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Abhimanyu Singh says that he had done negative roles before but none of them were like the character of Abbas Yusuf in Jazbaa. Singh states that he knew it would be a memorable performance if he could pull it off.

On Response

I didn’t think I would receive any real feedback for this film as I have only a cameo. But I am getting so much appreciation! I always knew this film belonged to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan but people are also sending me messages about how much they loved my screen presence.

On bagging Jazbaa

I was offered the role by Sanjay Gupta. Actually, he first offered me the role of Miyaaz Shaikh played by Chandan. But I didn’t find it interesting enough. Then he narrated Abbas Yusuf’s character to me, which I found very interesting. I have done negative roles before but nothing like this particular character. Even though I would not get a lot of screen time, I knew it would be a memorable performance if I could pull it off. We all have a grey side but in the end, we all like happy endings.

On working with Irrfan and Aishwarya

It was an Aishwarya Rai Bachchan film as the character she played was the toughest and very powerful. The film also features Irrfan, whom we know is a superb actor. So I got to learn a lot from working with them and it was a fabulous experience. As an actor, the more you communicate, the more you learn and the more you understand acting.

Background

I belong to Bihar but moved to Delhi to finish college. So, I have lived in Bihar, Delhi and Mumbai. I was attracted to acting from a very early age. In Delhi, I was very active in the theatre scene and I used to do fashion shows in college to earn pocket money. I first visited Mumbai for a fashion show. After that, I decided I would have to shift to this city if I wanted to make something of myself.

On struggle

Today, I choose my roles but there was a time when I had no choice because I come from a non-filmy background. I came to Mumbai and used to visit cinemas, but for months I didn’t have anything to do. I once bagged a role in a play and, later, a role in Ashutosh Gowariker’s television series Saturday Suspense, where I played the lead for two series. That’s how my television career started. Then I bagged a role in Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Aks, which starred Amitabh Bachchan. I was very happy and excited and I thought people would offer me roles but the film bombed so badly that, never mind films, I was not offered anything for television for years! I was jobless for a very time and then again my television career took off. Then I did films like Lakshya, Jannat and Gulaal. I would say Gulaal was a turning point in my career but the film struggled to release.

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