Ishaan Khatter made his film debut with Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds and followed it up with the commercially successful film Dhadak. Directed by Shashank Khaitan, Dhadak was the Hindi adaptation of Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi film Sairat. In Dhadak, Ishaan worked alongside Janhvi Kapoor.
Dhadak will have its world television premiere on September 30 on Zee Cinema. On the sidelines of the world television premiere, Ishaan spoke to indianexpress.com about what these two films mean to him, and the kind of films he wants to do next.
You have done two films and both have been successful. With so much success in the very beginning of your career, do you feel any kind of pressure?
Not really, I look at it as a very positive thing. However, I think my first film (Beyond the Clouds) did not do well commercially, but it was heralded by a lot of important people around the world as a very good film. It did a lot for me, it was a huge learning process. I am very proud of it, and have absolutely no regret. Dhadak did very well, and was liked by a wide audience in our country, and overseas. So, I feel it was a blessing to be a part of both these films. Just getting the opportunity to play these characters and working with the people that I did, that is a huge blessing for me. Only good things can come out of these films, as there was so much positive energy on sets of both these films. Pressure is not a word that I associate with very much, it is a matter of perspective. It depends on your disposition as a person, it can either be that you are pressurised by something or you can be motivated and encouraged by it.
What is the direction that you would like your career to take now?
I am extremely eclectic in choosing my films as an audience, and as a direct result of that, I love exploring, I love cinema and I love learning from different experiences. So, my aim is to be part of different kinds of films, work with different minds, and play all kinds of characters. The idea is to work in different genres, and hopefully make a good career graph. I love to play varied roles, that’s the most exciting thing for me.
How did you react when you first came to know that you are going to be a part of Sairat’s Hindi adaptation and work with Janhvi Kapoor?
The first time I was told that I’ll be doing Dhadak was right before I watched Sairat. I was on my way to the screening of Sairat with Shashank, who is the director of the film. At that time I had no idea that I would be working with him, or that he had planned on remaking Sairat in Hindi. Sairat is such a consuming movie so I was stuck into its story. It has such a poignant end that I was quite moved by it. After sitting in silence for about fifteen minutes, it hit me that this is the film Shashank wanted to make. I felt a huge responsibility was coming my way because it is such a sensitive subject, that was the first feeling that sunk in.
When I came to know that I am doing the film with Janhvi, without making it apparent, I felt very good about it. When I met her, I was reassured of that. There is a very breezy, light and happy energy about her. And, she is very dedicated to whatever she does.
What are the character traits you had decided to take up and not take up from Parshya in Sairat? How invested were you while playing Madhu in Dhadak?
After watching Sairat and understanding it completely, and after understanding what Shashank wanted to do with the adaptation, I had to completely forget Sairat, not erase it from my mind though. I did not have to be influenced by it or by Parshya. We were making our own film and in many ways, it is different than Sairat, it is an adaptation yes, but it is a totally different film, it has its own language. With that I don’t mean the actual language, but it has its own cinematic language too. It was important to understand the essence of Parshya’s character and what we wanted to translate into our film. Everything that Madhu was, the subtext was different. The idea was not to borrow certain elements, or add some, or manipulate the character, it was supposed to be treated as a fresh character.