New Delhi: He is playing Shah Rukh Khan's confidant in Raees but actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub says he was initially hesitant around the superstar while shooting for the movie.
Zeeshan has already made a mark for himself with his stellar performances in films like "Raanjhanaa" and "Tanu Weds Manu Returns".
In Raees, he plays the role of Chirag and the actor says he had to overcome his nervousness around SRK to be able to do justice to his part.
"I was totally intimidated the first day I met Shah Rukh sir. But I was sure about one thing that for me to be able to do justice with my character, I will have to get past his aura," Zeeshan told PTI.
The actor says he had to make himself believe that he was not working with a superstar like Shah Rukh but with an old friend. And it is here that his theatre training came in handy. "Both of us have a theatre background, so we had an inherent understanding about approaching the scene. It surprised me when Shah Rukh sir told me that he was impressed with me."
Shah Rukh complimented the actor for being comfortable in his own skin and was happy that Zeeshan treated him like a co-actor, not a megastar. Zeeshan also talks about how Shah Rukh asked him to draw strength from theatre and be fearless.
"He asked me to enjoy my work, just like theatre. He encouraged me to experiment with different roles and not be
afraid of breaking the mould." About his character, Zeeshan says, "Chirag is Raees' close friend and confidant. He will be seen right from the beginning of the film and plays an integral role in the screenplay. He is Raees' partner in crime in all things good and bad.
"A loyal, honest and trustworthy person, but he's not a 'Yes-Man'. He's not a side-kick, he is a real friend. There are times when Chirag disagrees with Raees and when that happens he is strong enough to raise his voice. A critical moment is created in the film because of my character," Zeeshan adds.
One would think that working with seniors such as Shah Rukh and Nawazuddin Siddiqui would have a serious mood on the set but Zeeshan says it was a fun film to shoot.
"Every now and then, one of us used to be ragged. Shah Rukh sir used to have a lot of fun taking our case. The other day a member from Bosco's dancing team tricked me into learning a dance move, which was not even a part of the choreography.
So, it was mad fun. Raees releases on January 25.