Remember Darsheel Safary of Taare Zameen Par? Here’s what he’s up to now

Shweta Sharma
Darsheel Safary started theatre in the year 2016. (Designed by Gargi Singh/The Indian Express)

Darsheel Safary has become synonymous with actor Aamir Khan's directorial debut, Taare Zameen Par, in which he essayed the role of Ishaan, a young boy with a learning disability. This was in 2007. Fast forward 12 years, and today that young boy has made a mark for himself in the world of theatre. Ahead of his play, Kaise Karenge? by Out of the Box Production, he talks to indianexpress.com about his experience, working with Aamir Khan and says that he would like to explore roles he has never done before.

Excerpts:

You entered the world of theatre in 2016 with Could I help You. It's been three years since then. How has the journey been?

It has been enthralling. I've learnt a lot, and gained a lot of experience. It's made me a better and more confident actor. The main thing being that I've been extremely happy in doing what I like to do — which is acting.

You won many hearts with your performance in Taare Zameen Par — why did you decide to take a backseat from acting in films, and try theatre instead?

Theatre is one of those places where you never stop learning. It's like a never ending ladder; you keep going up and up. I don't really remember getting into theatre being a conscious decision, but it ended up becoming one of the most important and helpful experiences of my life.

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You have faced the camera and now perform live — what is the biggest difference in the two mediums for you?

The coolest thing for me is that you get to see a live audience react to you in real time. Whatever you do...the audience is living it with you. It's like a "live" film. It's nice to see the audience being a part of the same journey that you as a character are trying to portray.

Can you tell us about your role in Kaise Karenge? How much do you associate with Saurav Parasrampuria in real life?

Saurav is a 21-year-old genius aiming to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He knows how to keep his emotions in check by never letting his problems get the better him. The fact that he has such a 'never back down' spirit has kind of infused in my personality; I enjoy being Saurav on stage.

Darsheel Safary in a scene from the play Kaise Karenge?

What is most challenging about theatre?

I think the key to working well in theatre is believability. If your performance is not believable or relatable for the audience, they won't connect. It's also difficult because more often you're playing a fictional and sometime exaggerated versions of day-to-day characters — so the key lies in making them believable and relatable.

Many established actors credit theatre for their success — some even return to theatre (or never leave) after spending years in the industry. How has your experience been?

Theatre has changed me as a person. It brought in the discipline that I think I lacked. In the future, I would love to do theatre and films side by side.

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Do you have any plans to do films?

I want to act, be it films or theatre or TV. Acting is my passion and I will continue doing it...as long as the story is good.

The most important thing theatre has taught you

It's kept me in control of my emotions. You are living a certain character on stage and have to channel your real emotions. Slowly, you start getting control over them and that way it helps a lot in real life too.

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You were directed by Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par — what was the best thing about working with him?

The entire experience! Over the years, I've often gone back to those moments and learned different things. He functions on another level. It was a privilege to work with him at such a young age.

Written by Abhishek Pattnaik, Kaise Karenge? will be performed on October 20 at Kamani Auditorium at 6.30pm. Tickets available on bookmyshow.com