Camera savvy Ayush Tandon, who has worked in over 50 ad films and two feature films including Ang Lee's just released Life of Pi, says acting in films is like a dream come true.
His father Hatinder Tandon, who struggled a lot to establish himself as an actor, has been his support system in this creative journey.
"My dream is to become an actor. I loved acting and film line right from the time I was a little kid. I really like it. My father has a lot of experience in the field and he supported me," Ayush said.
Ayush plays young Pi in Life of Pi, the screen adaptation of Yann Martel's Booker Prize winning fantasy adventure novel of the same name.
The 14-year-old is a Class 9 student and says his Life Of Pi experience will remain unforgettable.
"It was a great experience. I will never forget it. Working with an Oscar-winning director was great. Ang Lee is so soft and caring. Ang Lee was very good to me. He can't be strict ever. He guided me what to do and what not to do, and explained all scenes. He personally acted and showed me how to act," he said.
Ayush has been part of the industry since he was five years old and so far he has featured in 50 ad films. He was also a part of the ensemble cast in Vishal Bhardwaj's thriller 7 Khoon Maaf.
Life of Pi is his first Hollywood project, but he wasn't nervous one bit.
"I was not scared... I was not nervous or anything. We all worked very well together," he said, adding that everything went off "smoothly".
Ayush too noticed that the film's crew was "very professional", but at the end of the day, Ayush loves "desi" filmdom. "Working with them was a nice experience. They give a lot of respect. But I like Bollywood too," he said.
Acting is his dream, but he makes sure that it does not hinder his performance in his studies.
"I shoot on weekends, holidays and vacations. I cover up whatever I miss (at school). I don't give the opportunity to anyone to complain about my studies at school. I never take serial work, which involves continuity. A film finishes in one go. My parents and friends have always supported me. My school life has never been affected by this," he said.
The young actor feels great when people recognise him.
"It feels great. My friends, tutor, principal and school teachers - they are all very proud of me. They tell me so. They always tell me not to forget them when I become a big star," said Ayush, who considers Hrithik Roshan as his role model.
"Hrithik Roshan is my favourite actor. He dances and acts well. He is an all-rounder. He prepares for everything much before the shot," he said.
Talking about future projects, Ayush said: "There are talks about projects, movies and ads. But it's not finalised yet, so I can't say much. Also, since I am in Class 9, I am concentrating on my studies at the moment."