Actor-musician Imaad Shah shares a friendly relationship with his father Naseeruddin Shah, a veteran actor, but says as a professional it’s an uphill task to please him as he is the most critical person he has ever come across. “He (Naseeruddin) is quite a harsh critic with everybody and applies the same with me too. He will be the last person to praise anyone wholeheartedly. He is the most critical person. So, I always feel I have to meet the standards that he has set,” says Imaad.
Interestingly Imaad made his big screen debut in 2006 with his dad’s directorial debut Yun Hota To Kya Hota and featured in Dil Dosti Etc the following year.
Post director Manish Tiwary’s movie he was forced to take a break after an unfortunate accident when he fell out of a moving Mumbai local train while travelling to college. He was hospitalised with serious injuries, but bounced back in 2009 with Sooni Taraporevala’s award-winning Little Zizou (2009). Now he is ready with Prawaal Raman’s 404, a psychological thriller, slated for a May 20 release, and says his ever-critical father liked it. “He really liked this film. I was expecting him to be very critical about the film but surprisingly he had a lot of good things to say about the director and all the performances. So, hopefully, the standard is met,” he said.
The film, in which Imaad plays an eccentrically genius college senior, also stars directors Nishikant Kamat and Satish Kaushik in pivotal roles. Does his father have a strong influence over his professional decisions? “I do consult him, but I won’t say that he has a huge influence on my decisions because he sees me as an individual. We are good friends and we talk a lot about the positive and negative parts of the industry. We are very honest with each other but we are definitely two individuals in our own rights and we respect that,” said Imaad. Imaad also revealed that his father, who has been in the industry for more than three decades, feels he needs to open up a little bit to enhance his performance. “He feels I’m too introverted and I’m not very free with my words. He feels I don’t share what I’m thinking, which has an effect on my performances.”
The actor, who also has his own band – The Pulp Society – composed for 404. “My approach was just to stick to my own sound and music that I have been making, which is very punk and disco style. The songs are very varied, but there is a very strong influence of old school punk. “Thematically we had to stick to the theme of the film, hostel, college, ragging and other dark themes. So I have kept both – the film’s theme and what I wanted to add,” he said.