Zayed Khan Interview: Fardeen Khan has gone through a lot in life

Actor Zayed Khan will turn 42 on Tuesday. He is looking forward to a fresh start with the upcoming announcement of his comeback project. During an exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times, the actor opened up about the secret of his body transformation, thoughts before his return, lessons from the past, and his equation with Hrithik Roshan, Suzanne Khan and Arslan Ghoni.


Will you count calories on your birthday, too?

Instead of counting calories, I count hard work. It is very important to realize that calorie counting and diet can affect you. Your body is your temple. I exercise 3 and a half hours a day. I get some of my best ideas while training. I enjoy life and be healthy. I enjoyed eating out and going out with friends to have a good time, but sometimes it gets to the point of saturation. I have kids, they are my greatest project, and I enjoy spending time with them.

Truth be told, I have to take care of my body, as you get older. You can’t have butter chicken and biryani every day. It’s all about balance. I have a strict diet. I follow an average fast, two meals a day – from 8:30 pm to 2 pm. I don’t eat anything in between except for coffee or juice. I work on an empty stomach. I eat healthy, and on the weekends I can get pizza and still have six packs.

When will you announce your return project?

I can only tell you that I just finished a movie. Everything is ready and there are plenty of OTT platforms in the works to finalize. It won’t be shown in the theater but unfortunately I can’t say much about the movie yet. I had a great time doing this.

Is it a Sanjay Khan project?

no not like that. I am grateful to my friend Asim Merchant for the film. He came to my house and said, “Man, why don’t you make movies?” I just said I want to spend time with my kids.

I read Amitabh Bachchan’s autobiography where he wrote about how he came home from work and apparently Abhishek Bachchan couldn’t recognize him as he wasn’t home enough. It made me feel real. If I wasn’t there for my kids during their formative years, what would that say about me? I realized I needed to spend more time with my family. Now that they’re all grown up, I think it’s time to get back to work. Is it a good or bad move? I don’t know. I love movies and my family. If I had to choose between them, I can only say that you will have children for life and the movies will always be there. If you’re with the right people, your film career will skyrocket once again.

In most cases, actresses are seen choosing their families over the profession…

Between me and my wife, sometimes I’m the mummy and sometimes she’s the father. I don’t see any difference. It is a partnership. Honestly, a lot of people put a stigma on this and call it a woman’s job, but I grew up with three sisters. I know that there is no difference between a man and a woman when it comes to the pursuit of happiness and success. All of these things are man-made, no pun intended.

Has anything changed for you over the years?

When you overburden yourself with things like how many things you have in the closet, the cars you own, or calling yourself the best, it doesn’t do you any good. I lost my attachment to material things I guess. My mom always said to me, “Love something that loves you back.” I was raised with the perception that I don’t necessarily feel like one has to be in a shark-like attack situation and kill people with their accomplishments.

You refer to Hrithik Roshan as your mentor. Do you exchange tips with each other?

Always! We are people who don’t post what we’re talking about all the time. I have known Hrithik since I was 10 years old. When you know people for a long time, you know them from the inside. Regardless of whether you talk every day or not, when you meet you know exactly where to pick it up. I love him from the bottom of my heart. He is one of the most generous and disciplined people I have ever met. He was always the kind of brother I could talk to with my heart. Gives the best advice to a brother. He is honest, critical and honest. You cannot ask for more. My coach Satya also helped me in my journey. My wife is like the wind under my wings. You don’t need much to take off again.

age is just a number. How true is that when it comes to getting back into the industry?

Everyone has regretted it. People might say they see potential in me but I don’t have an answer to everyone’s questions. I did everything for my family and the people I love. I didn’t hurt anyone else but myself. Did I grow up and learn my lesson? absolutely yes. Nobody is kind to you when you are not salable, that is the nature of the jungle. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be nice to others and be hateful. I must carry myself and shake off the dust, and continue to work with dignity. I’m here like everyone else. Money words and whispers of wealth. Success is an accident that you have to survive. Just because you have it doesn’t mean it is yours. You have to grow thick skin.

(Read also: Zayed Khan remembers the time when he had no money)

How would you describe Fardeen Khan’s body transformation?

I am so proud of him. Fardeen has been through a lot in life. For him to come out that way and accept himself and have the courage to see life in front of him speaks a lot about his character. I was deeply moved to see how he humiliated himself and I believe only life can teach you.

You were recently spotted partying with Susan Khan and Arslan Güney in Goa. What do you think of them?

At my age, I find it so important to let people live and live. Whether that person is your brother, sister, or friend, just let him be whatever he wants. It is also important to be there when they need you. As for Arslan, I think he is a beautiful boy. He has a sweet nature. And if that makes them happy, who am I to say anything? At the end of the day, it’s only about what makes you happy. While we are very quick to judge, a lot of people talk but don’t get in the way.

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