Naseeruddin Shah’s son Vivaan Shah recalls being asked why he bothered studying: ‘Actor hi banega’

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Actor-novelist Vivaan Shah has revealed that during his childhood he was ‘condescendingly’ told by a schoolmate, that he didn’t need to study as he is destined to become an actor. In a new interview, Vivaan said that since then, he has wanted to become ‘anything but an actor’. He also spoke about his parents, actors Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah‘s advice for him. They told him to focus on his craft and not chase after ‘success and stardom’. Viaan also has a brother, actor-singer Imaad Shah. (Also Read | Wanted to be a comic book creator as a child, reveals Vivaan Shah)

Vivaan said that many people want to be actors. Calling it ‘such an important part of our life and culture’, he realised that he should be grateful to be in this field. Vivaan also said that since then, has been an actor ‘full time’.

In an interview with Free Press Journal, Vivaan said, “There was a certain rebellious spirit in play because that was expected of me in school. I remember one of the things that really upset me was when we all were studying for our boards, a kid very condescendingly told me, ‘Arey tu kyun padh raha hai, tu toh actor hi banega (Why are you studying? You will become an actor only)’. That’s when I said I’d be anything but an actor. It was a bit silly and juvenile, which lasted pretty long until I actually worked in the profession itself. When I did, I just told myself to shut up. I said you should be lucky that you are blessed to be in this profession.”

“My peers advised me that I must assert myself as a leading man and a mainstream star. I bought into that as an impressionable young person would. My parents, on the other hand, never perused that line of thought. They always told me, ‘Don’t listen to those idiots. Be focused on the craft, be interested in the work, that’s what’s going to keep you in good stead, not any kind of yearning or chasing after success and stardom and all these kinds of nebulous things. You should be an actor if you’re interested in acting, not because you want to be a star who is after fame and fortune’.”

Vivaan made his film debut with Saat Khoon Maaf (2011) as Arun Kumar. He has also featured in Happy New Year (2014), Bombay Velvet (2015), Laali Ki Shaadi Mein Laaddoo Deewana (2017), Coat and Kabaad The Coin (2020). Vivaan also starred in A Suitable Boy (2020) as Varun Mehra. He has also authored two novels so far–Living Hell and Midnight Freeway.


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