Renowned actor and patriot Shaan Shahid lately spilled the beans on the reasons for his refusal to venture into Bollywood, even with Aamir Khan’s Ghajini offer.
On the topic of patriots who claim to be patriots until they are offered a Bollywood contract, the host asked the actor how many offers he had rejected.
“I keep receiving offers and I keep refusing them. And after saying no to some from Bollywood, things I’ve had to face in Pakistan were unreal,” Shahid replied.
Shaan Shahid harked back to the time he refused Ghajini offer and received flak for it from a certain few. “I was offered a character that anyone in India could’ve done, it wasn’t something Bollywood needed me for,” he elaborated.
“I only asked them one question, ‘Why do you guys want a Pakistani for this?’ They said ‘No one will be able to tell you’re Pakistani.’ I told them ‘Of course, they will.’ And it was the character of a villain, a very gruesome one at that, someone who sells body parts of children and whatnot.”
“So, for three to four days, I kept trying to explain my case to Aamir and then I resorted to a Punjabi example; I told him ‘If you’re India’s pehelwan [heavyweight], I am Pakistan’s pehelwan, men paisay leke kushti nahi harunga [I won’t lose a fight for money]’.”
Hero for his own people?
Shahid went on to reinstate how he did not want to disappoint the people who loved him and would rather see him as a hero in his own country.
Subsequently, the host recalled a principle of acting, and shared how it is the “practice of killing one’s ego,” provided that the roles an actor plays, will at the end of the day, remain only roles. “So don’t you think your statement [contradicts this principle]?” inquired Nauman Ijaz.
“No, I just refused because anyone could have done that role. It wasn’t the kind of a character that a Pakistani should be called to India for,” Shahid maintained.
“So, your only concern was, ‘Why me?’” Ijaz interjected, “Yes,” Shahid agreed. “They have brilliant actors, academies that are churning out 300 to 400 actors every day. I also told Aamir that if you guys really want an actor from Pakistan, then we have many who meet your role requirements to the T, even someone like Nayyer Ejaz.”
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