Mohammad Nazim Khilji rose to fame with a popular daily soap ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’ where he played Paras Modi’s character a Mama’s boy turned selfless lover. During his time on the show he displayed a lot of character shades and made his audiences keep falling for him from time to time. He was even awarded the Zee Gold Awards Most Fittest Actor and Big Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Television Actor for his charismatic looks and unmatched acting prowess.
Cinespeaks chatted with the actor on his Hindi TV journey, films, desires and more. Let’s have a look:
Q. How did you land the role on ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’?
Mohammad Nazim: Hardwork always pays off. I’ve had a big journey with Saathiya. I’ve gotten a lot from the show. What Star Plus has given us is unimaginable. Rashmi (Sharma) Ma’am from Telefilms, the director of the show and my entire co-cast whom I got to work with, I’m grateful for the experience. I used to shoot for CID when I was approached for the show, it was titled something else back then. Akhilesh ji from the casting team asked me to give an audition. They liked me but when I enquired for it I was told someone else had got the part. Nothing is fixed in the industry, anything can change. Two months later I again got a call saying we are doing a fresh casting for the same show and I was required to give another audition for the role. That’s when I was finalized and rest is history. I’m fortunate for the love I’ve received.
Q. Do you have any aspirations of entering Bollywood – Hindi film industry?
Mohammad Nazim: Every actor desires to be a part of Bollywood, so yes I aspire to go that way. I have done a film which was released on YouTube which garnered a lot of views. Apart from that I’ve done a Punjabi film called ‘Big Daddy’ and I have some exciting upcoming projects.
I wish to work with Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar.
Q. Tell us something about your journey from your hometown to city of dreams – Mumbai.
Mohammad Nazim: I belong to a city called Mahilpur which is near Ludhiana in Punjab. I started modeling from there and did a couple of music videos which was a big thing at that point of time. It was around 2004 when Punjabi music videos were a rage. I did this till 2006. I had also come once in 2005 to Mumbai but I went back within a month because I was clueless what I had to do. I came again in 2008 and struggled for 3 months and returned again. I was called by Jatin Aluwalia for an ad for Delhi based Brunch magazine back to Mumbai. I was then called by Star Plus for their show Shaurya Aur Suhani which I did for 2-3 months and then struggled for an year. I was then casted as a the lead in Sanath Nibhana Saathiya.
Q. How do you feel about the love that you get from your fans?
Mohammad Nazim: It’s been almost 6 months that the show has gone off air but the popularity hasn’t settled. I get recognized wherever I got and I thank my God, parents and friends who keep praying for me and obviously fans too.
Q. Social media trolling is a real thing now, have you ever faced it?
Mohammad Nazim: I recall an incident where my account was hacked and the person would inappropriately chat with girls. I had to face the brunt of it. I even had a fight with my girlfriend because she was doubtful if I was really doing this. I share the same surname as Padmaavat’s character Alauddin Khilji, people have compared me to that character via messages.
Q. In your family, who has been the most supporting and who was skeptical about you entering the entertainment industry?
Mohammad Nazim: I belong to a well settled family. I was also a successful gym trainer and used to do shoots there, so my dad was hesitant of the fact that I wanted to come to Mumbai to struggle. They were fearful of the industry. Even if I was there or in a city like Chandigarh or Mumbai, hardwork is something that one can’t escape. To start anything new you have to put in efforts regardless. I got a lot of support from my sister and my elder brother.
Q. Do you have any message for those actors who come into this city to make it big?
Mohammad Nazim: Everyone is destined to do something. You cannot erase what is written for you. Money can be earned but not fame. God has everything planned. There was two approaches to destiny, one that is decided which is to do with life and death, and then there’s one which is granted to you by God on measuring how much will and hardwork you’re putting into it. I still want to accomplish a lot. There is a lot of competition out there. Aim to it, work hard and nobody can stop you. It’s Do or Die!
Q. How do you keep yourself fit?
Mohammad Nazim: I eat properly, sleep well and workout for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I’m preparing for my next project for which there’s a body that I require to achieve.
Q. Shooting for a daily soap can be a tedious job. How do you find it and how do you keep yourself going?
Mohammad Nazim: When you’re shooting for a Daily soap, your working hours could even stretch to 20 hours a day especially when it’s a new show. It all depends on the entire team, how much time the actors take in understanding their scenes and then acting it out and how much time the director takes in getting his frames right. When I used to work, we used to shoot for almost 18 hours a day. There are no guarantees in this entire. I feel I haven’t achieved anything great yet. Those 18 hours don’t look stressful because as an actor you’re getting an opportunity to be on set and reap from its benefits. Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar or Shah Rukh Khan when on set give their 100%.
I remember shooting with Shah Rukh Khan for a promotional segment for Sanath Nibhaya Saathiya for his film, where he had fever and an injury. He spent 3 hours with us delivering every line he was given, gave all the shots that were required of him and left. This is purely hardwork.
Q. Is there any dream role that you wished you did?
Mohammad Nazim: I would like to do something like Ranveer Singh in Alauddin Khilji. He’s worked really hard on that character and today audiences remember him the most from that film.
Q. Which show are you currently bing watching?
Mohammad Nazim: I binge watch ‘Bhabhji Ghar Par Hain’. I really like the show. It has fresh comedy. The actors, writers and director all of them are amazing on that show. I also used to love ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’.
Q. What emotion are you good at emoting and what genre would you like to do?
Mohammad Nazim: I really love comedy. I sometimes have a problem doing emotional scenes because I’m a happy person from within. Sometimes my close ones wonder I catch serious emotions so easily on camera. I would also love to do action.