Bucking the trend seems to be the in-thing in the film industry, and that goes for debutant directors as well. Instead of banking on an A-list star to make her directorial debut, Divya Khosla Kumar, wife of music baron Bhushan Kumar of T Series, is testing the waters with newcomers.
Directing Yaariyan, a film that centres on youngsters, she’s been quite the pro, according to her cast. This week, Soumita Sengupta speaks to the five newcomers – Dev Sharma, Himansh Kohli, Nicole Faria, Shreyas Pardiwalla and Rakul Preet Singh who are all set to set the silver screen ablaze
I hail from an artistic family based in Delhi. My grandfather was the director of National School of Drama (NSD) and, thanks to his guidance, I took up acting. I have been interested in acting since I was a child and had done many events and shows. When I moved to Mumbai, I joined Nadira Babbar’s theatre group Ekjute. Then, two years ago, I worked as a trainee with Rakesh Roshan sir for Krrish 3. My experiences in theatre and direction have helped me understand cinema better, especially the technicalities.
I was auditioning for films and ads when I got a call from T Series for a look test. Everyone in the industry was talking about this film as the auditions were underway. Two days after I auditioned, I was told that I had landed the role.
On His Role
I play a character called Neil, who is a biker. He is reticent but also very sorted. Divya mam’s workshop helped me a lot. Before the film went on the floors, we did a lot of workshops and practised a whole lot. It also gave us time to get to know each other.
Although I am from Delhi, Mumbai was always on my mind as I used to visit the city since a very young age. After I completed my education, I joined a radio channel and then got a break in television. I did a show with Channel V called Humse Hai Liife.
I got a call from T Series one day but I thought someone was playing a prank on me. So I asked my TV producers and friends about it and they all said I should give it a shot. I am glad I did because I auditioned and was chosen. It was like my dream was coming true and it was all happening so fast! Also, when I got a call from the production house, I was told I would be playing some other character. It was only when I signed the film that I learnt that I would be portraying the lead character of Lakshya in the film.
Lakshya is a happy-go-lucky chap who is lazy, carefree and a fun loving boy. Like most guys his age, he is a rebel without a cause. But in the end he undergoes a change.
On The Director
Since I had worked in the television industry, I was comfortable in front of the camera. But Yaariyan is my first film and films are very different from television shows. It was our director Divya madam who helped us improve our diction, our character and roles. She used to give us so much to work on. We also had group practice and workshops before starting the day’s schedule. It was fun and entertaining.