As a young boy growing up in the rough terrains of Afghanistan, Sameer Ali Khan picked up fighting to defend himself from attackers. Little did he know that in future this training in martial arts would help him secure a role in Bollywood and Hollywood movies as an actor and a fighting champ. The Afghan actor, who entered Bollywood with Krissh 3 opposite Hrithik Roshan, is now ready to show his skills opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Happy New Year. Sameer has also grabbed a role in a Hollywood movie Rock — The Kasbah, where he plays the main negative role opposite Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel and others.
Speaking about his role in Happy New Year directed by Farah Khan, Sameer mentions that he plays an underground martial arts champion. He says, “It was a dream come true for me to get a big role opposite Shah Rukh Khan. I play a man called Bob and SRK is also playing an underground fighter in the movie. Since I have been learning martial arts for more than 15 years, the biggest challenge for me to do the scenes was to be careful while hitting the actor during the action scenes. I was very nervous as I did not want to hurt SRK and he understood my dilemma. He was very supportive while shooting the scenes, and he is also a very tough guy, so I could fight with him easily.”
While shooting for his first Hollywood movie with Bruce Willis, Sameer faced a similar situation while shooting the action scenes but he was more than relieved by the professional attitude of the production unit and the actors. He says, “I have grown up watching Bruce Willis movies and when I had to work with him on screen, I was very conscious. I play an Afghan villain in the movie, and we shot mostly in Morocco for this project.”
Sameer mentions that when he was young he used to watch Bollywood movies in Afghanistan and always dreamt of playing an action hero. He says, “I remember watching Kaho Na Pyaar Hai during the Taliban reign, when it was illegal for us to watch such movies. People in Afghanistan watch a lot of Hindi movies and since the language is similar, it is easy for us to understand Bollywood films. I came to India eight years ago and I finished my college in Pune and then took acting classes in Mumbai.”
Being an outsider, Sameer faced a few obstacles in getting meaty roles in Bollywood. He says. “I want to work with Abbas Mustan someday as I love the kind of movies they make. Currently, I am working on a film called Ranvir The Marshal, which is being directed by Milind Ukey. It is a film based on martial arts and I have a very deadly role in this movie.”