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Updated: May 21, 2014 18:16 IST

Child's play

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RISING STAR: Darsheel Safary. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu
RISING STAR: Darsheel Safary. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Darsheel Safary on balancing academics and acting and his next release 'Zokkomon'

Ordinarily, like any other child, Darsheel would've liked to sleep till 11 a.m on a Sunday. “I have school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m during weekdays and I have to wake up early, so I like to sleep till 11 on Saturdays and Sundays.”

But last weekend, he had to show up in Chennai for a promotional event hosted by Saregama and Chocolait Kidz for the launch of an infotainment DVD titled “Sweet Values”.

“But I get to interact with other children,” he adds quickly, not to let his hosts down. “In my eyes, all children are the same. They are all my friends I made a few friends in Chennai.”

As a child actor, how seriously does he go about his job? Does he prepare or is he just naturally gifted?

“I think I am a natural. The directors tell me what they want. They explain with an example. Every night before the shoot, I try to rehearse my scene for the next day. Acting is my hobby.”

In the last three years, the child superstar has played the lead in three movies — Aamir Khan's “Taare Zameen Par”, Priyadarshan's “Bum Bum Bole” and Disney's “Zokkomon” that is expected to release later this year.

And, he's already picked up the art of diplomacy and political correctness. Ask him which of the three is the closest to his heart and he dodges it with the ease of a seasoned professional.

“Shooting is always the most exciting thing. All three films are very close because I play myself in all them. “Zokkomon” is an action-adventure. It's a story in which a boy discovers the extraordinary in him.”

We can say the same about Darsheel. When he was doing “Taare Zameen Par”, Aamir had given him a few tips on how to cry because Darsheel seemed to be good at everything else.

“It's now quite easy to cry. I start remembering something sad and when I think of my misery, I start crying.” Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski would be proud. Darsheel may not know how to spell the name or have attended classes on method acting but trust Aamir Khan to simplify it for him.

But for his unique talent, Darsheel continues to be like any other child. He likes action movies. “I like all my subjects, my favourite is History.”

When he misses classes, he calls his friends and catches up. “I want to continue acting as long as it does not interfere with my studies.”

Does he read reviews of his films? We remind him how “Bum Bum Bole” was panned by critics. “I don't take reviews seriously. When I read a bad review, I still go for the movie and then make up my mind. For “Bum Bum Bole”, the critics appreciated my acting. Yes, overall the reviews were not so good but all my friends liked it.”

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