While the names Namit Shah and Siddharth Thakkar may not be familiar to many, you are sure to recognise their faces from the various ad films they’ve been a part of. The two sixth grade students have individually starred in several advertisements and played Karan and Kabir in the Hindi remake of The suite life of Zack and Cody, a popular Disney Channel series. With one season of The suite life of Karan and Kabir under their belts, the pair is more than excited about the second.
Namit who has been acting for three years now, is the more experienced of the two. “I started out doing an HSBC commercial in 2009. It was really exciting for me because it was my first time in front of the camera. I was not nervous because I was having so much fun,” he says. While the HSBC advertisement was not aired in India, the Reebok advertisement in which he shares screen space with Mahendra Singh Dhoni will certainly strike a chord. Namit plays Kabir, the quieter, more mature of the ten year old twins and the equivalent of Cody Martin in the original.
While Kabir is not as daring as his brother Karan, he invariably gets tangled up in every adventure the latter gets into.
Siddharth, who faced the camera only a year ago, is a national swimmer. In fact it was his skill as a swimmer that bagged Siddharth his first role. “The people who were making the Horlicks advertisement needed a swimmer to star in their ad. They came to my club and my coach suggested my name, I auditioned for it and once my parents agreed, I was cast. It was a really easy shoot because I just had to do something I already knew to do which was, to swim.” He plays Karan, the boisterous, more mischievous of the two like the original character Zack Martin. Karan is ‘10 minutes older’ than Kabir, a fact he often uses to force his brother into doing things.
While Namit wants to become an automobile engineer when he is older, he has already started bagging roles in films.
His first in Main Krishna Hoon, will also star Hrithik Roshan, Juhi Chawla and Katrina Kaif. He has a few more movies in the pipeline. “I picked the role of Kabir over another role in a film simply because I love the original show on Disney channel,” he says. Siddharth on the other hand has no movies planned but is focussing on his swimming and music. “I have been learning to play the guitar,” he pointed out.
How do the two of them find time for their hobbies and interests while shooting for the show?
“The shoots happen only for a few months and when they do, they are on the weekends,” says Namit. “We usually work only for three days a week, so we have the rest of the week to do what we want,” adds Siddharth.
So are the two of them as naughty as their on-screen characters? “I am a decent but naughty boy just like my character,” says Namit. “I am as mischievous as all kids are,” adds Siddharth.