Aayush Sharma is a picture of excitement as he catches up with us for a tete-a-tete for his upcming Loveratri that’s produced by his brother-in-law Salman Khan.
Excerpts from the conversation below:
When did you realise you were bitten by the film bug?
I am a big cinema buff. I used to bunk school and college to watch films. I didn’t decide to be an actor till I moved to Mumbai. Once I entered my 20s, Salman bhai asked me to take up acting. That’s when I began to take it seriously.
Did you have to learn acting formally?
Yes, I got trained at the Galaxy Centre for Performing Arts in Dubai. I learned diction, dialogue training, gymnastics etc as per the plan laid by Salman bhai. While I may have learned the theory, it was only on the sets that I truly learned everything about acting. Before Salman bhai would do a scene, he would share it with me. I would read and understand it, and then observe how he enacts.
What is Loveratri about?
It is a love story set in Gujarat. I play a garba instructor for which I practiced for two months, and Warina Hussain plays a Gujarati girl from London. The film is about how the nine days of Navratri turns his life around forever. There were a couple of scripts I looked at earlier, but this one interested me as it is based on a festival, and seemed colourful. It is a modern film with all the right ingredients. I didn’t want to do an action film as my debut.
Aren’t you worried about being typecast as a romantic hero?
I have no problem with that. I need to get accepted first; once that happens, I’m willing to venture into different genres. All big actors started with love stories. My goal is to eventually make a name for myself as an action star.
How did you find your co-star, Warina Hussain?
We did it using Salman Bhai’s BeingInTouch app. We put out a casting call for female actors, and Warina, who was staying in Mumbai, sent us her tape. We were impressed and selected her. She’s Afghan-born and has worked really hard for her role.
Some religious outfits are protesting against Loveratri.
Loveratri is a film that celebrates the culture of India. To my detractors, I tell them only one thing – just watch the trailer, and you will realise that the film is a wholesome family entertainer.
Any plans to do films in the South?
I have seen Baahubali and Pelli Choopulu, among others. If given a good script, why not?
Do you have any role models in Bollywood — apart from Salman Khan, of course?
Apart from bhai, Varun Dhawan is a good friend and guide. We go to the gym together. He has played an instrumental role in shaping me.
There’s growing criticism over star children being favoured over others.
There are a lot of actors affiliated to film families, but not all of them are able to make their mark. On the other hand, there are people who came in with no connections that have become stars now. It’s all about talent, hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck. Salman bhai told me, “I can get you a film, but it is up to you what you do in front of the camera. I can’t act or dance for you. If the audience doesn’t accept you, I can’t do anything about it.”