While Dhadak marks Janhvi Kapoor’s debut, it is Ishaan Khatter’s first true-blue Bollywood film. The actors were recently in New Delhi to promote their upcoming film. Here are excerpts from the interaction:
Q. What sort of pressure are you feeling now that the film is just one day away from release?
Janhvi: Very excited, nervous and a slightly tensed too. I keep telling him “bhanda 20 July ko phootega” (the truth will be out on 20 July.) All I hope is that the audience likes the film. Dhadak is an important and beautiful story that we have tried to portray.
Ishaan: I am very curious to know what people are going to think about the film. I want to know what feelings they will leave with once the film gets over. I just hope it is a memorable experience for the audience. I want them to enjoy. Want the film to compel them to think.
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Q. How was the prep to get into a Marwadi character?
Janhvi: I enjoyed it very much. I had to work on my mewadi dialect. We worked on it with Shashank. We went to Rajasthan for recee, spoke to local people there, observed them, their body language, speaking skills and everything. Shashank is Marwadi.
He was very clear that since this film is for a pan India audience, the language must be easy to understand. So, it’s just the flavour of the Mewadi language.
Q. Why did you choose Dhadak?
Janhvi: I am not that cool to choose a film like this. I think the film choose me. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I guess I am just blessed.
Q. It’s an adaptation of Sairat, a blockbuster loved by everyone. Is there a pressure?
Janhvi: Not pressure but it is more of a responsibility. We know the audience loved Sairat. We love Sairat too. It’s an important film. We just worked towards it with an honest approach.
Q. Ishaan, your dance in Zingaat has become a rage among the audience.
I don’t have a memory of when I started dancing. It’s just in the blood, I guess. My mother learned Kathak under the legendary Birju Maharaj. She trained for 20 years and represented our country. So, we have grown up in such an environment.
Q. What was your first thought after hearing Madhu and Parthvi’s love story?
Janhvi: We heard the scripts in two parts. I remember hearing it and on a script level, I fell in love with the characters and the chemistry they shared. Shashank wanted to create it with so much passion and love.
Ishaan: Immediately after he told me that he wants me to work on the adaptation of Sairat, I watched the original. I watched it as an audience and was completely taken aback by the story. I think when we started having discussions about Dhadak by the first draft of the film. My understanding was that it’s an innocent and pure love story. It’s a coming of age film for the character. Yes, the larger chunk of the story is about sending out a social message but for us, it’s an entertaining film and a coming of age film too which is important to understand. Plus, I was impressed by the arc of the character.
Q. You both chose to debut with films that are complex in nature be it Dhadak or Beyond the Clouds. What was your thought behind the choice?
Janhvi: It wasn’t a plan at all! The reason I wanted to become an actor was to act as much as possible and with this character, I had a lot to explore. This character or the subject is very different from my life. So, I am just thankful about the opportunity and it just felt right.
Q. Ishaan, what’s your take on nepotism?
Ishaan: I believe everybody has their own destiny and will. To apply this concept of nepotism to every person who is related to films, I feel is generalisation. I can’t say in general people have it easier or tougher, I can only tell you my experiences. If I’ve to talk about myself, I am fortunate and proud of the family I am from, not only because it has given me opportunities to work in films but because I have been able to learn and derive so much from them since a very young age. It’s a personal thing. I am passionate about becoming an actor. I am lucky that I got to learn from them and there’s no resistance to it. As far as opportunities go, Karan sir met me. I don’t think a man of his experience will be careless with his decisions. For my first film with Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi, he auditioned me and he had no idea about my family background. If anything, that knowledge would have killed my chances as he didn’t want anyone to bring any baggage on the sets. So, that’s how my journey has been so far.
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