After it released five weeks ago, Gujarati film Superstar is still running strong at cinemas and drawing an impressive response from movie-goers. Here’s the film’s producer Dakshesh Shah and lead actor Dhruvin Shah – the father-son duo behind the success of the film – in conversation with Rohini Nag Madnani
How was the film Superstar conceived?
Dakshesh: I am a businessman and have been approached many times to produce films. However, I was neither interested in producing nor financing films. So, when I was approached this time, I thought I would make an excuse and pass this film as well. But, the narration got me hooked as the concept intrigued me and I wanted to know more about the story. That’s why I decided to back this project.
Dhruvin: I got to know much later that he was producing a film. I was studying in the US, where I had enrolled for an acting course at the New York Film Academy and was home on vacation. That’s when I learnt that dad was producing this film and I told him I wanted to be a part of it and help out with the production process. So I took up the auditioning process and went to Mumbai, where we were doing the pre-production and also carrying out the auditions.
The film is doing well even four weeks after its release. Did you expect a response like this?
Dakshesh: I had a feeling that the film would do well. As I said, there was not a dull moment during the narration, and the story had perfect segue. I am sure that is appealing to the audience. This was the only film that interested me right through the narration and I am sure the audience has reacted to that in the same way. There was not a single dull moment or question mark in the story.
Dhruvin: I knew the film would be appreciated by the audience but I did not give the numbers a thought. As an actor, I gave 100 per cent to the film and, while shooting, I don’t think one should think about the outcome. As actors, it is our job to work to the best of our ability and stay true to our inputs rather than think about the outcome. However, the content of the film is universal and it is also technically at par with any Hindi film.
Were you creatively involved with the making of the film?
Dakshesh: Yes, I had told the team that I didn’t want to be a part of the film solely as a financer but I wanted to do much more; I hate the word ‘financer’. So, as a producer, I wanted to give it everything I had. So from the scripting stage, to the auditions, to the post-production, I was totally involved.
Dhruvin: I was involved with the film’s pre-production and thoroughly involved with the auditioning process. I was not supposed to be a part of the film, let alone act in it. But as fate would have it, I ended up playing the lead!
So he was not the first choice for the role. How did that happen?
Dakshesh: No, he was not. He is 20 years old and just 19 when we were in the pre-production process, whereas the protagonist of our film is supposed to be an older guy with a
Dhruvin: It was during the auditioning process that I felt I could do justice to the part. After auditioning a lot of people for the role, I felt I had it in me to play the part. I spoke to dad about it and we agreed to go ahead only after consulting our team and after I auditioned for the part. I auditioned and we went ahead only after the director and key members of our teams approved of our decision.
Your co-star is a well-known television actress, Rashmi Desai. What was it like to work with her?
Dhruvin: She is brilliant to work with. As an actor, it is very important to follow the script but at times one needs to add a new nuances to enhance a scene. In that sense, she is absolutely supportive; she not only lets her co-actor improvise but helps to enrich the performance as well.
Dakshesh: We have been approached by a big production house to make the film in Hindi. There will be changes in the script to cater to a wider audience but the basic premise will remain the same.
Dhruvin: This film was my offering to my community but my destination is the Hindi film industry and Hollywood. I want to do mainstream films.