sense like?

I wore sporty clothes – mostly track pants or jeans and tees.

Aftab had braces growing up!
Aftab had braces growing up!

Were you into fitness?

I stayed opposite the CCI Club, Churchgate and spent a lot of time playing different sports. I had just started working out.

Your most prized possession…?

Shortly after Mast, I bought a grey Maruti Zen. The car number 8673 is still embedded in my head.

A still from Aftab’s debut movie, Mast, with Urmila Matondkar
A still from Aftab’s debut movie, Mast, with Urmila Matondkar

What was your ambition?

To work with the biggest filmmakers of the time – Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Karan Johar, YRF and Vikram Bhatt.

If you could rewind and change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Nothing. I believe that whatever happens is meant to happen!

Aftab’s first professional photoshoot where he was clicked by celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani
Aftab’s first professional photoshoot where he was clicked by celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani

Share a quirky incident from back then.

I was still playing snooker at a competitive level then, so I would occasionally request my producers to let me pack up a little early.

From HT Brunch, April 4, 2021

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