Aasif Sheikh in Bharat

Actor Aasif Sheikh has earlier worked with Khan in “Karan Arjun,” “Bandhan,” “Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya,” “Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa,” “Auzaar” and “Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar” (2005). (photo provided)

MUMBAI—After ace comedian and actor Sunil Grover, writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar and producers Atul Agnihotri and Bhushan Kumar have roped in Aasif Sheikh, popularly known as Vibhuti Narayan Mishra from the hit TV show “Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai,” for a pivotal role in Salman Khan’s “Bharat.”

Aasif Sheikh has earlier worked with Khan in “Karan Arjun,” “Bandhan,” “Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya,” “Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa,” “Auzaar” and “Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar” (2005).

Ali Abbas Zafar shares, “We are very excited to work with Aasif, he has brilliant comic timing, and his popularity on TV is phenomenal. I am looking forward to working with him.”

“I have only three friends, and Atul is one of them, so I was more than happy to be a part of this film,” said Sheikh. “Also, I really like Ali Abbas Zafar as a director, and I can’t wait to collaborate with Salman again. I am playing his sister’s husband in the film, who always delivers these one-liners and there is a big time span that we cover together. I have known Salman since his “Maine Pyar Kiya” days. He is a very special person. I will not disappoint you.”

Sheikh, who started out as a hero (under the name of Asif) in the 1988 “Rama O Rama,” was last seen in Kader Kashmiri’s delayed 2016 film “Aman Ke Farishtay,” technically Dev Anand’s last release. Though he could not make it as a hero as he got no success, his film “Yaara Dildaara” has achieved cult status for its music, including the chartbuster filmed on him, “Bin Tere Sanam,” which has stood the test of time.

(As an aside, we only hope that there is at least one song in “Bharat” to match this beauty composed by Jatin-Lalit, written by Majrooh, and sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam.)

Prod Sheikh on why he has not been taking up more films, and he says, “I have been getting offers, but something should interest me, and my focus presently is on my TV show. It caters to people from ages 4 to 80. In fact, just a few days ago, while I was waiting in my car for the signal to turn green, a young boy of about four from the car next to mine called out to me by my character’s name Vibhu. The show has given me fame, name and money too and I don’t want to lose out on it for just anything. However, “Bharat” is special, and I can’t wait to start work on it,” smiles Sheikh.

Sheikh also shared one of the memorable incidents while working with Salman on a previous film. “Whenever I shoot with him, I invariably end up in his vanity van for a chat. I remember one day, a big star had come to meet Salman, so I told him I’ll go out, but he insisted that I stay put as I am his friend too. He is a great human being and hasn’t changed at all over the years.”

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