'Yeah, I guess I could've become that horrific entity known as the pampered and spoilt brat. But I held on. I always look at Abhishek (Bachchan)'s example to see how tough things can be for a kid from a film family,' Zayed told IANS.
Zayed, who was seen as Shah Rukh Khan's prankster younger brother in 'Main Hoon Na', also holds brother-in-law Hrithik Roshan in high esteem. 'I guess this pen
chant to prove a point runs in my family. Look at Duggu (Hrithik). He has been quite a portrait of defiant self-improvement.'
So is Zayed's brother-in-law a source of inspiration too?
'Not in any direct way. Not that I take any tips from him or anything. But, yes, we are a close-knit family. Duggu and I go back a long way. In fact, we knew each other before he got to know my sister Susanne.'
Was there any sense of brotherly possessiveness when Susanne announced her decision to marry Hrithik?
'Not at all. In fact, I've been protected and fussed over by my sisters all my life. They still continue to fuss over me. Now, besides my mom and sister, there's another woman, my wife, to mollycoddle me.'
In an industry where passing the buck is a favourite pastime, Zayed's endearing candour comes as a pleasant surprise.
'Last year, I was down and bed-ridden for months on-end because of a slipped disc. 'Speed' did get delayed because of me.
'Maybe I subconsciously chose Anubhav Sinha's 'Cash' and Vikram Bhatt's 'Speed' because they required me to exert myself physically. After being confined in bed and getting all the time to retrospect, I wanted to return with stuff that would prove I was as physically fit as I used to be before the bad back.'