July 27, 2002 
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Sohail and Sameera in MDTD
Actor or director?
Sohail Khan finds his bearings in Maine Dil Tujhko Diya.

Sohail Khan is all set to debut onscreen with Maine Dil Tujhko Diya. This director-turned-actor has already made an impression as filmmaker with Auzaar, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya and Hello Brother.

Now with Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, (in which he acts as well as directs), he joins brothers Salman Khan and Arbaaz Khan.

Here in conversation with Lata Khubchandani, Sohail speaks about riding two horses at the same time -- acting and directing:

On turning actor:

It was not something that happened overnight. But my family told me to act in my film instead of taking on someone else. I was not as sure about acting as I was about directing.

I auditioned for the role and found that it turned out well. And here I am.

I have no complaints. I shot the film just the way I wanted to.

On costar Sameera Reddy:

I used to know Sameera when she was just about a teenager. Her dad and mine [veteran scriptwriter Salim Khan] used to go on their walks together.

A common friend asked me to test her. I asked her whether she was interested, and she said yes. So I asked her to audition for us. She was a little awkward initially.

But she is spontaneous.

On Maine Dil Tujhko Diya:
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This is a love story with an attitude. It is like one of those hardcore Manmohan Desai films but with logic where you can really enjoy yourself.

Every character in the film is strong. A lot of people ask me why I did not use Salman and Arbaaz --- it would have helped with the distributors and with overseas distribution. <> But I said, "No, it is not another Hello Brother." I cannot put in elements just to hype a film. We just followed the script and kept it logical.

On his dual role of director and actor:

I will not attempt it again! *laughs*

Jokes apart, it was very taxing, very difficult. I am an experienced technician and direction is easy. I was about 19 when I thought of getting into direction, but things did not work out. My first film Auzaar came when I was 21. Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya came when I was 23 and Hello Brother when I was 25.

Because I am also producing and directing the film, I could not take time out for myself. So a lot of things were done extempore and in a haste. I was once injured and limping on the sets, but it was an experience.Sohail Khan

On becoming a full-time actor:

I have recieved a lot of offers, but I am not taking anything on yet. We have a company that does stage shows and we are getting into television production.

But if I get a good script, I will think about it. At the moment, I am keeping everything open.


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