Coming from the legacy of Bollywood is Bilal Amrohi who will be making his debut as an actor with O Teri. His grandfather Kamal Amrohi, a popular writer of his times have given us some legends like Pakeezah and Mughal-E-Azam and now continuing the trend, Bilal has entered Bollywood to fulfill his passion for films. Also, this young star has been close to Salman Khan and his family since childhood and getting a launch with O Teri has been one of Bilal's dream come true. While talking to Bollywood Hungama, Bilal reveals his love for Bollywood, his bond with Salman's family and co-star Pulkit Samrat.
When did you decide that you have to enter Bollywood and continue the legacy of your grandfather?
I always wanted to be an actor. I started assisting J.P. Dutta during Line of Control and that was the first time when I confronted my friends and family that I was serious about taking up films as my career. The next movie was Dil Ne Jisse Apna Kahan with Atul Agnihotri and I have stuck with him since. It was then, when he asked me to do my homework behind the camera and when he thought that I was ready to act, he asked me to do a crash course in acting. I did that in Los Angeles because I wanted a getaway from here since I have been brought up in a protective environment. I think I learnt a lot out there.
How did you bag O Teri?
When I came back from LA, before I could even realize I got a call from Atul bhai saying, 'Come over, I want you to listen to something.' When I heard the script it completely blew me away. But here I was still thinking of assisting Atul bhai and he gave me the lines to enact. That kind of caught me off guard. So I had my O Teri moment there itself! They thought I would suit the role of A.I.D.S (Anand Ishawram Devdutt Subramaniyam) better. I have given my hundred percent to this film.
This is your debut film as an actor… How different was it compared to your acting school experience?
Well, quite different from learning acting! While I was in school learning to act, everyone was a fresher and trying to act, making their own mistakes. But when I came here, I realized it's a different ball game altogether. The first couple of takes were jittery but I was excited. I was over-eager to please and I was saying the lines so fast. I just rambled through! It was a good learning experience for me.
How was it shooting with your mentor, veteran actors like Anupam Kher and Sarah?
I am really happy that I got my first acting break with Atul Sir. I feel very comfortable and at ease when I am working with them. Sarah is a wonderful co-star and now a really good friend. I thank all of them for being so patient with me, especially Anupam Kher and Vijay Raaz to have allowed me to commit my mistakes and bear with it.
Your bromance with Pulkit Samrat….
I think we clicked instantly! We met at Atul bhai's office but we got closer when we did research for our characters in the film in Delhi. I have always been a Bandra boy and Pulkit is from Delhi and has done his homework while doing Fukrey. He was far too kind in sharing his knowledge and he helped me in learning the Delhi lingo and nuances. I think I am too lucky to have him as my co-star.
Tell us something about your character A.I.D.S…
I enjoyed playing my character and it was fun learning things about people from the North. I have always liked them and I think they are very warm. My character in the film is very raw and I liked my role. Also, A.I.D.S has a girl in the movie which is a Russian airhostess. In fact, the scene with her was my first shot for the film. There is a story behind that!
While we were about to start the film, there was a discussion on my first shot and I wanted the shot to be easy where I come and go. But they decided that my first scene would be approaching the girl and say lyublyu tebya which is I Love You in Russian and give her a kiss. I was really nervous but eventually I did get it right!
While you are relatively new, your co-star Pulkit has already enjoyed a good box office run… Has that ever made your insecure?
Pulkit is damn good at his job and I have learnt a lot from him. I am not as good as him. When it comes to comparison, I don't want it to be negative. Instead we should look at the efforts that we put in together rather than pitting us against each other. He has been more than a brother to me. I can't be compared to him. I have high regards towards him as a co-star and as an actor. I loved the way he guided me through in acting. I can only learn from him.
You have known Salman Khan and his family since childhood…. How was it to work and dance with the actor this time?
I can't talk in front of him. I have grown up watching him. He is a real life hero for me. I really look up to him so for me it wasn't anything short of watching him on 70 mm even though he was right next to me and even if I have seen him all my life. As far as dancing with him is concerned, we were so nervous around him. Salman bhai understood it very quickly! He is very good judge of people and he is so warm towards them that he makes you comfortable instantly. He took us aside and said 'Guys chill, let's just have fun!' And then, the song says it all!