Suniel Shetty has not aged a day since he started his career in Bollywood 25 years ago. As he walked around inspecting exhibits after an inaugural event, one could not help but wonder how he managed to maintain the charm, good looks and charisma all these years. Moving away from the gathering crowd for a few minutes, he sits down on the plush sofa for the interview — a simple man with aesthetic tastes.
Over the years, Suniel has donned more roles in real life than in reel life. One role is that of a businessman, a successful one that too. He spread himself out to explore and set a strong foothold into the real estate, restaurant and production businesses; you name it, he is there. All this apart from appearing on both big and small screens from time to time. How does he manage all this? “It all because of the team. The credit for the success has to go to the team behind all this, but since you are an actor you end up getting all the praise. I am surrounded by strong women. My wife and sister are entrepreneurs.”
Speaking about strong women, the topic naturally shifts to Athiya Shetty. The young actress is slowly but steadily building her career in Bollywood.
So does she come home and discuss work with her daddy dearest? “Of course, she does discuss scripts with me. But then I must say, she is very clear about what she wants and very choosy too. Athiya has also signed some really amazing movies, which she will announce at the right time.”
His eyes brighten as he speaks more about his daughter. “I am very happy that she is content. Of course, one has to be content and confident in life.”
J.P. Dutta, for Suniel, is his mentor with whom he shared a good number of hit movies and for the same reason, Paltan was his much-awaited work. When quizzed about upcoming projects, he says, “Unfortunately, I will not be a part of J.P. Dutta’s Paltan. But I am preparing myself for an Afghan-Indian movie in which I will have to sport a long beard. So I am in the process of growing my beard right now.”
One question that Suniel is almost always asked is how he manages to keep himself so fit and healthy at 55. Giving a sneak peak into his fitness regime and lifestyle, he says, “I am an early riser. I am up by 6 am, do a little yoga, read the paper and have my tea — I need my tea strong. I do not diet, but I do not consume carbs after 4 pm. Most of my workout is in the evening. I train with my son and by 10.30 pm, it’s bedtime for me.”
Suniel’s son Ahan Shetty is all set for his mega Bollywood launch. Is he anxious? “Sajid Nadiadwala is launching him and I think that is huge. He is in safe hands. And my advice to Ahan would always be to choose wisely.”
He adds, “I might be a good businessman, but I have made mistakes as an actor.”
Suniel, who was at the inaugural function of Mayamata Boutique, organised by Giaan Media, was very excited about his plans for the rest of the day.
“I am really looking forward to the local food. I love it. Might have meen curry and appam, that’s my plan for the day.”