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Dhadak actor Ashutosh Rana: Janhvi Kapoor is a volcano ready to burst, she will blow your mind

Ashutosh Rana on his Dhadak character Ratan Singh, working with Shashank Khaitan and how unfair it is to compare Janhvi Kapoor with Sridevi and Ishaan Khatter to Shahid Kapoor.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
Updated: July 20, 2018 1:13:37 pm
ashutosh rana in dhadak Ashutosh Rana talks about his Dhadak character Ratan Singh.

Actor Ashutosh Rana plays Janhvi Kapoor’s father in Dhadak. In an exclusive conversation with, Ashutosh talk about Janhvi, his character in Dhadak and the film’s director Shashank Khaitan.

Q. You have Dhadak, Son Chiriya, Mulk, Milan Talkies and Simmba in your kitty. Are you making up for the lost time in Hindi cinema?

If you see my career graph, you will notice that I have always been interested in taking up different characters. I believe in exploring myself as an actor. And it doesn’t matter if the film belongs to a big production house or a small one. If the script is good and the character is nice, I am in.

Bollywood has been very kind. I’ve been offered roles in intervals but always been blessed with the best.

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I have an old association with Shashank. We worked on Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania together. It is a fantastic thing that a director has so much trust on you. Dhadak is an adaption of a cult film Sairat. If you get an opportunity to be part of a cult recreation, why not!

Also read | Dhadak movie review: The Janhvi Kapoor starrer has neither requisite drama nor authenticity

With Anubhav Sinha, long time back in 1995, I shot for a television series. And now, after two decades, we are collaborating on Mulk. Also, I was keen to work with Rohit Shetty. I had told him in 2014 that I wish to work with him and now I am working with him in Simmba.

Abhishek Chaubey who has directed youth centric films, I am working on Son Chiriya with him.

So, if you see the kind of films I had done before – Sangharsh, Raaz, Dushmann, they were considered off beat and unconventional. Now, such films have become mainstream which is a great change and I am thoroughly enjoying this phase.

Q. Your roles in Sangharsh and Dushman were iconic. What do you have to say?

I don’t think so. I have done many negative characters. However, not many have received the kind of attention Dushman and Sangharsh or even Raaz has got. So, the role is cult. And I feel fortunate that I got to portray them.

It is similar to how Amjad Khan’s Gabbar, Amrish Puri’s Mogambo or Amitabh Bachchan’s character of Vijay became iconic roles.

Audience has given me immense opportunities to explore. They have always been supportive of my work. They have accepted me in Dushman and also in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.

Also read | Janhvi Kapoor: Dhadak is an important and beautiful story

Also, even if I have portrayed negative character, each one has been different than the other. So, that only happens when filmmakers knows your capability and knows that the audience has accepted me in overpowering characters.

It also makes me realise that the audience is keen to see me more on screen.

Q. Is your Dhadak character as negative as these films?

You will enjoy the character a lot. I would say it’s very different from what I had done in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. I can say the character is someone you will take with you once you leave the theatre. Yes, the character is negative but the approach is very different. It’s very relatable to the times we are living in. It’s a Dabangg character.

Q. What is your take on Sairat?

It’s a stunning film. And I believe when a script is so impressive, everybody wants to recreate it multiple times and that’s the reason why it has been adapted in so many languages. The plot is very interesting. It is new age love story that has an innocence.

Q. Does Dhadak have a similar narrative?

Comparing Dhadak with Sairat is impossible. It’s like comparing two kids. Both of them have different personalities and survive with their own individuality. Dhadak has to be seen with a new perspective.

Q. Do you think Shashank has been able to adapt Sairat in a good manner?

Shashank’s vision and way of work is absolutely amazing. Humpty was claimed to be DDLJ. Now, Dhadak is a remake but it was nothing less than a challenge to recreate a cult film like Sairat without losing the intensity and keeping up with its sanctity. It’s a challenge and I think he has done really well. The reviews so far have been very satisfying.

I respect him a lot as a professional. He respects everything so much. He generates confidence. You will never hear anyone screaming on the sets. If he has to give directorial advice to me for a scene, he would whisper it to me. He speaks so soft that the other person doesn’t even get to know what he said. He appreciates your talent and makes you want to do better. He urges you to explore your capabilities.

I was super convinced that Shashank would be able to pay tribute to Sairat really well. I remember he had called me to offer the role and without even the narration, I said yes to the film. We barely spoke for two and a half minutes.

He is a director you can surrender yourself as an actor.

Also Read | Dhadak movie release live updates: Celebs heap praise on Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor

Q. What do you have to say about Janhvi?

On a serious note, even though she is a debutante, nowhere would she feel like a newcomer. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her. She is so professional and focused about her work. Her understanding and the professionalism makes you believe that she is a born actor.

Many actors learn the art on job but Janhvi came on the sets well prepared. And it’s good to have good actors to share the screen space, they enhance your performance too.

She is a volcano ready to burst. She’s going to blow your mind.

Q. Everyone will compare Janhvi and Sridevi. Do you think it’s justified?

When there’s a star kid, unfortunately we find their parents, who are veteran/iconic actors, in them. I really feel it is not justified. If you see her as Janhvi alone, you will realise how amazing she is.

Try not to look for a Sridevi in a Janhvi and a Shahid in Ishaan, I can bet you will see the caliber.

On the basis of my experience, not even once I felt that she is Sridevi’s daughter. Since day one, I realised she is going to be great actor. I’ve been in this field for quite some time. The experience teaches you who will have a long run in the industry and what’s their potential. She doesn’t have a Sridevi charm nor did she try to get it. These kids are going to go very far.

Q. What do you have to say about fathers who believe in honour killings in the name of caste and class?

I believe one should be allowed to love. There shouldn’t be any limitations, rules and regulations to it. Our problem is that we, in the name of love, want our children to do what we believe in. I’m not from that category of parents. I want to give the strength to my kids to achieve their dreams. Of course, we will help to an extent we can in achieving the dreams but the system or the thought process of control is something one should get rid of. Love is not something you have a control on.

You can’t control the situations but you can control your mentality. So, one should be able to work on that in order to stay happy.

Q. We are seeing small town stories grabbing attention. What do you think is so appealing about it?

We are going back to our roots. As a society, it’s a beautiful change because as they say, the only tree that stays strong and lives long is the one with strong roots.

Q. Will we see you moving out of the negative zone in your upcoming films?

Yes, of course. Each film will portray me in different characters. I can assure you that you’d have lot of fun.

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