Yana and I are happy together: Aftab Shivdasani
Hold on to your bellies. Because Aftab Shivdasani is all set to do a sequel to that risqué comedy Masti.
“A lot of people found it objectionable. But a lot of others found it to be fun. My father didn’t like it. …Look, on the script level we were all a little embarrassed. But nobody thought it was vulgar while executing it.
So yeah, there’re talks of a sequel. Director Indra Kumar cannot stay away from boys’ comedies. His Dhamaal will be a huge hit…I can tell you that. I was offered Dhamaal too. But I had date problems.”
Aftab Shivdasani in his newest collaboration with director Vikram Bhatt plays the villain in Speed.
“It’s a relatively small role. But important…Then I return to comedy in E Niwas’s De Taali where I’m with Riteish. I’ve also done a short film for Sanjay Gupta’s Love Dale with Neha Uberoi. It’s directed by Jasmeet. This was my first film with a female director after all these years.”
Earlier Aftab had done a shelved film Dost with a female director Veena Mehta. “I loved working with Jasmeet. I’d love to work with Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair. They make films close to my heart. I’ve always done films that push the envelope.”
He has been on an extended holiday. “I’ve been to Toronto and the US. Earlier I was supposed to go to Barbados for the World Cup. But when India was out I didn’t feel like going. I went to New York, Miami and Orlando and I had a blast. Everywhere I went they referred to our film industry as ‘Bollywood’ Every time I cringed. But what to do?”
But the bright spot? “My film Red which didn’t do well at home seemed to be a talking-point abroad. Everywhere I went people asked me about it, although Red didn’t get a decent release overseas. I got responses like, ‘Suddenly you’ve evolved…you’re looking so hot…you’ve turned into a man. ‘ I wanted that maturity to show up. I think Red helped me to grow.”
He’s honest enough to admit nothing much has been happening to his career. “I’m doing a film called Jazbaa for Sanjay Gupta which is a remake of Four Brothers. Sanjay makes men’s films, and that’s where I want to be now.
I don’t want to sign any and every films at this moment. I’d rather wait for challenges, even in briefer roles like Speed. I don’t need to do sub-standard stuff to keep my kitchen fires burning. I’d rather work with dependable banners.”
Talk veers to his personal life and rumours of a split with girlfriend Yana Gupta.
Aftab grows guarded. “My personal life is fine. Nothing has changed. I know people have broken us off. Let people speculate on whether I’m single or not. There’re many unanswered questions in my mind. I need to sort them out. I really don’t wish to comment on this.
Even when I got into the relationship (with Yana Gupta) I didn’t speak about it, but I didn’t deny it either. Not because we were shy of being seen together. But because we’re private people. Yes, I’m certainly shy. But you’d be surprised to know even Yana is shy.”