Grooving to the beats of the track Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Siam Ahmed resonates a breezy vibe with lightness in his feet and charm up his sleeves. In the sets ICE today’s December cover shoot, he astounds Nahid Tabassum with his simple and logical viewpoint on life and acting.
With a go-getter attitude and a spark in his guise, Siam Ahmed is a successful actor in showbiz, renowned at home and abroad, basketing movies, one after the other, under directors, others could only imagine working with. Starting from modelling and to his appearance on the big screen, Siam shares his journey from rags to riches with team ICE in between his shoot.
Not long ago, around 2012, Siam was pursuing his undergrad at Dhaka University and attending law classes in the evenings. Back then, he would hustle and tutor students in between his packed schedule, to earn his allowance. By an accident as the star quotes, he was served with the opportunity to become the face of CityCell Zoom Ultra as his first break.
“The gig offered me 5 thousand taka for one shoot which was way easier money than teaching students,” Siam explains. “It was easy for a couple of years as I was only motivated by the payoff; I was enjoying the free hours and still made enough. And of course, I loved the recognition from people.”
But then, Siam’s life took a turn as he took a pause in his acting career to pursue his bar degree in the UK and got admitted to the University of Northumbria. “I was staying at Newcastle which was a beautiful yet depressing place to live in. With a graveyard beside my house and the gloomy weather outside, I would only stay indoors, homesick, and contemplate on my life and what I want to do. I saw my fellow colleagues moving forward in their careers, and I felt like I was meant to be there,” the actor reminisced.
When Siam came back from the UK, he wanted to reappear on the screen with a bang; letting people know that he is back in the business, but the media is indeed unpredictable.
“People only remember the face of the ones that currently feed them. Only when you know you are doing something different, people start respecting you. At first, you will be just another face in the crowd, but when you earn respect, people start looking at you differently and take inspiration from your work,” the artist shares.
With multiple degrees in his basket, Siam advocates institutional education, to learn social behaviour, etiquettes, and manners for conducting oneself in society. “Acting is not my last resort as a career. I act because it’s my passion, and I have other educational degrees exclusive to myself. Acting careers are considered short-lived, so are human beings anyway to be doing something they are not meant to,” he explicates .
Where his career met the saturation point, he realised money can not be the determining factor in leading a life; there has to be an adrenaline rush to what you do. The actor gets excited about his work each morning and feels content even when he is drained by it, at the end of the day.
“I listen to my gut feeling. Even when I know that a role is not going to be conventionally popular or there might be some risks, I always listen to my instincts and pick roles that I instantly connect with,” the actor explains. “At the moment, I am trying to work for both the mass and the class, even when I realise that I might not be able to satisfy both,” he mocks.
Apparently vague to most people, shooting is a form of art and commitment to Siam. A regular bystander only sees the beautiful girl or the charming boy playing in front of the camera. However, Siam recognises his work field as a combined effort of the whole crew.
“It’s all the commitment that comes together to make something beautiful come alive. Like any sport, the whole thing is about teamwork where everyone has to do their part. Whenever I feel low, I look around and get inspiration from any of my team members because everyone has a beautiful story,” the alter ego of a cricketer shares.
The actor who lives in the moment is not fond of keeping records of all his actions on social media platforms. “Quite often, I am expected to endorse products or make contents that I do not believe in. However, I am not afraid to be vulnerable and portray my true self in front of my people. In fact, that makes me relatable and helps me spread positivity around me,” the influencer depicts.
Poured with so much love, the stars consider his fanbase as an intimate part of his life. “I know exactly what they expect of me and I feel connected to all my audiences in that way. To attract the millennials, our contents need to be more authentic, modern, and relatable,” he shares.
“I believe that content is the king! Stars matter, but not always they do. It’s more about the story and how the director conveys it on screen,” he further adds up.
In 2020, the actor took a pause to contemplate on the work he has done so far and came up with the ultimate realisation that life is very short for calculating each move.
“The key is to be yourself! It’s good to have an idol, but following another person, all the time may cost you the originality that you need to thrive as an individual,” the star preaches.
Having the best of both worlds at home and abroad, Siam notices cultural differences in the two industries. “We may lack focus at times or the core technical knowledge of using the finest equipment. Apart from that, the effort, time, manner with which people carry forward their work here is commendable. Regardless of the differences, everybody comes here to work and finish the project with the utmost honesty and respect,” the artist reveals.
The biriyani buff and the family man wants to get his parents the dream house and regrets being unavailable due to his nature of work. “I realise I don’t have a personal life right now, and I am very thankful to my wife and my parents for being supportive and understanding towards the nature of my work,” Siam confesses.
“I am not here to be a hero. I am here to be an artist; explore all the aspects of acting and also survive in the industry. That demands absolute focus and devotion from my part,” says the artist as he returns back to his shoot.