sohum shah,

Sohum Shah’s choices of films and characters as an actor and producer has left a lasting impression on audiences and critics alike. Some of his notable work include, Tumbbad, Ship Of Theseus, Big Bull, Dahaad, among others. Sohum comes from a small town in Rajasthan and always aspired to become an actor despite limited exposure. But, the journey was not easy for him. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood Bubble, Sohum Shah shared how he struggles as his English was not good. He also stated how physical appearance mattered more than talent.

Sohum Shah recalls how physical appearance was chosen over talent earlier

We asked the actor whether physical appearance was given preference over talent when he entered the industry. Talking about which, Sohum shared, “Jab Mai industry me Aaya tha tab gore chite six abs wale hi hero hua karte the (When I came, only the white-skinned and people with six-pack abs were actors). If you don’t know to speak English, then you can’t work in this industry. Meri life ka toughest part yahi raha hai ki mujhe English nahi aati hai (The toughest part of my life is that I don’t know English). At that time I was a successful businessmen as I had done a lot starting from the scratch. But after that I struggled a lot.”

On facing challenges as he struggled speaking English

Recalling an incident Soham shared, “I was doing a workshop and my teacher was telling me that your cook’s self-esteem is better than yours.  He looks like a king and you don’t look like anything.”

The Dahaad actor further added, “Wo ek time tha uska ajeeb sa pressure tha ki aapko English nahi aati, certain tarika aur tone hai baat karne ka. Toh English ke liye maine bahut struggle kiya hai. Meri life ka main agenda raha hai ki mujhe English nahi aati. Wo time bahut tough time tha hum jaise log jo bahar se aate hai unke liye (There was a strange pressure because you don’t know English.  You have a certain way of talking.  You should have a certain tone. I struggled a lot for English.  My life’s main agenda was that I don’t know English. That was a tough time for people like us who come from outside).”

“Aaj ke time pe toh mujhe lagta hai duniya bahut khul gayi hai, OTT aagaya hai ki aap table pe kya personality la rahe ho. That matters a lot. Us samay aapke vichar, soch aur samajh se jyada physical appearance matter karti thi. (Today, OTT has opened great avenues.  What are you bringing to the table?  What personality are you bringing?  That matters a lot.  That time, your physical appearance mattered more than your understanding and thought process)”, Sohum added.

Sohum Shah admits classism existed

The Tumbbad actor averred, “Us time bahut jyada classism tha. Aisa tha ki agar aapko English thik se nahi aati toh ek chota sa character aapko film me mil sakta hai. Web series nahi the us samay. Hero toh matlab koi aur hi play karega, chahe wo acting kare na kare, usko acting aati ho ya nahi, usko dance aata hoga uske six pack abs honge (There was too much classism at that time.  If you don’t know English properly,  you can find a small character in the film. The hero was play someone else, whether he acts or not, he must six-pack abs and know how to dance).”

Watch the full interview here:

During the interview, the actor also shared whether he ever faced discriminatory behaviour from people in the industry.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Sohum Shah recalls challenges he faced to release Tumbbad in 2015: ‘Crew ko nahi laga tha ki ye film kabhi bahar aayegi’

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