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Exclusive Interview – Abhinav Shukla : “I started working out pretty early because my mother told me to be confident one must be fit!”

As a BTech graduate and adrenaline junkie, Abhinav Shukla never thought his dreams to be an actor would actually come true. But a modelling and television career later, he stars opposite Gautam Rode and Zarine Khan in ‘Aksar 2’. He tells us all about his passion, his fitness and his movie.

Can you tell us about your character and the plot?
I play Rishi, the romantic lead. I’m in love with Zarine Khan. Emraan Hashmi played me in the first film. That’s all I can tell you right now! (laughs) The plot has been very well guarded and I’m glad because I’m pretty sure the audience is in for a surprise when they go for the movie.

You did your BTech, modelling and now films. Did you plan this from the beginning?
I used to watch television and movies with my brother when I was younger and we used to laugh at the silly things the hero would do. But secretly I did like it. I always wanted to be in a position where people listened to me. I had a bit of a dream to do acting, but I always thought it was just day dreaming, that it would never happen. I never took it seriously. Anyway, I started working out pretty young. My mother used to tell me that to be confident, you must be fit. I participated in the GladRags Manhunt and got through to the top five. That’s when I realised maybe it wasn’t just daydreaming. So, I started consciously working towards being an actor.

What kind of films do you want to do?
I’d like to do a war film. India has a very rich history that involves a lot of battles and I think it’s about time that we celebrate the real heroes. Arun Khetarpal was a soldier in the Battle of Basantar. He alone destroyed six tanks. Army men are very interesting and so are the lives they live. I think it’s time we explore that. Apart from that, I’d like to do action and suspense films.

Would you ever consider going back to television or do a web series?

Why not? Work is work!

How was it working with Zarine khan?
She’s fun. I thought she would be a little intimidating, but she’s pretty congenial! We were constantly laughing on set and bonded pretty well! It was a friendly atmosphere.

You and Gautam Rode both come from television. Did you know him before you both co-starred in the film?
We had met before a couple of times. I had heard about him, but we weren’t friends, as such. Even while doing the film, we are anti each other! He is very specific about what he wants, his makeup and workout. I am more spontaneous. I learned to be focused from him.


You started off with Jersey No. 10 on SAB. Why do you think it didn’t go beyond the first season?
I don’t know. It was a big question for all of us. It was a good show, but people didn’t respond to it. I suppose, because it happened 8 years ago, people preferred dramas back then. This show was more about youth and cricket. So, perhaps, it didn’t meet the interests of the audience at the time.

You’re quite the adrenaline junkie. Who got you started?
My elder brother is an inspiration to me. He’s a naval officer and he took me on my first trek in 2005. We had a great time, cooking and fending for ourselves. I used to dread the wild. But I realised we are actually safer in a forest than on a street in Mumbai. I used to be very apprehensive about the wild, but now it’s the opposite. I’m terrified of city life and want to run away whenever I can!

What happened in 2014 in matheran?
I was trekking to the Chandalgarh fort in Matheran. We started late in the afternoon and then it became dark. I took a wrong turn and couldn’t find my way back. But, luckily, I eventually got signal for a second and I called the services then.

What are your top 5 movies?
1. Into the wild
2. Band of brothers (TV show)
3. Saving private ryan
4. No country for old men
5. Satya

Aksar 2 releases on 6th October 2017.

Watch the trailer here!

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