There is no refuting that The Family Man changed actor Sharib Hashmi’s life. And, he staunchly agrees. Now that the release of Vikram Vedha is fast approaching, the actor confesses to having butterflies in his stomach. In an exclusive chat with MW, Hashmi opens up about the journey so far.
Hashmi has proven his mettle to a large extent today. However, the starting phase of his foray into showbiz wasn’t all that rosy. In 2008, Hashmi had serious doubts about his decision to pursue acting. While he had exposure to the industry, because of his father ZA Johar, who was a veteran film journalist, he wasn’t too confident. Talking about his transition in films as an actor he says, “I used to tag along with my father to these parties and events and as a child, it impacted my mind as well. As a kid, I used to say I will become a hero. But when I grew up and saw how the actors actually were I thought to myself that I don’t have that kind of personality. I used to wonder how can even the supporting actors have such great heights. All I could get was a role of house help,” he laughs.
He further adds, “Keeping that thought aside I started off as an assistant director and my father was really proud of it. He always wanted me to be an actor but I didn’t agree with him. Then I shifted to writing as well. But then at 33, it hit me and I decided to quit my job. It was in 2008 that I took this big and bold decision of doing something like this. And amid everyone, my wife supported me, which made it possible.”
While Hashmi thought that this is the next phase of his life, life had some other plans. His hustle turned out to be an expensive one and he went through a long and rough patch of financial woes. “By the time I reached 2012, I wasn’t getting proper work and to support my family I exhausted all my savings. I asked for money from each and every person I could. I drowned in debts. I thought about it and wondered for how long would my family suffer because of my dreams. So, I took up a job in the programming department again because the acting wasn’t going the way I planned it. It was only 4 months into my job that I was offered Jab Tak Hai Jaan. After 2014, I did work but nothing that people noticed,” he says.
The actor terms The Family Man as a ‘make-or-break-for-him’ project. He explains, “Post Filmistaan, things really didn’t go well. It was a disappointing time in my life and career. Then I thought that this might be my last chance. I was praying and doing everything I could and life changed post it. Interestingly, I did receive quite a few different kinds of characters after it. Many wanted me to do that kind of cop character again but I wanted to do something else. I don’t mind playing a cop again but not like JK who jokes and is supporting the lead actor.”
He further adds, “How I kept going through all these tough times like this is by not stopping. I knew I had a family to support and I had amazing friends who kept me sane throughout. Moreover, I kept auditioning for roles and I am just grateful for how things are turning out to be. The biggest challenge is to keep going forward. Actors go through rejections on a daily basis and keeping yourself positive in a time like that is challenging. But I am in a happy space right now.”
Lead Image: Hotstar