I learned sword fighting and horse riding for Shivaji's role: Paras Arora

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After having done costume dramas like Ramayan, Meera, Raavan Punjab da putter Paras Arora is all set to enthrall the masses as Veer Shivaji. The 16-year old sweated it out and learned sword fighting and horse riding to get into the skin of the character. He is young, smart, knows martial arts and has a crush on Katrina Kaif.

In an interview with TellyChakkar Paras talks about Veer Shivaji, friends, family, dreams and more. Excerpts from the interview…

How do you feel on playing the lead for the first time?

I do feel a change. It’s a big show and a big story and on top of that I am just 16. I consider myself quite fortunate as people take years to bag a character like Shivaji. Till now it has been quite a learning experience working with senior actors like Shilpa Tulaskar and Milind Gunaji.

Do Milind (Gunaji) and Shilpa (Tulaskar) give you acting tips?

Yes, they are very helpful. Shilpa ji and Milind ji always help me out whenever I face any problem when delivering a dialogue or enacting a scene. I try to follow their advice with utmost sincerity. We have now become like a family as we have been shooting together for more than three weeks.

Did you undergo any training for the role of Shivaji?

I have learned martial arts for six years so it helped me to develop the right body language for the role. However I had to learn sword fighting and horse riding. I learned sword fighting in four days but horse riding took time as I am scared of horses. I have seen people falling from horses and hurting themselves so I was really scared to go near a horse. Eventually I started learning and fell off twice but later all fear vanished. Now they are my best friends (smiles).

Did you research on Shivaji to prepare for the role?

I did study about him in school. I have also done a little bit of research and watched movies and other shows portraying his life. Many don’t know that a black and white movie was made on him in the 1970s titled Veer Shivaji. The movie helped me to understand the character better. Furthermore, the moment I wear my costume I get into the character completely. My body language changes the moment I hold the sword.

You have done more costume dramas than soaps. What is the reason?

I believe there is more scope for growth in historical or mythological shows. One gets to do a lot of things including action. And these shows are keenly watched as they are few and cater to a niche audience. Finally I would say that due to my looks I keep bagging roles in mythological or historical shows (laughs).

So are you still studying?

Yes, I am in F.Y.J.C and my college is in Mira Road, Mumbai. I do get time to attend college as my show is not a daily.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My dad always wanted me to become an actor. So we shifted to Mumbai four years ago from Punjab. I loved dancing so initially I tried to make a name in dancing but later realised that the field has no scope. So I shifted my focus on acting. I was part of an unreleased movie called Kalpavriksh and later joined television. My first serial was Raavan on Zee TV. Then I did small roles in shows like Ramayan, Meera, Jaane Kya Baat Hui, Raavan and Mile Jab Hum Tum but my big break is of course playing the lead in Veer Shivaji.

Has your equation changed with friends after becoming an actor?

I still roam around in my society with my friends. I don’t think I can throw attitude on them as they simply won’t take it (laughs). So I am still the same for my friends and family.

Who is your heart throb?

No, not anyone in real life but I do have a crush on Katrina Kaif. But I also like Salman Khan a lot and I would be happier to meet him than Katrina Kaif.

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