On The Train from fashion to films

AT 6‚2", Aseem Merchant is easily a cut above the rest. After storming the modelling world in 1996 with a Gladrags Supermodel title, Aseem went on to start his own event management agency, Options1, which boasts of top brands in its portfolio.

By N Anandhi (Contributor)

Published: Sun 22 Jul 2007, 10:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:12 AM

He recently appeared in The Train, which drew a lukewarm response from the audiences, but did not dampen Aseem's enthusiasm, or his chances. He has under his karate black belt a couple of international projects. Excerpts from an interview with model-turned-actor:

What projects are you working on now?

I am doing two projects at the moment. One of them is an out and out masala movie. The other can be considered art house cinema. The first is a remake of the blockbuster Tamil film Pokiri. I play the bad guy in the movie and my co-stars in the film are Salman Khan and Prabhu Deva. The shooting of the film will begin on July 25 in Bangkok. It is basically a gangster story. I play a guy heading the underworld. I have also signed an English movie called The Guest.

Tell us about the other film?

It is an offbeat film called Bheegi Pal Ke. The film is a screen adaptation of a beautiful Bengali novel. I play a suave, sophisticated doctor in the movie and Gracy Singh plays the female lead. My character falls in love with a woman who is a trainee doctor. The story takes a turn when I find that she has an 8-year-old child. It is a beautiful story.

Any other movies in the pipeline?

I am playing Lakshman in Uru Patel's next production Hanuman. It is an international film.

Your company Options1 is also into film production?

Yes. We have been doing a lot of advertisements, events and music videos in the last few years. Now, we have also started producing our own films. We are doing two films. The first film is called $200. It is based in Afghanistan. The directors will be Hasnain Hyderabadwala and Raksha Mistry. They were my directors in The Train. I loved watching them work. The movie is a real-life incident that takes place in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Linda Arsenio of Kabul Express fame will star in the movie. The other movie is Kash and Mere. It is an Indo-Pak masala comedy. Discussions are on for this one.

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?

With my dream woman sharing my success with her (smiles).

What do you do when you are not working?

I am a big movie buff. I watch movies every night. I buy a lot of DVDs when I am travelling. I am also into martial arts. I am a black belt in karate. I have too much on my plate at the moment. Whatever little time I get, I try and relax.

Tell us about your fitness regime.

I work out in the gym four mornings a week. I am a vegetarian and also into kick boxing.

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