New Delhi: He wore his heart on the sleeves as best friend in "Raanjhanaa" and played the small town boy in "Tanu Weds Manu Returns", but Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub says his role in "Phantom" is a departure from his previous parts.
The actor plays a RAW agent in the Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif starrer thriller, directed by Kabir Khan of "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" fame.
"In 'Phantom' I play a very neat and urban character. It was a good change as I have never done a neat character in Bollywood, who is well educated, smart, speaks English, wears good clothes and is prim and proper.
"This is in complete contrast to the characters I have mostly played who usually hail from small towns and are a little rough even though sweet," he told PTI. "Phantom" is scheduled to release on August 28.
Zeeshan will also be seen as a comical villain in Abhishek Bachchan-Rishi Kapoor starrer "All Is Well", which opened this Friday.
The actor said juggling both the films together, with starkly different characters, was exciting.
"The shift between the comical and the serious characters was exciting. Sometimes, I used to wrap up the shoot of 'All Is Well', where I did a lot of physical comedy and then on my way get into the zone of my other character for 'Phantom', which was completely different."
The actor, who made his debut in 2011 with "No One Killed Jessica", says it was Anand L Rai's "Raanjhanaa" in 2013, which was a turning point in his career. "'No One Killed Jessica' was my entry into the industry as an actor. 'Jannat 2' made me famous in B-centre audience. But it was 'Raanjhanaa' which was the turning point. It gave me a larger audience and placed me at a secure platform."
The actor credits the brilliant scripts for touching many hearts with his performances. "Often people tell me that my dialogue delivery is good. I have been fortunate enough to get some really good lines. I do add my own nuances to them and try to take the written material a little more further.
"As an actor you have to add your own bit to make the lines come alive. Sometimes, a director does not cut a scene, so that extended pause gives you time to add something in the end which is your own addition to the scene," he said.
Despite winning audience with his dialogue delivery, Ayyub says he is extremely self-critical of his work. "I look at all my work and find flaws. Sometimes, the energy is lacking, sometimes the dialogue delivery is a bit of a problem. I always think, 'If only I could've done the scene in a better way.'"