Milind Soman says he’s been ‘objectified’ since the start of his career: ‘If I’m uncomfortable being a sex symbol, then I shouldn’t be here’


bollywood actor, modeling and fitness enthusiast Milind Soman reveals his fitness mantra and says he doesn’t do anything special to get in shape, contrary to popular opinion. The star, who recently participated in the 5km Lifelong Fight Lazy Run in Delhi which urges people to fight laziness, talks to Indian Express about his attitude towards fitness, mental health, career trajectory and feelings about a sex symbol.

On fitness and health

I work with this company called Lifelong that makes gym equipment and we started this campaign because we realized that the only thing stopping everyone from taking their first step is laziness – especially after the pandemic. You have to put in a little effort, and laziness is what stops you. It’s quite natural, and I myself am very lazy.

It’s kinda twisted, the reason I like being in shape is because I’m lazy. Life is tough and you never know what will happen tomorrow — and to be able to deal with it, you have to be tough. If you don’t get tough, how will you deal with the challenges that come your way at any time? To make it easier for me, I like to be in shape. So if something happens, I know I can handle it. It’s important to challenge yourself. I’ve been very fit all my life because I started swimming when I was nine years old. I was also a national champion. Even when I started modeling, I was super fit. I didn’t want to lose that feeling. I don’t do anything special — I exercise ten or fifteen minutes a day. I don’t take supplements, I eat regularly. Dal and khichdi, etc.

On self-motivation

I’m driven, that’s how I’ve been since I was a kid. But of course, my wife, if I miss a day because she’s running and she’s a yoga teacher, she asks me, “Why don’t you do it? When do you do it? I even ask my mother, who is 83, if she does her push-ups and squats. So, I think in any case, motivating and encouraging each other is very important.

On the benefits of sport on mental health

Sport has helped me a lot. Self-awareness is the key to managing life better, to understanding who you are and what you are. So from an early age, when you have a focus and work on it every day and work with people who impact your focus, it prepares you for challenges. No matter your state of mind, and sport helped me and there was a challenge every day.

On his career

I’m working on a few projects. I made a film last year, but I don’t know what happened to it. They may come out next year. I have two other films that I do and I have an OTT show. In fact, I never took a break, it’s my way of working. Whenever there is work, I do it. I did two seasons of Four More Shots Please, and I did another show called Paurashpur and I did something Masaba Masaba. I did Metro Park. As an actor, I don’t want to do the same thing over and over again. Many people want you to do this. Now, because of OTT, the audience is becoming more demanding.

It’s not a fear, but I don’t take things where I feel like I’ve already taken them. So many people, even though they are in the creative field, have no imagination. I’m just waiting for them to imagine me in a different role. So for Paurashpur, they came to see me with the role of the king, I said no. It’s too expected. They kept coming to see me for six months, and then I saw a eunuch character. So I asked, why can’t I play this? They were kind of surprised, but I want to do things I’ve never done before.

Reminiscent of Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula rules

Such a fun movie. Even people abroad asked me if these rules worked, I said of course they worked, that’s why I put them there. I made these rules. They are from my experience. I have a lot of experience. It’s very relevant.

Four more shots please

People asked me how I prepared for the role of gynecologist, I replied that I did not prepare for the role, I am a person. I could be anyone?

be a sex symbol

Oh, I’m not uncomfortable at all, that’s my USP (laughs). Okay seriously, you need to know what your strengths are. It’s a company. If I’m uncomfortable being a sex symbol and being objectified, which I was, from the start of my career, then I shouldn’t be here. I wasn’t bothered or uncomfortable with it, I was surprised, yes. I just did a music video, a song called Shringaar, and I don’t know why they called me – and it’s an objectification of the male personality, and I don’t know why they took me to age of fifty, and not someone at twenty.

On her nude photo shoot at the beach

I didn’t think twice. What do I do, I run on the beach, big deal. When I did my first nude shoot, it was taken in Delhi – in the forest – and I was just walking around naked, and we were just taking pictures. Even after that, I could still do the nude photoshoot by the beach, and I know it’s nothing serious. Some people may object to it, others may like it. It’s human nature, not everyone can love everything.


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