Superstar Salman Khan is launching debutant Zaheer Iqbal in his own co-produced film Notebook. In the promotional journey of the film, Iqbal shared how Khan helped him in getting launched in the Hindi film industry. Excerpts: What kind of response are you getting after the trailer launch? Everyone is saying the trailer shows the film is content-based. All are praising the cinematography. People are also saying I don’t look like newcomers which is a big compliment. How do you feel that you are making debut in Salman Khan’s film. Obviously it feels great that Salman sir is launching us. It is a dream come true for anybody. More than that the amount of time and energy he gives in launching an actor is admirable. His time is precious but he spent hours for the film. It is a great feeling that Salman sir is launching me. Tell us about your experience on the first day when Salman Khan told you about your launch. It was at my sister’s wedding. I was dancing and then I got off the stage. He (Salman Khan) was telling me about the film.
Then he had called me to work on my body. Initially I couldn’t believe my ears. I literally had to confirm it (offer) from others who had heard it (smiles). I was hearing his dialogues for some days even. How was the preparation for the launch. Take us through that journey. I was introduced to a gym trainer by Salman Khan after giving me the offer. After one month, Khan asked me to take off my t-shirt and he was impressed with the development of my body. Khan said I would make the body necessary for the role. Then Khan took me to ND Studio and I spent roughly three months there. Later I was made to train in different forms of dances as well as action and also brushed up my skills in horse-riding.
I was then training for eight hours a day. But when Nitin sir (Nitin Kakkar, director) came on board, I had to deconstruct everything because my character is not like the one who is so outgoing. Then I had a much-needed workshop for four months. The workshop really helped me. Do you remember the first shot? How was it? My first shot was walking into a house and pushing a door. It was a high-speed shot. I’m grateful that my first shot was such because I love high-speed shots. Often we remain unsure about films because success in the industry is uncertain. But after giving my first shot, I realised this is my area. It was a memorable day for me.