Sky Is The Limit!
In 1997 Elle Magazine voted him one of the seven sexiest Indian men. His stunning good looks have made him every girls' dream lover, and its no wonder then that he says, 'I'm single and ready to mingle'. Akaashdeep Saigal is no playboy Romeo, but rather the once-upon-a-time lead in the television serial Kyunki Saas
Bhi Khabhi Bahu Thi. Now part of Kkusum on Sony Entertainment Television, the lad, takes on a new role and a new look, presenting a complete clean shave, minus the ponytail.
Since we're featuring you for the first time, let's begin at the beginning. School, college, family… the works…
Okay, okay. We are two brothers and two sisters. I hail from Punjab and am a thorough Punjabi. I studied at the Danbhai Cawasji High School, Khandala, as a day scholar till the 6th class. From there I joined the S.S. Sahani High School where I completed my 10th. I then came over to Mumbai and joined MMK College where I graduated in Commerce. Many told me to take up modelling, but I just brushed it aside. Life was getting a bit drab as I did not know what to do in life and so I joined my brother who was a real estate agent. Finally, in 1997, I got my portfolio done by Ashok Salian and within no time I was a fashion model. I've been modelling for about 4 years, doing commercials like Bombay Dyeing, Coke, Chiclets and lots more.
I got my first Bollywood break in 2001 with Pyaar Mein Khabhi Khabhi. The impact was not much, but I got another offer with Supari in 2003. This brought me within the focus of many filmmakers. But I was getting a little fed up with the idea of remaining in the same line. I then went into making documentaries on archeological stuff like Ajanta and Ellora, monolithic and other old monuments. I wanted to do something more creative and was waiting for the big break to come my way which it did with Kyunki Saas….
How did you bag the role in Kkusum? Did you replace someone?
I was told that my role of Ansh in Kyunki Saas… was just for a period of four months, but the character was a hit and went on for about a year. Once the character in Kyunki Saas… was over, I was approached by Ekta to work in Kkusum. When she approached me, I thought she was going to cast me for Kkavyanjali and I was excited about it. But she coolly told me that there was time for Kkavyanjali and so I accepted Kkusum.
So what is the new look all about?
I can tell you that it really feels nice to be clean-shaven and get my original look back. I sported the unshaven look and the ponytail for over two years. For this new look, Ekta told me that I could keep the long hair but to colour it black. I must have gone to the hairdresser over twenty times for this look.
What memories will you take back with you from Kyunki Saas…?
I guess the last few episodes of the serial were the most important. We got great feedback on the scene in the hospital when Ansh was admitted after the shootout. It seems that this was the best shot that Star Plus had ever managed to get. I'd love to work in the serial and they can bring me in whenever they want and I guess that's the magic of Balaji Telefilms. Anything that Ekta does, clicks! I'll also miss the chaiwallahs, the spot boys and the entire cast.
Did you leave the serial or had your role come to an end?
No negative male character can survive for more than four months but, as I said earlier, so many people appreciated my role as Ansh, that it went on for over a year. In fact, at the end, Smita Irani told me that Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji told her "Ansh ko mat maro kyunki aap ke saath jo scenes hai, humko dekne mein bahut maza aata hai." So you see, everyone was enjoying the scenes, for you know no one could ever overpower Tulsi and here I was, doing just that. It made people offer her more sympathy.
Are you a trained actor?
Not at all! But it's true that my father came from Dehradun to Mumbai to be an actor. I am sure that my dad, who's no more, must be very happy that I have become such a great actor.
What kinda guy are you?
I'm a very humble guy and don't don an attitude. But yes, if someone gives me attitude, I tell them to buzz off. For me, my work is very important and if anybody tries to mess with that, they've had it. I work hard and I'd love it if people respect that.
What else are you doing besides Kkusum?
I am working on my own home production for Bollywood which I will be directing. Talks are on for some more television serials too.
What's your role in Kkusum and why did you take it up?
I play Trishul, a business tycoon who's come from abroad and takes up life here. I'd rather not go into details, so it's better to watch and see the story unfold. I took the role as a challenge.
What roles do you like to play?
I like to play the lead with the focus on me. Even in Bollywood, I have to be in the lead. I'd like to work with the Chopras, Johars, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Farhan Aktar and Ketan Mehta among others.
What is your ideal woman?
My woman should have a lot of energy and should connect with me on a mental level.
Did you ever watch Kyunki Saas…?
Yes, on many occasions. Whenever we were left early after shooting I used to rush back home and switch on the TV and tell mom to come and watch the serial too.
Is there something your fans don't know about you?
The character they have seen in Kyunki Saas…, of Ansh, is not the real me but the character. In Kkusum, I play a character close to my true personality