Asad Shan is a British model-turned actor. In 2004 he was crowned Mr. Asia UK. After graduating from university with a degree in Law, Asad went to New York to train in Method Acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and in Film Performance at the New York Film Academy. Soon, Bollywood beckoned and he moved from the Big Apple to the bright lights and glamour of Mumbai. Now back in the UK Asad concentrates most of his time on Iconic Productions UK, a production company nurturing new and emerging talent.
Q: What inspired you to begin your career in film?
A: I always enjoyed watching films, my dad used to bring good old VHS of Bollywood films and I used to watch the old Hollywood films growing up, so once I had finished my studies and worked for a couple of years in the big corporate world, I decided to follow my passion and thereafter it all began.
Q: What are your proudest achievements?
A: Proudest achievement is completing my directional film 7- welcome to London, which is my dream project. I have placed all my learning’s and skills in this film. Hence I am really looking forward to sharing this with the world, coming soon in 2011. Another proud moment is every weekend when my parents watch my show on Zing where I do a show called Brits Bollywood, which has transmission to all the continents. Ps. I was the winner of a pageant, Mr. Asia UK 2004.
Q: Please tell us about your current position?
A: Currently I am the director of Iconic Productions UK LTD, Iconic has completed its first feature film and is planning to make more films in UK, utilising the talent we have here. We also run a Bollywood Acting Academy where we teach students and professionals the art of acting and presenting in evening courses. I am also an actor and have two feature films coming out this year, 7 welcome to London and London Life. I am also a VJ and Presenter on SKY789 for Zee Networks musical channel called Zing. I am also the secretary for my local ward for the Labour party.
Q: What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?
A: My biggest obstacle came from within to decide on this career and giving up Investment Banking. My parents have been amazing and very supportive. I suppose I have been so busy for the last few years that I have not had time to visit places like LA. I would like to give LA a shot once my two features have been released.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
A: My parents have been a great influence. For me, my father is the hardest working individual I know, hence he was a superb role model to follow and my mother’s recovery from a brain tumour gave me the perfect hope and opportunity to achieve my goals and fulfil my dreams.
Q: What is the best thing about your current role?
A: I love Acting and Presenting but the best thing about being a filmmaker is to conceive, give birth and then share your baby with the world when it hits the big screen. I am super proud of every work I have done and it helps me connect with my audience whom I love dearly.
Q: And the worst?
A: Erratic hours, never ending work, believing in perfection, lack of sleep and most importantly having no normality in life.
Q: What are your long term goals with Iconic Productions UK?
A: Iconic productions UK Ltd is an institution and is ready to venture into more productions and make films. With our academy we will create new talent and build a platform for anyone interested in Acting or Presenting.
Q: If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change?
A: I will make sure every single person in this country VOTES during the elections. It will be compulsory.
Q: If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figures would you like to spend your time with and why?
A: Winston Churchill for his humour, Mahatma Gandhi for his calmness, Eva Mendes for reasons I can’t reveal, Massimo Bottura, the best chef in the world to toss us some amazing food.