Candid chat with Shehzad Deol 

Shehzad Deol, one of the finalists of the recently-concluded MTV reality show, Ace of Space, regards film and TV actors, Sargun Mehta and husband Ravi Dubey, as one of his best friends in the entertainment industry.

“I know Sargun, who is a big name in the Punjabi circuit, as I was the Assistant Director in one of her 2016 films. Since then we have become very close, discussing about life and staying positive, which has rubbed off on me.”

“She also played a pivotal role in convincing me to try my hand at my previous reality show, Top Model India (Colors Infinity), which first got me name and fame.”

“Later, I had lots of discussions with Ravi (Sargun was busy at that time) about whether I should also do Ace Of Space. He very clearly laid out the pros and cons for me, but left the final call to me.”

Point out that eventual winner, Diyva Agarwal, was a bit miffed at Sargun’s live call when the latter had called out the former for her derogatory remarks about him, he says, “Well, to be honest, she called of her own volition as a friend, which I really respect. I did not ask her to do so, which Divya, who too wants to do Punjabi flicks, wrongly assumed. It further vitiated the atmosphere between us.”

“Here, I must also credit Lisa Haydon, who hosted Top Model India. Her own life saga, where she successfully fought dark-skin discrimination, has made me resolute to carve out my niche in films and TV in the coming days and months, despite being a turbaned sardar.”

In closing, Shehzad, who was nominated a record eight times in Ace of Space, says, “I was the only one who was not pulling publicity stunts. Rest everyone, especially Fiza Khan (double game) and Akansha (slut shaming), played dirty pool. Right from day one, I had made it my purpose to be a good human, i.e. not abusing the fair sex.”

“Just the fact that I reached so far without doing what is normally expected to survive in such a format proves that honesty also pays off.”

Any regrets for finishing fourth? “None whatsoever. I tried my best, and more than that, it is the sheer amount of social media love that is heart-warming. Fans just repeat one line that no matter who won, you have conquered our hearts by your fair play. What more can a guy ask for?”

All the best for your future, Shehzad!

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