Aasif Sheikh, who plays Vibhuti Narayan Mishra in &TV's cult comedy show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai, has played numerous characters, and has a career spanning three decades; he ruled the 80s, 90s, and 20s in terms of comedy shows and films. Aasif Sheikh has always nailed his performances and made the audience believe in him because of his sheer talent, conviction, and experience. Aasif Sheikh, who will soon be celebrating his 58th birthday, talks about the celebration plans, his journey in the industry and upcoming projects.
1. How are you celebrating your birthday this year?
Birthdays have always been special to me because they remind me of all the amazing years I spent with incredible people. This year's birthday will be a working birthday for me as I will be shooting for a film. However, I intend to take my family out for dinner the next day. If my shooting schedule allows, I would also like to do a live Instagram session for my devoted fans, who have always been there for me every step of the way. So, any celebration for me would be incomplete without their presence.
2. Any special gifts you have received so far?
My family and my show Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai are two of the most precious gifts I have ever received, and I don't think anything could be more special.
3. When did you begin your career as an actor? Did you anticipate such a successful journey?
I never considered becoming an actor. I was a sportsman who competed at the state and national levels. Due to board exams, I could not attend selections, and my father did not see a future in sports, so my sporting career ended. I got into hotel management after finishing intermediate, but it wasn't exciting enough. I had a few friends who were doing theatre at the time at the Sri Ram Centre. That's how I became interested in drama. I worked as a theatre assistant in plays and played extremely small roles, all to get my acting career in shape. I was only 18 when I began working on my first show. There was no money to buy food or a place to stay. Now when I look back, I feel the struggle was well worth it.
Do you consider your role as Vibhuti Narayan Mishra a watershed moment in your career?
The team wanted a younger actor to play Vibhuti Narayan Mishra in Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai. They looked at actors aged between 35–40, so I didn’t fit into their scheme. They were reluctant to cast me for obvious reasons, but the creative team convinced them that a mature actor would be better suited to the role. And so that’s how I got associated with the show. In seven years, I have played more than 300 characters on this show, which is quite an achievement for an actor. I am proud of what I am doing at this age. I have earned a name, fame, and money through this show and have decided to act till I can remember my lines. The show has given me a fresh start. Typically, an actor my age accepts that he will be limited to playing elderly supporting characters on screen. I was also losing hope and had mentally prepared myself to dress in the traditional kurta pyjama and stand behind a cast of actors. However, I would still pray to God for that one opportunity where I had the scope to perform a meaty role like Vibhuti. Earlier, I was seen as a decent performer, but this show has put me on a pedestal. It’s an overwhelming feeling. That's something I have craved all my life.
5. What keeps you going at this age?
This year has been wonderful in terms of work, family, and achievements, all thanks to my fans. My fans—having spent more than three decades in this entertainment industry, I feel that each person who watches me on screen, inspires me to work more, and loves me is a part of my family. So, on my birthday, I pray for my fans’ well-being and wish for their support forever.
6. Apart from Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai any other project you are working on?
On my birthday, all I desire to do is work more and more. Even though Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai has kept me busy, I have had the opportunity to work on films with Salman Bhai and one with the most talented director, Rohit Shetty. Aside from that, I made a cameo appearance in one of the upcoming web series.
Watch Aasif Sheikh as Vibhuti Narayan Mishra in Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai at 10:30 pm, airing every Monday to Friday only on &TV!