BOL-LEEDS-WOOD: Local student lands part in two Bollywood films

CREW: The extras from the film were all smiles on set
CREW: The extras from the film were all smiles on set
CREW: The extras from the film were all smiles on set
CREW: The extras from the film were all smiles on set
FILM: Hishaam Sheikh met Shahid Kapoor on set in Leeds as they filmed for the upcoming film, Shaandaar
FILM: Hishaam Sheikh met Shahid Kapoor on set in Leeds as they filmed for the upcoming film, Shaandaar

A University of Leeds student swapped his textbooks and lecture halls for costumes and film sets last year after landing a role in an upcoming Bollywood movie.

24-year-old Hishaam Sheikh, was selected to be one of the background dancers in the soon-to-be released film, Shaandaar.

Starring A-list names such as Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, scenes from the movie will include musical numbers shot right here in Leeds, with Temple Newsam acting as a backdrop.

Hishaam, who is in his fourth year of studying for a Medicine degree, filmed for a total of six days, after first hearing about the roles through Leeds Bhangra Society.

Members of the local group were approached by the production team prior to filming as extras were needed for one scene, lasting just one day.

Upon completion, Hishaam and other members of the group applied to be involved in a musical number, and landed the parts as dancers.

Dressed as a wedding singer, the local academic, originally from Enfield, London, can be seen alongside lead actress, Alia Bhatt, during the song ‘Gulaabo’.

ACTOR: Whilst studying medicine at the University of Leeds, Hishaam is also a member of the Leeds Bhangra Society
ACTOR: Whilst studying medicine at the University of Leeds, Hishaam is also a member of the Leeds Bhangra Society

Meeting the crew and working on set was a new experience for Hishaam, and one he says he would love to do again.

“It was an amazing experience from the start to the finish,” he said. “When working on the song, we were doing five 12 hour shifts, from 4pm to 4am, but we were well looked after.

“I was able to speak at length with Shahid Kapoor and we spoke about Leeds, London and filming.

“I can’t say too much about the film but it was a great thing to be a part of, especially with the Leeds Bhangra Society.”

Since filming Shaandaar, Hishaam has spent three days working on a separate movie, partially filmed in Dorset, for another future Indian film – House Full Three.

Once again meeting star names, such as Jacqueline Fernandez, Akshay Kumar and Ritesh Deshmukh, the filming took place last month for three days.

“I’ve really enjoyed my two experiences of working on-screen,” he said. “No one in my family has done anything like this before so it is all new but very exciting.

“I would say to anyone who has the chance to get involved in such a project to jump at the opportunity as they don’t come around that often.”

Hishaam says he now wants to finish his medicine degree in Leeds whilst keeping his eye out for more work on-screen to add to his growing portfolio.

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