The swooningly charming Nikitin Dheer made his debut in Bollywood in Hritik starrer-Jodha Akbar. He may not have landed as much limelight playing the baddie in Readyy or Dabangg 2 but he sure stood out in his villainous Tangaballi act in the blockbuster-hit Chennai Express.
He talks to Balcony Row about his journey so far:
Congratulations on the success of Chennai Express. How was your experience working with Rohit Shetty, Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone?
Fantastic. It was always a dream to work with Rohit bhai which was fulfilled. I have learnt so much from Shah Rukh sir. I'm sure it has made me a better actor. His commitment is inspiring. Deepika is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met. She is so warm and friendly. The journey of Chennai Express has been memorable and emotional. I have learnt from each one of them.
From Ashutosh Gowariker to Rohit Shetty, you've worked with the biggest names and been a part of the biggest films. What kind of roles are you looking to do now?
I have been very fortunate meeting people like them. And to be honest people are now taking me as a serious actor which was always my goal, not just a tall muscular guy who is good at action and intense roles. They are seeing my softer side now. So I am hoping to sign something that helps me move forward. Like they say, "slow and steady wins the race." As soon as I confirm something I shall post it on my twitter account (@nikitindheer).
Your father Mr. Pankaj Dheer is an accomplished TV actor. Would you consider offers from the small screen at this point?
My father has been doing TV since the late 80s and he has accomplished a lot of name and fame, because of which I have the highest respect for the medium. If I get something fantastic, I will definitely do it. A great warrior from Indian history or a larger-than-life character would be thoroughly tempting to portray, as it would help me show my versatility as an actor. So let's see how life plays out.
Did you always want to be an actor?
I was 7 when I first visited my dad on the sets of Mahabharata at Film City. I was overjoyed. I knew it then that this is what I want to do. I had wanted to feel like that forever. But my dad always told me it's a journey full of perils. Beware.
You've played only negative roles until now. Do you fear being stereotyped?
Honestly I don't think about those things. I do every role with diligence and honesty. And believe every actor has a journey. And must enjoy it.
If not an actor, what would you be?
A cop or in the armed forces.
In one of your interviews, you said you don't see your own films? Why not?
I watch it while I'm dubbing. But I don't know why I still get shy and awkward in theaters.
One actor you look up to?
Dilip Kumar for his sheer brilliance. Amitabh Bachchan for his will and determination.
One role you wished you'd done or one film you wish you'd been a part of?
Ganga Jamna and Mujhe Jeene Do
Any recent films...?
One film you could watch over and over?
Any Kishore Kumar film, from Half Ticket to Chalte ka Naam Gaadi.
What's the most difficult question you could be asked during an interview?
I don't know difficult. But awkward yes: when someone asks me where I see myself in a few years from now. I am seriously unsure what I say as life doesn't pan out as one plans. And what happens is most times better than what you had planned or envisioned. So I believe in enjoying the ride. Keeping my head down and working with grit determination and passion. And what will be, will be.