Taha Shah Badussha, the actor gracing the screen as Murad, the second son of Akbar the Great in Taj- Divided by Blood, has had an intriguing journey. Born in Abu Dhabi, UAE, he embarked on his acting odyssey, culminating in an academic pilgrimage to the renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in the heart of New York City. Beyond his acting talent, Taha is recognized for his unwavering commitment to fitness, maintaining an impressive physique that mirrors his dedication to a healthy lifestyle. With a multifaceted approach to well-being, Taha Shah Badussha continues to shine as a prominent figure in the Indian film industry, inspiring others. In an exclusive interview with Surabhi Goel, he discusses his fitness journey and career achievements.
- What are your upcoming projects, and what can fans expect from your future roles?
Following ‘Taj,’ I’ve been fortunate to embark on diverse projects. One of my upcoming ventures, directed by Rohan Sippy, promises a unique narrative. It features talented actors like Kunaal Roy Kapur and Chandan, taking us to uncharted territory. I’m excited about my upcoming project, ‘Misfit’ with Amazon, which consists of short episodes, around 25 to 26 minutes each, across 13 episodes. It’s a fast-paced, humorous series designed for pure entertainment and relaxation. There’s no need to overthink; it’s all about enjoying the ride. I’m also involved in another project but can’t divulge much now. You’ll get the scoop when the news breaks, and we can catch up on the exciting details.
- How do you balance your acting career with your commitment to fitness? Do you follow specific fitness routines or practices to stay in shape for your roles?
Fitness is paramount in my life, and I believe anyone must maintain an unwavering commitment to their well-being. It cultivates innovation and mental fortitude and thrusts you into challenging situations, fostering personal growth. To strike a balance, I prioritize waking up at least four hours before my set call time, dedicating about an hour and a half to my fitness regimen. I ensure a swift start by hitting the gym within 20 minutes of waking up, leaving no time to waste.
As for adapting to the physical requirements of various roles, I believe in maintaining a versatile physique. It’s essential not to appear overly muscular or bodybuilder-like but relatively lean and agile to embody the character effectively. Achieving this requires flexibility, which I diligently nurture through a daily hour-long yoga regimen. Following flexibility training, I delve into my workouts. However, gym training is a tiny part of my overall fitness philosophy. I endorse diverse activities, including dance, martial arts, gymnastics, and horse riding. Such activities enhance stamina, speed, and agility, contributing significantly to overall fitness. For instance, I’ve been practicing gymnastics for years and recently embarked on horse riding training to prepare for specific roles. Additionally, I firmly believe that engaging in sports, like football, improves stamina and speed. Fitness, to me, isn’t limited to conventional gym routines; it encompasses a wide array of physical activities and holistic development.
- Many actors have specific fitness regimens tailored to their roles. Can you tell us about any unique training or diet routines you’ve adopted for a character you’ll be portraying soon?
I adhere to a consistent dietary regimen as part of my lifestyle, primarily consuming home-cooked food and avoiding fast food, alcohol, sugary treats, and sodas. When preparing for a role, I make dietary adjustments to meet specific physique requirements, such as adding extra rotis or incorporating healthy white rice. My overarching goal remains to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle, with my current focus centered on fitness for my upcoming role rather than strict dietary goals.
- What role do mental fitness and wellness play in your life, especially in the high-pressure world of acting? Do you have any strategies for maintaining mental resilience?
Mental fitness holds a straightforward solution for me – sweat it out. Sweating signifies that you’ve truly put in the effort, and I believe that if your t-shirts aren’t drenched, you haven’t worked hard enough. I often turn off the ACs in the gym because I feel that pushing your body in challenging conditions is crucial for fitness. A strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand; there’s no room for complacency. I consider myself a ‘labourer of the day,’ I firmly believe that hard work, getting your hands dirty, and embracing the challenges of a tough workout are the keys to mental resilience and overall well-being.
- Are there any dream roles or genres you’re particularly eager to explore in your acting career? How do you plan to work toward achieving these goals?
I have several dream roles and genres that I’m eager to explore in my acting career. One of them is portraying a cop, someone akin to an army officer dedicated to serving the country. Additionally, I strongly desire to be a part of a sports film, perhaps something centered around the Olympics or a sports headline like javelin throw, showcasing physical skills. Another intriguing area I’d like to delve into is witty and layered gangster roles akin to what’s depicted in the film ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan.’ These aspirations align with my passion for acting and fitness, and I’m committed to working towards these goals.
- Besides acting and fitness pursuits, do you have any other passion projects or areas of interest you’d like to share with your fans and followers in the coming months?
I’m a firm believer in exploring various passions and interests. As a profession, acting allows you to immerse yourself in countless lives and experiences. I’ve been dedicating time to learning the guitar, and, more recently, I’ve taken up piano. My newfound love for music is something I’m truly enjoying. While fitness involves physical exertion and action sequences, music offers a unique emotional expression and connection with its therapeutic and magical qualities.
- Who are your favourite male and female actors with what you consider the perfect physique, and what do you admire most about their dedication to fitness?
I have a couple of close friends who I greatly admire for their dedication to fitness and their near-perfect physiques. Tiger Shroff and Vidyut Jamwal are two of my friends who inspire me immensely. We share mutual respect and train together, having known each other for many years. I believe that healthy competition and the energy it brings are essential for personal growth, and these two brothers of mine are my constant sources of inspiration.
Regarding female actors, I’d have to mention Jacqueline Fernandez as one of my favourites. Her commitment to fitness and her incredible physique are truly admirable. Additionally, Disha Patani is someone I hold in high regard for her fitness journey and dedication.
- Apart from your passion for fitness and acting, what is your favourite activity or hobby to calm yourself and find relaxation?
For me, the ultimate sources of relaxation and mental well-being are two things. Firstly, getting a good night’s sleep is essential. Secondly, there’s nothing quite like the soothing escape and immersion in another world that a visit to the movie theatre provides. I find it crucial to watch a film in the cinema, on the big 70 mm screen, without any distractions like phones. The magic of that experience truly helps me unwind and find calmness.
- What are your go-to methods or activities for destressing and maintaining mental well-being?
Managing stress and maintaining mental well-being are practices I prioritize. It begins with a disciplined routine that includes a healthy sleep schedule and avoiding junk food. I firmly believe in starting my day early, around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning, and kick starting it with gratitude. Planning the day helps me stay ahead of time and minimizes stress. I’ve found that organizing my time effectively and understanding my daily goals are crucial to staying on track. Everyone has the same 24 hours, and managing them wisely is the secret to achieving anything and everything.
- Who is your favourite fitness idol, and why?
During my formative years, my fitness idols were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salman Khan; they were my role models. Later, Jackie Chan emerged as a significant inspiration in fitness and overall dedication.
- Do you love travelling, and which is your favourite destination?
I deeply love travelling, especially when there’s a purpose behind it, like work or a shoot. Simply going on vacation without any specific engagement feels somewhat unexciting to me. For instance, I recently travelled to Lucknow for a shoot, and even during my leisure time, I took the chance to immerse myself in the city’s culture. When I’m not working or shooting, I enjoy joining various classes, like the ones I attended in London, which happens to be one of my favourite places. Traveling with a purpose, whether for work or personal growth, is the most enriching way to experience new destinations.
- The beauty of acting lies in the transformative nature of characters; each role allows you to explore a different facet of life. I firmly believe there’s a part of you in every character you portray, which is why the characters resonate with you.