In Bhoothnath Returns, I play a slum kid named Akhrot who stays in Dharavi with his mother. I am the only person on earth who can see Bhoothnath (Kailash Nath played by Amitabh Bachchan). Together, we agree to help each other and as our friendship grows, we get involved in a cause that is bigger than we could imagine. There is a political backdrop in the film as well, but it is not very serious. I am sure the film will be enjoyed by youngsters who belong to my age group.
Yes, there were auditions and I was the lucky one who got selected for this role. After the selection, we also had many interesting workshops with the entire team. One of the most interesting activities was the Dharavi trip, where my friends in the film and I, were taken to Dharavi to observe and learn how people lived there. We learned a lot about their lifestyle.
I did a Marathi film called Killa. It was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and went on to win the Crystal Bear (Best feature film) in February this year. But, the film hasn’t got a theatrical release yet. So technically, Bhoothnath Returns is my debut on the big screen and in Hindi cinema as well. For the first time, I’ll take my friends to watch me perform on the big screen.
It won’t be wrong to say that I was a little nervous on the first day of shoot. The film was shot in Mumbai. Fortunately for me, the moment I met Amit uncle, he made me feel very comfortable. He was very encouraging. In fact, he nicknamed me Champion and would keep calling me by that name on the sets. In one of the scenes, he even ended up calling me by the same name. Nitesh uncle (director Nitesh Tiwari) liked it and decided to retain that portion.
Actually, the entire shoot was good fun. But I must confess that sometimes I would miss my friends, teachers and routine school life as having fun in school is different. But, the entire team would cheer me up and ensure I did not feel homesick.
The biggest takeaway for me is the fact that I got to work with legendary actors and icons like Amit uncle and Boman (Irani) sir in a film which is already in the spotlight. It was a huge honour acting alongside them. Plus, I also got to meet popular actors like Ranbir (Kapoor) sir, Shah Rukh (Khan) sir and the popular rapper, Yo Yo Honey Singh sir. Also, Amit uncle guided me during the shoot, which helped me perform better.
I have always considered my parents as my role models and inspiration. They have always helped me to achieve my goals and given me proper guidance. They have been by my side through every moment, whether good or bad. They continue to inspire me and give me the courage to overcome any kind of challenge that is thrown in my way.
Studies and a good education have always been a priority for me. If by chance, an interesting film project comes my way, I will definitely consider it. But I’ll focus on my studies right now. Whenever the opportunity arises, I will work things out accordingly.