"The bad stuff you go through really is what shaped me into who I am."
When lothario Owais Khan first graced our TV screens on the hit show Desi Rascals, he was a confident, charming and charismatic man with his own personal way with the ladies.
But after several episodes, the complex layers of this ‘Big Bad Wolf’ unravelled, and his vulnerability and past experiences were exposed.
Suffering from a speech impairment and social rejection at a young age have played a vital role in making him the man he is today.
DESIblitz speaks exclusively to Owais about modelling, Desi Rascals and marriage.
What was it like for you growing up with a stammer and, consequently, social rejection?
“At the time, it was hard because of school kids who were mean and at that age, they have no filter, they say what they want.
“But now, of all the things I went through, all the abuse, whether it be about my speech or anything, I thank them for all that.
“The bad stuff you go through really is what shaped me into who I am.”
So how did you feel about opening up about it on Desi Rascals? There was a significant moment between yourself and your mother, how did that feel?
“In all honesty, that wasn’t planned at all. At the time, it just felt right and it was very natural and I had never really told my parents any of this.
My parents who watched it on TV after, it was the first time they had really heard about it.
“I was really glad to have the opportunity to share it with not just my family but everyone else watching. I think it showed people I’m not this big loud person, I have got another side to me!
Your character does split people quite a lot, do you think that’s important for a reality TV show to generate more interest?
“In all honesty, that was never my plan to confuse the audience or be the bad guy. I kept it very real and I don’t think a lot of guys like Yasmin and Feryal are used to being spoken to in an honest way.
“They’re quite used to be spoken in an ‘airy fairy way’, and they’re used to guys tip-toeing about them. But I’m just honest and for every ten tweets I received, nine of them were all positive.
“I’m from a family who are predominately women. I know how to talk to a girl, but if they need to be told something, I will tell her as long as it’s done in a right way.”
So you don’t think you were being rude to Rita or Feryal?
“I don’t think I was rude at all, I was just honest. I didn’t say anything rude to Rita, she came and confronted me in the kitchen and threw accusations at me. I stood my ground and that shocked her a bit.
“Yasmin said that the argument we had showed that she takes herself far too seriously. And as for Feryal, well, I guess everyone saw her true colours at the end of the show and I don’t have anything to say past that.”
With Rita, talk us through what happened, there was some strong chemistry but how did it occur to you?
“In all honesty, I didn’t fancy her drastically. I wasn’t attracted to anyone else on the show. I think that evening when things got a bit heated, there were other people on the table that were stirring and got her a bit riled up.
“I was a bit cheeky with her in our personal training sessions but I had a good understanding of the friendship we had, and the reason why I said that stuff to her was because I know she doesn’t take herself seriously.”
So the stand-up routine, it started off quite funny and you launched into this tirade. Talk us through that.
“I think the girls deserved it. I did feel as if every cast member had turned against me so I was going to say what I felt had to be said. In regards to Rita, I made a joke about personal training.
“She did wear revealing clothes which did cause me to stare but majority of men would, and any guy who says they wouldn’t, is lying.”
“As for what I told Feryal, I’ll be careful to not go out with a girl who’s claimed she’s never had a boyfriend or been on a date. Within five minutes she’ll be trying it out with your best mate.”
So what do you look for in a woman?
“Looks, intelligence, self-respect. Someone who I can have a laugh with, who doesn’t take herself seriously. I’m the same as every guy. Someone who’s not just my wife but my best friend. I just haven’t found her yet, mate.”
And just to finish off, what was your life like as a model, is there anything you miss?
“I travelled the world; I was in India, New York and Dubai. I lived in India for two and a half years, but the industry is a lot harder there so I came home. I spent 15 years in the fashion industry and I thank that industry a lot because it gave me that self-confidence.”
Is Owais simply the misunderstood member of Desi Rascals? Will this self-proclaimed ‘Big Bad Wolf’ ever find ‘Mrs. Right’? Find out on in Series 2 of Desi Rascals which begins July 22, 2015 on Sky 1.