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2-min read

Doesn't Matter If You've Acting Training But You Need to be Ready to Learn: Shashank Khaitan

In this episode, we are in conversation with Dhadak director Shashank Khaitan and the two actors of the film--Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor.

Priyanka Sinha Jha | News18.com

Updated:July 19, 2019, 4:27 PM IST
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Doesn't Matter If You've Acting Training But You Need to be Ready to Learn: Shashank Khaitan
In conversation with team Dhadak.
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When Shashank Khaitan set out to make Dhadak, an adaptation of the widely acclaimed love story Sairat by Nagraj Manjule, the fact that he had set the bar really high was not lost on him. The young director who had made a name for himself with successful romantic comedies like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, decided to take a serious turn with Dhadak.

It helped that he had mentor Karan Johar as producer someone he describes as “a great human being,” who has an uncanny ability to analyse what went right or wrong with the film.

However, he was immediately cautioned by Johar that remaking a film like Sairat was a tough task. “Listen this is a very good film, what do you want to do with it?” was Johar’s first question to his director warning him that it was a lot of responsibility.

But Khaitan was not one to let go easily. “I told him about the climax right there and then and why I wanted to set it in Rajasthan.”

And a whole new journey began. He had been in talks with the young Ishaan Khatter for different projects and thought him perfect guy to play the part. As for Janhvi Kapoor, it was designer Manish Malhotra who recommended her but what sealed the deal was the fact that Janhvi displayed an understanding of the character she was to play.

Khaitan was certain that while he was casting newcomers, they had to come on the sets prepared, without the excuse of Dhadak being their first project! “It does not matter whether you have a formal training (in acting) or not but you need to be ready to learn,” he explains.

Of the nerve wracking responsibility of introducing two high-profile newbies to the world, Khaitan barely took heed. “Our conversations were not about launching anything,” he says. It helped that he had Karan Johar as producer, someone Khaitan describes as a great human being, with the ability to laugh at himself.

In fact, as a matter of prepping them for the role during their recce in Rajasthan, Khaitan the lead pair on their own to explore the city and meet different people. It certainly helped them get into the skin of their characters. Parthavi, the name of Janhvi’s character in the film, was inspired by an erstwhile princess they met in Rajasthan!

Fortunately for us, there was lot more about Khaitan that we got to know during this freewheeling chat on a rainy afternoon at Novotel Juhu–for instance, his first film which even won him several accolades or the fact that before donning the director’s hat, he trained as an actor!

Watch the complete conversation with Shashank Khaitan, actors Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter to find out more about the film-maker and his creative quirks.

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