When The Great Khali trained TV actor Danish Akhtar Saifi
Actor Danish Akhtar Saifi, who is known for playing Nandi in 'Baal Shiv', took formal wrestling training from The Great Khali.
MUMBAI, August 4: Actor Danish Akhtar Saifi, who is known for playing Nandi in ‘Baal Shiv’, took formal wrestling training from The Great Khali.
Danish speaks about his journey from a wrestler to an actor and says: “I hail from Bihar, where wrestling is enjoyed by many. And in a similar vein, I used to be fascinated by wrestling. I was young when I decided to be a wrestler and it was my father whom I told for the first time. He motivated me for it. He made me go through years of intense training and a strict regimen, which greatly helped me get that kind of fitness and energy in my body.”
“I admired WWE a lot and wanted to become an international wrestler. Since facilities were not available in my city to learn wrestling, I went to Jalandhar and started training.”
The ‘Siya Ke Ram’ actor reveals about the beginning of his career as an actor.
He says: “In 2010, I went to the National School of Bodybuilding, Jalandhar and took a six-month training which helped to gain a wrestler’s body and then moved to Delhi and initially started working as a gym trainer. While in Jalandhar, I connected with The Great Khali’s brother. So, one day he called me and said, ‘selectors are coming from WWE, and I think you are fit for it. Can you come back to Jalandhar for it?’ I decided to go back in no time.”
“Khali Sir had personally trained me for six months before the selection in his academy CWE (Continental Wrestling Entertainment). I remember around four to five thousand people had come for the selection, out of which only five or six were shortlisted, and I was one of them. But due to some paperwork, I could not fly to America then. After that, I came to Mumbai, and my acting career began.”
Danish shares how he got his first break and says: “For a mythological show, auditions were happening; the makers were looking for someone tall, extremely strong, and muscular, with a clean image. A casting friend of mine suggested, ‘I should go for the audition’, and in the very first audition, I got selected for Hanuman’s role.”
“I never thought that I would end up in this field. It was Director Nikhil Sinha’s vision that convinced me to try out for this role. I had to work a lot on my acting skills, and for almost three months, I studied the character to portray it in the desired way.”
On his inclination towards doing mythological shows, he says: “I have portrayed Hanuman on two occasions, Bheem in a Kannada movie and now Nandi in ‘Baal Shiv’. I am incredibly grateful for it. I have received accolades from the audience for every mythological role I have ever played. And I believe their support and acceptance persuades the makers to choose me for such characters, and they continue to offer me similar roles.”
“However, I would also like to give some credit to my physical appearance, which probably makes them think of me for such devotional characteristics. And to be honest, I will do any mythological show that comes my way,” he concludes.