I’d rather learn on the job: Actor Ishaan Khatter

Actor Ishaan Khatter, set for his big screen debut, comes with no formal training in his field, but he is ready to learn on the job, to listen to the call of his heart and to bat comparisons with his star brother Shahid Kapoor.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Ishaan, I believe you chose not to be a trained actor?

A. That’s right. I never attended any acting school, though I’ve done theatre workshops a couple of times and it has been an extremely enriching experience. But beyond that, I don’t want to acquire the skills of acting and use them on camera. I’d rather learn on the job.

Q. Yes, which acting school did Dilip Kumar go to?

Wasn’t he from a very humble background with no connection to cinema or acting? Even my director Majid Majidi came from a very humble background. He trained to be an actor and could’ve become a leading star of Iran after acting in talked-about films like ‘Boycott’. But he chose to direct films. Some of them, which are today regarded as classics, had such a meager budgets there was hardly any money for proper meals for the crew. But he stuck on. I believe it’s always important to listen to the call of your heart.(Also Check: Is Karan Johar stopping Ishaan Khatter from signing any other film?

Q. Is that what you intend to do in your career?

I will try. I don’t think I can live a life of compromise. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly. Not that I am getting much sleep anyway (laughs).

Q. Are you planning to do as many films as possible? Or would your output be meager like your brother Shahid Kapoor?

A. I will do all the films that I want to do. If I like the script, I may end up doing five films at the same time, though I think that would be too much overlapping. I don’t know how actors of yesteryears managed to do three shifts every day.

Q. Right now it is the release of one film and the shooting of the other?

A. Yes, while I am promoting ‘Beyond The Clouds’, we’ve almost wrapped up the shooting of my second film ‘Dhadak’. They happened one after the other by providence. I could have ended up not doing one of them if my producer Karan Johar had not been so supportive.

Q. How did that happen?

A. My debut film was going to be Karan Johar’s production ‘Dhadak’. The date schedules and everything was worked out. I was ready to shoot for ‘Dhadak’ when I was offered “Beyond The Clouds”.

Q. I believe you were the first and only choice?

A. Majidi sir had considered others. But once Honey Sir (casting director Honey Trehan) came on board, it was more or less me that Majidi sir wanted. He saw my auditions and told Honey sir to cast me.

Q. Was there a lot of preparation involved?

Well, I had to lose 8.5 kg almost overnight before shooting for “Beyond The Clouds”. Since I was playing a boy from the chawls, Majidi sir wanted me to look undernourished. I stopped going to the gym to get the physique required. This(not going to the gym) was very unusual since it was an instinctive part of my daily routine.

Q. It is interesting that both the characters you play in “Beyond The Clouds” and “Dhadak” are from a strata of society far removed from you. Did you find it difficult to connect with them?

A. The whole notion of acting hinges on assuming unknown characters. Isn’t that what I am here for? It was a challenge doing these two films as my debut and post-debut. I hope I’ve done what was required from me.

Q. Did you use the same body type for both roles?

A. No. For ‘Dhadak’, (director) Shashank Khaitan sir wanted me to bulk up a bit to look like an average guy.

Q. How have your brother Shahid and mother (actress-dancer Neelima Azim) reacted to your performance in “Beyond The Clouds”?

My mother is my best friend and my biggest critic. When she saw my performance, she had one thing to say which said it all. “Who are you?” It was her way of telling me I had disappeared into the character. I have to thank my mother for bringing me up on a regular diet of Hindi and American classic films. We’ve been travelling together extensively for the promotion and screening of “Beyond The Clouds”. It’s an enriching experience. I feel I am being exposed to all kinds of cinema at a very young age. It’s helping me grow as an actor.

Q. What was Shahid’s reaction to your performance?

You know, for the longest time he couldn’t watch the film because he was busy with ‘Padmaavat’. Finally I had to ask Majid sir to organise a private screening for Bhai. Normally, Majid sir doesn’t arrange private screenings for anyone. But he made an exception for Bhai. It was just my mother, Bhai and I.

Q. And?

A. It was one of the most memorable events of my life. Bhai didn’t say anything. When the film was over, he took an angdaai (stretch and yawn) and then gave me a look expressing what he felt. That look said it all. It meant the world to me. I’ve always looked up to Bhai. And I continue to seek his advice.

Q. Are you prepared for the comparisons with Shahid?

A. They’ve already started. It can’t be helped. We are Brothers andA people will try to see similarities between us. I don’t mind. Because on a personal level, I’ve always looked up to him.

Deepika Padukone in Time 100 Influential People of 2018 list

Deepika Padukone in Time 100 Influential People of 2018 list

Deepika Padukone is the only Indian actress to feature in the Time 100 Influential People in the World, sharing space with names like Nicole Kidman, Gal Gadot, Greta Gerwig and Lena Waithe.

In the Time magazine, international star Vin Diesel, Deepika’s co-star in her Hollywood debut ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ has penned words of appreciation for her.

“Making that movie, Deepika took committed to a whole other level. That’s who she is as a performer. She wants the whole movie to shine, which is a rare thing.

“Anyone could talk about how beautiful she is, and anyone could tell you about her unmatched comedic timing. But she isn’t just a star. She’s an actor’s actor, dedicated to the craft,” Diesel wrote. (Also Read: Deepika Padukone Picks Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee For Her Wedding)

Deepika scored a success at the box office this year with the epic drama ‘Padmaavat’ in which she played the title role.

One of the highest paid actors of Indian cinema today, she has 18 brands in her portfolio and has a strong social media presence.

Apart from her work as an artiste, Deepika’s philanthropic side has seen her spreading awareness on the condition of mental illness. She has spoken about her battle with depression and has been working towards creating awareness with her NGO The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLF).

The Time magazine list also features actress Meghan Markle, who will become a British royal family member upon her wedding to Prince Harry next month.

Pakistani actor Ali Zafar accused of sexually harassing singer

Pakistani actor Ali Zafar accused of sexually harassing singer

Pakistani actress-model-singer Meesha Shafi has accused fellow Pakistani artiste Ali Zafar of sexual harassment.

“I have been subjected to sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry: Ali Zafar. These incidences did not happen when I was young or just entering the industry,” Meesha said in a note that she tweeted on Thursday.

“This happened to me despite the fact that I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind! This happened to me as a mother of two children,” the note read. (Also Read: We can’t decide if it’s Ali Zafar’s voice or just him that’s making us go weak in the knees)

She also wrote that she chose to share about the incident because “I believe that by speaking out about my own experience of sexual harassment, I will break the culture of silence that permeates through our society.

“It is not easy to speak out but it is harder to stay silent. My conscience will not allow it anymore #MeToo,” she added in the wake of sexual harassment incidents happening across the globe.

Ali, who has also worked in Bollywood films like “Dear Zindagi” and “Kill Dil”, is yet to respond to the allegations.