Starting her career as a child artiste, Ishita Chauhan is making her debut as a heroine through upcoming Bollywood flick “Genius”. Excerpts from an exclusive free-wheeling conversation…
Luck blesses those who are talented and confident. Perhaps, actress Ishita Chauhan is one of the perfect testimonies to this notion. The vivacious actress has snapped up the role of the female lead in the upcoming Bollywood film “Genius” after eclipsing many aspirants. Ishita has every reason to be proud as she was selected through audition and rigorous workshops for the movie by veteran filmmaker Anil Sharma of “Gadar: Ek Prem Katha” (2001) fame.
“The crew of “Genius” was desperately looking for an apt heroine, albeit the shoot progressing in full swing. Once my manager bumped into director Anil Sharma and when he came to know about the project, he showed my pictures to the director. Then I got a call from his office for a screen test,” reveals Ishita about her casting into the film.
The Pune-based actress had acted in a host of ad films and a couple of Hindi films as a child artiste. Incidentally, Ishita is a known face in Malayalam Cinema through the 2014 film “Asha Black.”
In her opinion, convincing Anil Sharma of her abilities in portraying the character Nandini in the film was not easy. “After the screen test, it took two months of rigorous workshops to create a faith in my potential,” she chuckles.
Talking about her big break in Bollywood, she says: “I was overwhelmed and felt really honoured to work with Anil sir in my debut film as a young actress. I was very happy and it was a dream come true. My character undergoes a transformation in the movie.”
“Anil sir and the writer of the movie guided and helped me in identifying my character well. I even took part in dance workshops to perform better,” Ishita recalls.
“Genius” is also the launching pad for Anil Sharma’s son Utkarsh Sharma as a young hero. In fact, Utkarsh had featured as a child actor in “Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.” Ishita remembers that despite Utkarsh being the director’s son, Anil treated both of them as professional actors on the set of “Genius.” “Utkarsh is a really focused and intelligent actor, yet a sweet guy. He’s an amazing actor and I’m glad I got such a great and understanding co-actor in my first film,” she thanks Utkarsh.
“When we were shooting a rain sequence in Mussoorie, there was strong cold wind. We were shooting the whole night with chilled water that was used to create the effect of rain. Utkarsh and I were freezing and shivering all night but we still managed to give a really great shot. I thought to myself that if we can do this, I’m sure we’ll be able to pull off any scenes sans any difficulties,” Ishita says confidently.
Ishita turns more eloquent while talking about Anil Sharma, who had moulded her as an actress. “He influenced me a lot. Anil sir moulded me the way he wanted me to portray the character Nandini. I’m the ninth actress introduced by him to Bollywood.”
She feels that Anil Sharma is a perfectionist and his training on the set has been instrumental in building her skills as an actor. “I remember, we used to sit and rehearse for hours to get the scenes right.”
‘No Language Barrier’
Though she was missing in action in Malayalam after “Asha Black,” Ishita asserts that she is very keen on doing substantial roles in different languages.
“The South Indian industry tends to be quicker in completing the shoots as compared to Bollywood. Overall, my experience in both the industries has been enriching,” observes the teen actress, who is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts.
New Projects and Favourite Roles
“As of now, I haven’t signed on any dotted line, but a few projects are in the discussion,” she says. Ishita would like to perform characters like Sehmat, played by Alia Bhatt in “Raazi.”
She is waiting with brimming excitement for the release of “Genius” on August 24.