By Ninder Kaur
We caught up with the 34-year-old award-winning actor as he prepares for the release of his new rom-com movie.
How does the film compare to the award winning Haider?
The first thing they teach you as an actor is don’t compare your films. They are both two completely different types of film with two completely different filmmakers.
Haider is about all drama and darkness and all colours grey and black. Shaandaar is all bright, happy and funny. It has been amazing to go from Haider to Shaandaar. It has been a very different journey.
Alia and you have been paired for the first time and you’re both looking great
together. Do you ever get nervous when cast with a new lead, especially when you’re going to be up for audience scrutiny?
I rarely get nervous when it comes to the person I am working with. It is always exciting to work with somebody new because when you work with new people it brings out a different side to you as an actor because the chemistry is different, their reactions are different. I look forward to working with new people. As far as Alia is concerned, I had an absolute blast. I thought she was fantastic to work with. She is a very spontaneous actor. She is a great co-star and she has great energy. She is new, she is fresh and she is passionate. Overall, she is a superbly talented actor.
You filmed most of your film in Leeds. What do you think of the place and describe your favourite spot?
It’s so cold. We were supposed to be making a film that is all summery but it was so cold. We totally died. We didn’t expect it to get that cold. All our costumes were easy breezy and summery and then the weather was really cold. Even on summery days it was cold. The only memory I have of Leeds is so frigging cold. We tried to keep warm but Yorkshire tea wasn’t good enough.
Karan Johar has had great things to say about the film. How does that make you feel?
I mean Karan is a great guy. He is a huge part of the film. It is amazing to have him speak so positively about the film because he is a veteran in the film industry. He has been making films for a really long time so I have a lot of respect for his point of view. Shaandaar is a really happy and positive film and lots of people are really excited for it to come out. It is amazing to have Karan speak so well about the film and I am sure he means what he is saying and I am really appreciative of his words.
Since your last film release you have got married, do you think your marriage will impact on your box office ratings?
I had a release last year and this year, which I think has been pretty good timing. I don’t think we live in that time anymore where it matters. The only thing that matters is the quality of work that you do, so the focus has to be on doing the nice films. Sometimes you work for the sake of working because you feel insecure but after being an actor for twelve years I feel it is important to choose quality over quantity and that is what I am trying to do. As long as the product you have made is good there is no reason why people would not view it. I am very positive about Shaandaar and I feel as though I have had a really good year. I am only feeling good things and positive things.
Shaandaar is described as India’s first destination wedding film, what exactly do you think the makers are hoping to showcase by describing it as that?
It is the first time we are making a film about a destination wedding. I think destination
weddings are pretty huge. I know so many friends of mine who have done destination weddings and all you hear are the funniest stories that my friends have told me about attending marriages that they call a destination wedding. Its because it’s a group of people all travelling to a random location and all kinds of strange people come across each other, all kinds of crazy, random quirky messed up things happen in these four/five day affairs and no one has really ever made a film about that. There have always been films based against weddings but there has never been one based on a destination wedding, so I think it is a really cool idea to base a film on this. Vikas has written some really quirky characters and some of the interactions are really interesting.
The couples’ wedding is supposed to be the ‘Shaandaar’ wedding and is supposed to be against the backdrop of a huge castle. He has a strong visual take on how he wanted the film to look.
You won most of the awards last year for the film Haider and now also the GQ India Actor of the Year Award. How important are awards to you?
It is always amazing to be appreciated, sometimes awards that are popular and sometimes awards, which come from a jury that is basically people from the same fraternity, so either way it is very encouraging. Haider was a very special film. Haider was a very experimental film and at that stage in my career it was very difficult to do. The subject was the kind of subject that was wouldn’t be considered mainstream. The content of the film was very dark and dramatic and a lot of people thought maybe at this stage in my career that I shouldn’t be attempting something like that. The artistic quality of that film was superior and the script was so exciting and the character was so challenging. I am just grateful and thankful that the decision that I took got me so much appreciation. It was appreciated and loved and it was probably the most significant performances of my career.
Shaandaar is obviously a rom-com movie. Describe your perfect romantic night?
To be honest I am not too much of a romantic. I mean I am not a die-hard romantic. I like keeping it real. For me, romance is all about how you feel and not really about where you are
What kind of husband are you?
I am hoping the kind that doesn’t get kicked out of the house.
Shaandaar is the upcoming Indian romantic comedy film also starring Alia Bhatt in a lead role.
It has been directed by Vikas Bahal and produced by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane.
The movie has been dubbed as “India’s first destination wedding film” and is scheduled for release on 22 October.