Aftab Shivdasani may have debuted as a young boy when he played one of the orphan children in Mr. India, but the actor has moved on at a rapid pace to gain himself a credible reputation in films. Known for his remarkable dancing and impressive comic timing, Aftab quickly rose to fame as an actor to watch out for. In the past year, you’ve seen him battle it out in Kambakth Ishq and then in Daddy Cool. The actor is back yet again but this time in a totally different avatar. After playing the “funny-guy” role numerous times, he will next be seen in Sanjay Gupta’s Acid Factory where Aftab loses the humorous act only to put take on the action hero hat. Bollyspice chats with Aftab Shivdasani as he speaks comedy, action and Acid Factory.
It’s been a busy year! Kambakth Ishq, Daddy Cool and now Acid Factory. Let’s talk Acid Factory. What drew you to the script of the film?
I think it’s a very slick film. It’s a film that I’m very proud to be proud of. It’s a script that gave me an opportunity to do something really intense. The moment I heard about the script and the character, I knew I wanted to do it.
How does your character fit into the plot?
The film is all about characters; there is no hero, there is no heroine, there’s no villain. So everybody in the film is playing a character and everybody is dependent on each other. No one can singularly say that it is his or her film. Everyone is as important to each other and to the film.
The look and styling of the film is very young and hip. Does that fit in with the plot of the film?
It is! It’s typical Sanjay Gupta. His style quotient is always very high. He loves to make these guy flicks and Acid Factory is exactly that. And obviously, like you said it’s much younger.
How was it working with such a large star ensemble? How was it working with all the men and Dia Mirza in the film?
It was great. I had worked with Fardeen [Khan] and Dino [Morea]. But I hadn’t worked with Danny [Denzongpa], Dia [Mirza], Manoj [Bajpai] or Irrfan. But it was a good experience. When you usually work with ensemble casts, chemistry is very important. They need to get along. And one of the USP’s of Acid Factory is the camaraderie between all these six or seven characters. People will actually believe us because we’ve done it so convincingly that it’s something that needs to be seen to be believed.
And how was it working with Suparn Verma and Sanjay Gupta?
Suparn is young and extremely intelligent. He’s also very hyper as a director but it’s good. He’s the kind of guy who is thinking of a hundred things at the same time. He has this energy about him-hyper energy which is good sometimes. It keeps you on your toes.
The film is rather different in that it is completely shot in a factory. Does that somehow restrict the film with visuals?
Well, Acid Factory is a story of six hours. The screenplay is developed in such a way that it is a back and forth screenplay. So every time you go back, you go out of the factory and whenever you come back, you’re in the factory. It’s a back and forth screenplay which is very interesting and it’s been edited so well; full marks to the editor. Acid Factory is only an hour and forty minutes. And it’s so quick, you won’t even realize it.
Both your prior films this year are comedies, Kambakth Ishq and Daddy Cool. Was the choice to be a part of the Acid Factory a conscious one to change your persona?
Oh absolutely! I’ve always wanted to be a part of a really slick action thriller and Acid Factory gave me the right vehicle to do so. I know I have been liked in comedies and people appreciate all that but I believe that there is a lot more that I have to offer and I love doing thrillers, dramatic films and action films. And I always wanted to work with Sanjay Gupta. So I got a chance to work with Sanjay in a film and a script that has done me justice.
Your character loses his memory in the film. How much research did you have to do into your character?
The thing is that all the characters were written so well, that none of us had to really do any research. All the characters are very well-etched out as well as the screenplay that was so well-written. You could practically see every scene when you were listening to the script. It was so clear. The dialogues are also very well-written by Saurav Shukla, so it was pretty clear. Right from the start we knew exactly what we were doing and half the battle is won when you have such a well-written script.
How does the music of the film fit into the plot? There are obviously no dance numbers.
Well, all of the songs are background songs; so there is no scope for dance or singing in Acid Factory.
Did you miss it?
No, not at all; when you doing an action thriller, you don’t really miss it.
How was it doing the action stunts in the film?
I loved it! I really enjoyed it. I have done stunts in the past but this one was more hand-to-hand combat which is more exciting. Usually when you do action, you do it with a stunt-coordinator or a stunt man. But this one was a lot of action where there was a lot of hand-to-hand combat with the other actor. So, it was very exciting.
Word has it you’ve opened up your own production house. What will be coming out of it and when?
Well, I will be making a formal announcement really soon. So. I’ll only talk about it then.
What’s coming next for you?
After Acid Factory is my own film. Besides that, I’ve not signed anything yet.
From what we have seen of the trailer it looks like Aftab has taken this role and run with it and not just on the fast motorcycles! His intensity will add just that extra dimension to the many characters and plot twists going on in the film. Be sure to catch him in this slick action thriller when Acid Factory opens on October 9th!