The Jakarta Post
Meet Indian actor Shaheer Sheikh, the new hunk in town who is making women go wild ' thanks to his role as Arjuna in the popular Indian-made Mahabharata hit TV series.
The Bollywood-quality series, aired on ANTV television channel, has brought him closer to the hearts of many viewers, garnering him die-hard fans.
After Mahabharata, the lawyer-turned-actor made deals for at least three other projects with the television station: Asia's Got Talent, where Sheikh accompanied Indonesian Indra Bekti presenting the show for Indonesian viewers; Panah Asmara Arjuna (Arjuna's Love Arrow); and The New Eat Bulaga! Indonesia reality TV show.
'I live every day as it comes. I never plan my life,' the 31-year-old said of his journey that led him to Indonesia.
Starting his career in the Indian entertainment industry in 2009, Sheikh has taken part in at least six television productions in his home country.
Sheikh rose to fame after playing Anant Bajpai in the Navya series, which was also aired on ANTV.
'I learned acting while doing my shows ' I never joined any course or anything. I just jumped into acting ' I learn from experience,' revealed the man, who finds himself falling in love with Indonesian landscapes, especially its beaches.
And he has spread his wings, starring in his first Indonesian movie, Turis Romantis (Romantic Tourist), where he played opposite Indonesian actress Kirana Larasati. The light romantic comedy was produced by the country's prominent filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo.
In the near future, Sheikh will also start in a new sinetron (soap opera) titled Cinta di Langit Taj Mahal (Love in the Sky of the Taj Mahal) that is set to be screened by ANTV. In the series, Sheikh plays opposite actress Nabila Syakieb.
'I'm very passionate about making good films. I want to make good films for the whole world because I think it is one of the biggest inspirations for society,' said Sheikh, who loves to eat Padang dishes, especially rendang (beef simmered in spicy coconut sauce), while in Indonesia.
Through his roles, he said that he wished he could inspire his audiences in a good way and make today's generations closer to their families.
'[I want to inspire my audiences] to speak the truth, speak the right cause, to stand up for the right cause,' said the actor, who is the only son in his family.
'That's my whole motivation in life ' to educate people to become better a citizen, better person, better son and better father.'
Despite his popularity, he does not hesitate to praise other actors playing alongside him as a key factor in his laudable performances, both in TV series and movies.
'For me I can't act alone. I need another person to give me some emotion so that I can react. For me, acting is a reaction. If you give me some energy, I will just react to that,' he said.
Citing an example, he said that when playing opposite Kirana, he felt lucky the actress was in good mood during filming.
'She [Kirana] put her whole effort in the movie ['¦] She delivered such a great action so it was easier for me to reach to that,' he said.
His popularity, both in India and Indonesia, was one of the biggest challenges that the recipient of India's STAR Parivaar Award for Favorite Naya Sadasya (Male) in 2014 and the ITA Award for GR8! Face of the Year (Male) in 2011 has had to face.
He said that he has to deal with fanatic fans on a daily basis, something that he occasionally finds disturbing since it is no longer about him but affects his family as well.
'I don't like it, but it has become a part of my life,' said Sheikh, who plans to return to India in August to spend time with family and friends.
Although being away from home, Sheikh said acting was his passion and he would continue his work in and outside India.
'I want to explore the world, see different countries and work with different kinds of people. I think it'll make me become a better person.'