As he prepares for Dhadak’s release, Ishaan Khatter chats about the two things dearest to him – family and films.
Ishaan Khatter is no stranger to the performing arts. Coming from a family of illustrious actors, acting runs in his blood, but he has no airs about it.
“We’ve been brought up with middle-class values. Shahid became a star when I was very young, but I was brought up in a normal atmosphere. Our priorities were arts and culture, and I was given a lot of opportunities to watch films and live performances,” the young actor says.
Talking about the love that he’s had for the craft since an early age, and the opportunities he’s now getting to showcase his talents on the silver screen, he says, “I consider myself lucky, and I will work hard. Majidi sir selected me and gave me my first film, Beyond the Clouds, only after an audition. Had he known my background, he would not have chosen me, as he didn’t want an actor with baggage. People will watch my work and understand the kind of an actor I am.”
Now, Ishaan’s preparing for his first big-banner release, Dhadak. “It feels good to get recognition, but that doesn’t mean I am highly talented. Every role is different and challenging, and all credit goes to my directors,” he says, adding, “I love films, and I want to do a lot of work. I am not scared of going to a film set, I enjoy it. I have worked with immense sincerity and I hope people will like it.”
Talking about his mother’s reaction to the film, he says, “My mother became emotional when she watched the trailer of Dadhak for the first time. I am also emotional towards my work, but when I have to face a camera or get on stage for a performance, I do not get emotional. I try to perform with utter confidence.”
Pausing for a couple of seconds, he adds, “I do get emotional if something happens to my brother Shahid or mom. If they fall sick, I get very disturbed.”
Ishaan is also very attached to his niece Misha. “When she watched the Jhingat song on TV, she instantly said ‘chachu!’, but after a while, something else caught her attention. I love her, and I have pet names like Mishipops and Mishki for her,” the doting uncle says.
Reminiscing about some of the most memorable moments shared with his brother, Ishaan says, “I remember visiting him on the sets of various films, the first being Ishq Vishk. I became friends with the director’s son and would land up on my brother’s set uninvited. It was great fun, and a great learning experience.”
Narrating an incident from the sets of Udta Punjab, for which he was an AD, the Dhadak actor says, “We were so busy working that we would hardly get to see each other. Towards the end of the shoot, I got typhoid, but there was no time to rest. When Shahid noticed that I was running a high temperature, he took me to his van, gave me a hot water bottle, and proceeded to take care of me for the next two days even though he was busy shooting.”
The bond that the brothers share is so special that there’s no room for any sibling rivalry. “I have grown up with him, and the concept of half-brother has never existed. Why should there be any rivalry between us? He is my flesh and blood and I have learnt from him. He’s undeniably been the primary male influence in my life. I love him dearly, and for us, family is more important than anything else,” he says.
As he looks forward to a fulfilling career, Ishaan says that he’s open to the idea of doing south Indian films as well. “I would love to work with Sandeep Reddy; my brother has worked with him. But if at all I get to do south films, I would like to learn the language first,” he says.
Other than Shahid, does the young actor have anyone else that he looks up to?. “I like Ranbir, Ranveer, Alia, Kareena and so many others. They’ve all done such wonderful roles,” he says.