Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra has heaped praise on the lead pair of Shikara--Aadil Khan and Sadia, saying the two have been by far his best talent spotting. Chopra, who has a gift for spotting and supporting new and young talent, has previously spotted the acting streak in Vidya Balan and Boman Irani.
At the 30-minutes screening of Shikara on Wednesday, Chopra said that he may have introduced several talents in Bollywood, but Aadil and Sadia will always be special to him.
"In my long career, I have spotted several talents-- from Rajkumar Hirani to Vidya Balan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. But I think these two kids that I've spotted from Bhaderwah and Bhopal are by far my best talent spotting. I really hope they make me proud. This is not a movie but a movement that entire India should see our story now. It's a tribute to the Pandit community, to us, to our mothers. Nobody listened to us for 30 years. Our story was hidden for the past 30 years," said the director.
Talking about his experience working with Chopra, Aadil said, "He has just changed our lives. I believe has has also changed us as human beings. He is an institution. Being around him is a constant learning."
Aadil also shared a hilarious anecdote of meeting Chopra for the first time.
"He saw a few audition tapes of mine and then decided to call me over for a screen test in his Bandra office. I wasn't aware that I was giving auditions for a Vidhu Vinod Chopra film. I got to know it only after he called me. I was shivering and quite nervous. When I reached there, he was watching my audition tape and constantly saying, 'What is he doing? This is such a bad acting!' And I wondered then why would he call me? Then suddenly at one point, he asked his assistant director to pause the video and rewind 10 seconds. He then asked me if I'd noticed something but since I was not paying attention to what was happening, I said, 'No, what happened?' He then told me that it was the only moment when I was being completely honest to my character."
Aadil added, "After that, he asked me to work even harder and come back again. I took that audition tape home with me and watched it in a loop just to understand what he was talking about. It took me almost two-and-a-half years but I'd just say thank you so much, Vidhu sir."
The film, also directed by Chopra, is scheduled to hit the theatres on February 7.