I always wanted to be an actor: Arya Babbar

April 21st, 2008 - 11:15 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Abhishek Bachchan
By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) He is cocky, young and down-to-earth. Actor Arya Babbar, son of actor-politician Raj Babbar, wears his attitude on his sleeve. “I never wanted to be anything else but an actor. Some people are immensely gifted; they do so many things. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be under the arc lights, though dad says I can be a good politician,” Arya told IANS in a free wheeling chat on the sprawling green lawns of the Purana Quila fort in Delhi.

The 27-year-old actor has three new movies lined up this year. “There are three significant projects - `The Partition’, a Hollywood production about the India-Pakistan split of 1947 starring Jimmy Mistry, Neve Campbell, Irrfan Khan and myself as the antagonist; Kabir Kaushik’s ‘Chehra’ where I play a psychiatrist; and a crossover movie, ‘Tune for Her’, where I play an Indian music director in love with a white Canadian girl,” he said.

Born Jan 4, 1981, Arya debuted with “Ab Ke Baras” in 2002 and shared screen space with Abhishek Bachchan in Mani Ratnam’s “Guru” in 2007. He dabbled in serious theatre for five years between the two movies.

The actor, a momma’s pet, was here to lend moral support to his mother Nadira Babbar, who directed a play on the mutiny of 1857 (India’s first war of independence) in the capital. It was also an occasion to bond with his mother. “I am here like a good son - helping her with the play and managing the media for her. I picked up media management during my sister Juhi’s wedding,” said the young man with a laugh.

“I usually meet my mother once every 20 days, but this time it has been almost a month and a half. So, I left aside my shooting to be with her in Delhi. She has been here since January,” he said.

Sporting a shadow of a beard, he is excited about his character in “Chehra”. “It is complex. I just finished reading Frank Capell’s book on the relevance of psychiatry in life to understand my character.” He plays a psychiatrist who solves a murder mystery.

Hollywood has not cast its spell on Arya, who has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “I feel as an actor your job is to act - whether it is a French production, Italian production, Hollywood movie or Hindi cinema, it does not matter. I have to prove myself at the end of the day, be it in international cinema or at home. The world is so globally networked today that everything Hindustani has reached abroad and vice versa. The impact of a good performance is felt all over,” he said.

The Babbar scion has a long list of favourites. Dad Raj, mother Nadira, actor-director Aamir Khan, actor Naseeruddin Shah and superspy Jason Bourne aka Matt Damon of Hollywood.

“Matt’s eyes are intense; they speak. He doesn’t have to act on the screen; his presence does it for him. The thing I like about Matt is that he switches with ease from commercial to meaningful cinema,” he said.

As for Aamir, the actor likes his “dogged pursuit”. “Aamir is like a psychopath killer, once he is after something he gets it.”

Sonali Bendre’s eyes stir Arya, but “sadly she is married” while Esha Deol is someone Arya will love to work with some day. “She was my school mate and now a gym mate.”

He has a secret desire - to act in a good Punjabi movie free of cost. “Regional cinema needs encouragement and Punjabi cinema is close to my heart because I am a Punjabi. But the script has to be good.”

Politics, however, is an absolute no-no. “I love to read and write. May be some day I will take to writing poetry and short stories seriously. Politics does not allow time for family. I miss my dad, though he tries to make up,” said Arya.

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