Imaad Shah, son of Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah, made his film debut with Yun Hota To Kya Hota (2006) and has subsequently been seen in movies such as Dil, Dosti Etc, Little Zizou and Tasher Desh. The actor talks about his new film, M Cream, doing intimate scenes, his music career and how he learns by watching his famous father.
In M Cream, you play a rich young man on a road trip. What is interesting about the character?
I play the role of a Delhi boy who is slightly arrogant. He has strong opinions and believes that his opinions are correct; he is not willing to listen to anyone else. He is addicted to alcohol but as the story goes on, he matures.
How did you prep for your role?
I prepared by falling back on my experiences in life. At that time I was writing a lot so I started writing novels. I also prepped a lot with the costumes. Many of the costumes in the film are my own clothes. We tried to get an earthy naturalistic feel as it is a road movie in Himachal Pradesh. With the ruggedness of the landscape, mud on the shoes ... I started to really get into the character.
You have an intimate scene with Ira Dubey. How comfortable were you while shooting it?
It wasn’t difficult. Ira and I are close buddies. She is very easy to get along with, very friendly. I have done intimate scenes in other films as well and it’s just another day in an actor’s job. You are sensitive about it, you are respectful to your co-actors, and you make sure there are not too many people around you. If I am doing such scenes, the most important thing for me is to make the girl feel comfortable and ensure that she is not awkward in any way at all.
What is your dad Naseeruddin Shah’s reaction to the film?
He hasn’t watched the film yet. He is going to see the film in two days. He is very curious to see it and I am also very curious to know what he thinks of it. I hope he likes it ... I think he should like it.
Does your father give you any tips on acting?
We have a theatre company and I have been part of that so I have watched him at many places -- stage and screen. I have learned a lot by watching him and also by preparing for a role. I don’t think he has to constantly sit down and give me advice. You hang around him and you learn a lot. I pick up the techniques of the craft by being around him because he is always rehearsing or muttering lines to himself. His process is ongoing, it’s lifelong; and this is something I try to take from him in my life.
What is your take on Naseer’s recent film Waiting?
I haven’t seen Waiting. I really want to ... I have heard it’s a very nice film. He called me for the screening but I wasn’t in town. I am going to buy the DVD and watch it.
In which film do you like Naseer best?
There are many but Jalwa and Paar are two performances that show his range and versatility. While growing up, I have watched Jalwa a 1000 times; we thought it was amazing. After growing up a little, I discovered Paar which is one of his most gritty and realistic performances and for which he won big awards.
While your brother Vivaan Shah has done more mainstream films, you seem to opt for the more unconventional.
I am open to all kinds of films; it’s all about good films, interesting roles and good scripts.