Aftab Shivdasani faced the camera for the first time in the mid ‘80s when he played the role of Jugal, one of the children living in Arun Verma’s (Anil Kapoor) home for orphans in the Shekhar Kapur directed ‘Mr. India’. As a child actor, he was seen in a few more prominent films like ‘Shehenshah’ and ‘Chaalbaaz’. In the year 1999, he made his debut as an adult actor in Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘Mast’. In the last two decades, the actor has been a part of several popular films across different genres like ‘Kasoor’, ‘Hungama’, ‘Masti’, ‘1920: The Evil Returns’ and ‘Grand Masti’, among others.
The actor started exploring the digital space recently and ‘Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story’, his second outing on the web space, will start streaming on Disney+Hotstar from November 12. In the trailer, one saw a small glimpse of his character and there seems to be a deliberate attempt to keep the details of the role he is playing under wraps.
Confirming the same, he says, “The makers wanted a certain amount of intrigue around my character. When you watch the show, you will get to know the reason behind it. The character I play makes a significant contribution to Himmat Singh’s (KK Menon) journey. I have never played a character like this in my career. I am extremely happy to be a part of the Special Ops Universe.”
The show marks the first collaboration between Aftab and Neeraj Pandey. Pandey, who has been the showrunner and director of this series, was one of the filmmakers who was on Aftab’s wishlist for a long time.
“Neeraj Pandey is an absolute genius. I have been a fan of all his films right from ‘A Wednesday!’ to ‘M S Dhoni: An Untold Story’. He is a very intelligent human being and has complete clarity about what he wants as a filmmaker. He writes the script so beautifully that there is very little room for any kind of confusion. It is a pleasure to work with a filmmaker as astute as him”, Aftab says.
The actor, who made his digital debut with the Zee5 show ‘Poison 2’ last year, wants to strike a balance between doing films and projects on the web. Aftab recently made his Kannada film debut with ‘Kottigoba 3’ and believes that theatres and OTT platforms will grow simultaneously.
“I believe these two mediums can co-exist very beautifully with each other. Actors wouldn’t want to limit themselves to just one medium. The biggest of stars are doing shows on OTT platforms now. It is a great time to be an actor or even a technician for that matter. Personally, working in the digital space has been a great experience for me. The only technical difference between the two is that a series is divided into multiple episodes and the story is told over 8-10 hours. The pace at which you tell the story is different. I don’t differentiate between different mediums. As an actor, I give my 100 per cent to every project I do”, he says on a parting note.