Muhammad Zeeshan Ayyub is a talented young actor who has done various 'supporting' actor roles. He appeared with Shah Rukh Khan in Raees and Zero and was recently seen in Ayushmann Khurrana and Anubhav Sinha's Article 15. Anupama Chopra's YouTube venture, Film Companion, recently caught up with Zeeshan Ayyub and asked him the five things you shouldn't be telling supporting actors and we definitely think the guy is on to something. In Hollywood, supporting actors also gain acclaim and are widely respected. In Bollywood, however, supporting actors are reduced to either slapstick comics or gaping interjectors.
Here's what Zeeshan Ayyub had to say about what NOT to say to supporting actors.
1. I Am Not the Second Lead and I Know It.
Zeeshan says that artists know exactly what they've been cast as. "Don't tell us you're the second lead. We know the reality," he adds. "We've studied enough to know that we're the supporting actor to the hero."
2. "Have I Seen You Somewhere?"
Zeeshan talked about how people shouldn't go up to an actor and say, "Have I seen you somewhere?" It's very humiliating, he says. Furthermore he adds that people also shouldn't really ask about the films they've done because that can also be really insulting. "And if he's telling you what don't say you haven't watched them!" Zeeshan says. "Just say that you've seen them!"
3. A Request to Chief ADs.
"This is my request to Chief ADs," said Zeeshan. "Yes, we're doing supporting roles but don't make us work like donkeys. Ask us to come on the exact call times you need us to come in at. You call us at 6 am and start the shoot at 3 pm. Then the actor himself is also exhausted and annoyed by that time and won't work well in this situation." Yikes.
4. Konsa Feel?
Sometimes some directors, says Zeeshan, will say this to you after a shot: 'woh feel nahin aaya'. "What feel is this?" Zeeshan says, "Tell us exactly what you need." That is quite arbitrary, and what is this feel, eh?
5. I Know My Role. Do You?
This request Zeeshan makes to his lead actors. "Don't be a director," he requests. "Let the director do his job." Sometimes actors also talk down to supporting actors. "They often say, 'don't you think your status should go down a bit?'" Wow. Zeeshan goes on to say, "Let the director decide whose status is what."
You can watch the video here.