Salman Khan asked me not to ‘act’ too much, says Sooraj Pancholi

Newcomer Sooraj Pancholi, who is making his Bollywood debut with “Hero”, says acting was not on top of his mind till superstar Salman Khan approached him for the film.

The 25-year-old son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab is being launched by Salman, the producer of the film, in a remake of the 1983 classic by the same name. According to Sooraj, Salman advised him not to try too hard while acting.

“He (Salman) gave an advice – ‘acting mat karna jyada’ (don’t act too much),” Sooraj told reporters at the trailer launch of “Hero” here this evening. Sooraj revealed that despite his background, acting was not on top of his mind and he did not how to respond when the superstar first approached him.

“I was not good in math. My mother wanted me to become a pilot. I remember I was having lunch when he (Salman) called me. Initially, I did not respond. Later his sister Arpita called me saying ‘bhai wants to meet you’. When I met him he asked me to assist Kabir (Khan) in “Ek Tha Tiger”. Since then his hand is on me…I am grateful to him,” he said.

Sooraj said he chose acting as a career because he can live so many lives (on screen). “Actors have a good life.” Sooraj admitted that he was nervous before coming for the trailer launch. “I hope you all liked the trailer. I am not the best but I promise to be better and better (with next films).” The young actor said he had watched the Subhash Ghai- directed original “Hero” in bits and pieces on TV. But once he signed his debut film, he saw the entire 1983 film on DVD.

Salman had earlier reported to have said that Sooraj has the potential to be the next Salman Khan in Hindi film industry. When asked about this, the newbie actor sought to downplay it and said, “I don’t think I can be like him.” The Nikhil Advani-directed “Hero”, which also marks the debut of Athiya, the daughter of actor Suniel Shetty, will hit the theatres on September 11.