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Salman Khan told me, ‘Your life will change now’: Tiger Zinda Hai villain Sajjad Delafrooz

Tiger Zinda Hai villain Sajjad Delafrooz: Salman Khan told me, ‘Your life will change now’

Sajjad Delafrooz aka Abu Usman of Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai talks about how he bagged the film, and the applause he has been garnering ever since the film released.

Since 2011, Sajjad Delafrooz has been on a mission to make it big in Bollywood. His portrayal of the menacing villain, Abu Usman, in Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai has finally given him a sense of having arrived in the industry.

The 34-year-old Iranian actor is ecstatic about having garnered praise from all corners for his performance in the film that released in December 2017. “I was trying to make this (recognition) happen for years. It feels good to get beautiful messages from people. Directors and producers are congratulating me, and that’s the best thing,” says Sajjad, who is also gaining popularity among women for his good looks. How does that feel? “It’s beautiful,” he giggles.

Sajjad hopes to only grow from here, and he treasures Salman’s advice. “After the screening of the film, bhaijaan told me, ‘Be careful about the projects you choose because your life will change now’,” says Sajjad. About working with Salman, he adds, “I met him while I was preparing for the film. He shared tips about working out. He shares his experiences with you, which is the best thing about him.”

Years in between him being a PR manager to bagging Tiger Zinda Hai were all about working hard irrespective of results. “I still remember the exact date — July 29, 2011 — when I decided that I don’t want to continue with a 9-to-5 job and instead take up acting. I started by sending my videos and e-mails to people who are in-charge of such things. I even came to Mumbai in 2014 to try my luck, but that didn’t work. n 2015, I landed a small role in Baby (starring Akshay Kumar)... But I knew I would have to work harder to be in a better place. I never stopped working. Till 2016, I did international projects, movies, television shows. I speak five different languages, so I got to work in different parts of the world, but nothing worked for me,” says Sajjad.

And then, one day, he got a call for the Salman starrer. “I would email my work 24/7 to directors and producers, till one day, out of the blue, I got a call for this film. I didn’t know what movie it was, and who else was going to star in it. They told me that they liked my audition, and wanted me to give another one. The entire audition process went on for two-and-a-half months,” he recalls, now hoping that more such opportunities keep coming his way.

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