New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Teen actor Zain Khan, who plays the lead role in "Hari Puttar - A Comedy Of Errors", says 12-year-old Darsheel Safary gives other actors his age a run for their money in terms of offers ever since "Taare Zameen Par" became a huge hit.
"Darsheel is a competition in terms of offers. He has given a hit in his first film and directors would automatically consider him as the first choice for a child actor than anyone else," Zain told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"There is new competition every day. When there are other actors in the league, you have to work better to be one up," he said.
Sixteen-year-old Zain, who has earlier starred in films like "Parineeta", "Krrish" and "My Wife's Murder" and several TV commercials, feels that child actors in Bollywood are underpaid.
"Child actors should not be treated like underage actors. Children should be paid the same compensation as elders. They should get what they deserve and should be paid more than what they are getting now," he said.
Asked if it was a deliberate choice to do naughty roles in films, he quipped: "Roles for notorious kids come to me. May be, the directors like me naughty."
But Zain wants to take up challenging roles too to hone his skills.
"I want to do challenging roles because they help you learn. Also, you get to improve a lot as an actor as you work with big actors," he said.
Is he planning to take a break from films after "Hari Puttar" to concentrate on studies?
"I'll not take a break from movies. My board exams are approaching so I took a kind of break from acting. But with 'Hari Puttar' happening side by side, I can't even call it a break now. I wouldn't mind being in the industry forever provided I can entertain people," he said.
The young actor admits that fame can become annoying at times.
"It is good that people recognise me but at times it gets really irritating like sometimes in school, I'm even mimicked by other students. However, I'd still love to become as popular as Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan or John Abraham."
Zain said the controversy his film "Hari Puttar..." has been facing in the court was completely needless. The movie, which is scheduled to release this month-end, faces a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court filed by Hollywood studio Warner Bros alleging infringement of their copyright of the "Harry Potter" franchise.
"It is a useless topic to discuss. 'Harry Potter' doesn't have any fun and comedy in it like in 'Hari Puttar...' I don't understand why are they dragging it," Zain said.
Directed by Rajesh Bajaj and Lucky Kohli, "Hari Puttar..." also stars Swini Khara, Jackie Shroff, Saurabh Shukla, Vijay Raaz and Sarika.
Zain will next be seen in Ken Ghosh's "Happy Hamesha" with Shahid Kapur and Jiah Khan. The film is in the pre-production stage and is slated to release next year.