MUMBAI -- He made a promising debut with a supporting role in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na before battling depression and checking into a rehab, but for actor Prateik Babbar, it is an everyday fight to make people believe he is a changed man.
The 30-year-old actor has also starred in films like Dhobi Ghaat, Dum Maaro Dum and Ek Deewana Tha but none of them were successful at the box office.
Prateik now says his battle is to keep himself relevant with people.
"I was out of sight, out of mind and that's what happened to me. I am still out of mind and fighting for people to keep me in top of their mind when they write, or make projects. It's an everyday fight," Prateik told PTI.
The actor had come out in open about his battles with depression and drugs and how he had to check-in to a rehab to recover.
Asked if it is difficult to bounce back after ups and downs, the actor says, "Of course it's hard. It's hard when people think you're on drugs all the time, they think you're all over the place. It's everyday fight. But I love my job too much."
During the long gap between his films post 2013, he featured in a play as a gay character. For Prateik, it was the moment of epiphany where he gets in touch with the actor within.
"I didn't care at all, that I am playing a gay man. For me, it was about what is your dedication being an actor? You need to have no inhibition. For me, I felt I arrived somewhere very special as an actor during the performance."
The actor walked the ramp for designer Sahil Aneja at the Van Heusen GQ Fashion Nights, on Saturday night. He looked dapper in golden hand painted leather jacket.
For the actor, whose last release was Issaq in 2013, coming in front of the media and waking the ramp was nerve- wrecking.
"It's been a while, so many years now, so I was very nervous. I was really scared. But it was all good. Sahil and Abhishek (Paatni) made sure I got a huge support. It was really quick.
"The passion to do what I love, that's what actually got me come back and make this effort of revamping myself and introspect," he said.
Prateik says he is not fussy about fashion and finds comfort in following the classic style.
"(Actor) Ranveer Singh is a ball of colour and I am a ball of white black and grey. He is a ball of all the colours in the world. I personally like fashion to be more classic- torn jeans and white t-shirt. I am not fussy about it."
Apart from feeling relieved that his ramp walk "made everyone smile and happy", Prateik is also blessed to feature in the award-winning critically acclaimed film Umrika. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award.
"We won against films of Michael Fasbender and Nichole Kidman and I was like 'Holy Moly!' The film is too special. I feel very grateful, fortunate, blessed. Dhobi Ghaat and Umrika, unforgettable.
"I will thank God for the rest of my lives for these two opportunities. Both those journey were too special for me," the actor maintained.
Also on HuffPost India.