What Taare Zameen Par’s Darsheel Has Been Up To

‘People don’t know I’ve turned 27. They think I’m still nine.’

IMAGE: Darsheel Safary and Aamir Khan in Taare Zameen Par and a soft drink ad. Photograph: Kind courtesy Darsheel Safary/Instagram

Darsheel Safary, who started his career as a child in Taare Zameen Par, reunited with his mentor Aamir Khan for an ad recently.

“I was very excited to reconnect with Aamir sir and couldn’t believe it until it actually happened,” Darsheel tells Subhash K Jha.

“The first time I met Aamir sir, I hid my tears. In fact, everybody in his team. They’ve seen me when I was so young. I was greeted with such warmth and familiarity that it felt like a homecoming of sorts. We revisited memories.

“I felt so safe with him as I felt he absolutely knew the skin of me as an actor and could extract the best out of me. So I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment.”

Photograph: Kind courtesy Darsheel Safary/Instagram

Darsheel has completed three films as an actor.

“Two are in post-production: The first is a murder mystery called Tibba with Adah Sharma and Sonali Kulkarni ma’am. It’s a fresh dark space for me to explore. The second is the biopic Phule, with Pratik Gandhi sir and Patralekha ma’am. I play their son in it.

“Recently, I finished another film shoot in Agra, which everybody will know about soon and hopefully be pleasantly surprised. I’ve completed two Web series also. Most of this is slated for release this year.”

Darsheel admits that Taare Zameen Par was a hard act to follow.

“I’m so happy that my first film has sort of given me this learning about the gold standard of storytelling. I was too lucky to be a part of it.

“My goal is to be associated with stories that connect with the audience, and that can match my first film in some way. People don’t know I’ve turned 27. They think I’m still nine.”

IMAGE: Aamir Khan and Darsheel in Taare Zameen Par.

“I took a break from acting after I got into college. I discovered theatre through extra-curricular activities,” he says.

“For the first time, I saw an audience react live to me. That was the moment that made me understand the power of an actor. He or she can connect with an audience, can generate an emotion within them. That realisation blew me away.”

The years since Taare Zameen Par have gone into rigorous training. “I pursued theatre for eight years after that, and did shows all across India. I perfected my understanding of emotions and expressing them. I understood how to make a character your own and how to make it real and experienced what our audiences want. They want relatability.

“I feel evolving is an eternal process for an actor, and it indirectly helps the person evolve also. The best way is to never stop absorbing and adding to your arsenal. Around 2021, I decided to get back into films and thankfully, have been doing films, Web series, and theatre simultaneously.”