Ishaan Khatter: “‘Dhadak’ has its own identity & an interpretation of its own”


Ishaan Khatter has been seen on screen before but he’s marking his Bollywood debut with Shashank Khaitan directed and Dharma Productions’ produced ‘Dhadak’ which is set for release this week. Hailing from a film family and marking his introduction with the late Sridevi and Boney Kapoor’s eldest daughter Janhvi Kapoor, there is quite a bit riding on the movie – not to mention it being inspired from popular Marathi film ‘Sairat’ (2016) spoke to Khatter ahead of the film’s release.


It’s great to see you on screen with Janhvi Kapoor. How did you work together to create that chemistry?
We had a lot of time together during the preparation stages of the film and that where we really got to know each other. We knew of each other but we weren’t friends before we met for the film. We began to do a lot of readings and rehearsals and we also accompanied Shashank on the recce twice. We spent five to six days in Udaipur and Jaipur each time. We then realised we have a natural equation and a similar sense of humour. We had a great time together and, besides that, it was pretty much working on the chemistry of the characters together because sometimes a real-life chemistry won’t translate on screen. I just honestly had a great time working with Janhvi.

As ‘Dhadak’ is based on a story which a lot of the audience will know already, how did you keep your character fresh?
Firstly, it’s an adaptation and not a remake. So, while the story is largely inspired by that of ‘Sairat’, ‘Dhadak’ is a film of its own. It has its own identity and an interpretation of its own. It’s based out of Rajasthan, which really dictated a lot of the choices in terms of characterisation. I would say that the character of Madhukar in ‘Dhadak’ is different and similar to that of Parshya in ‘Sairat’. I would say similar in that the trajectory of their lives are similar and certain plot points are also similar but a lot of the idiosynchrasies, the characterisation, the cultural influences and the moments in their lives are very different. They’ve grown up in completely different backgrounds and so their aspirations, feelings and reactions to things differ. I think that’s what makes them individual and different people from each other.

In the ‘Dhadak’ trailer, there are a few scenes where we see you singing. I have to ask how you found shooting such scenes?
(Laughs) Well, the idea was never to sing very well. Actually, it’s quite an amusing moment in the film. It was quite fun to do that… A bad translation of a popular Hindi song and do it with conviction.

You’re already getting heaped with praise for your acting skills and the way you come across on screen. How does it make you feel getting so many compliments so early on?
Well, it feels wonderful but I think it’s still very important to maintain a perspective of your own and not get carried away by either positive or negative comments. It’s wonderful to get appreciation and recognition for your work. I’m looking forward to people seeing ‘Dhadak’ and accepting it as a film that’s honest and not as a version of something else. I really hope that it’s memorable in people’s minds and hearts. That would be the biggest compliment.

As you’re from a well-known film family, comparisons with other actors in your family are somewhat inevitable. How do you feel about such comparisons? Are you OK with them?
I understand why people want to make that comparison and I know there are people who have been following my family’s careers for years. I feel that that’s the audience’s prerogative, whether to make comparisons or not. I don’t feel badly about it at all. In my own perspective, I could not possibly compare myself with my brother or anybody in my family because I’ve learnt so much from them.

What would you say is most special about being on the journey for ‘Dhadak’?
I think it’s just being able to live this story with everyone involved in it, especially Shashank and Janhvi. Also, to be part of a film that’s so relevant socially and which is close to all of our hearts. thanks Ishaan Khatter for talking to us. ‘Dhadak’ is slated for release on 20th July.

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