The current generation of teenagers might be subjected to youth-related content from a very young age with so many channels and shows focusing on that already in business. But while I was growing up, I had seen the arrival of that genre in front of my eyes, and the dance drama Dil Dosti Dance (D3) was amongst the first youth show that I, and my generation of teenagers, ever saw. There is an emotional connection that thus got built with its cast for us. So, when I got to know that Swayam from the show, aka, Shantanu Maheshwari is getting his big break in Bollywood opposite Alia Bhatt in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, the teenager in me came to the surface all excited.
Last weekend, when I finally went to see the film in theatres, I was pretty pumped up with huge expectations from Shantanu and he surely didn’t disappoint. It was great seeing him do so well on the 70 mm screen, and what makes it all the more special is that I got to converse with him regarding the same as well. The actor opened up to me about his first day on set and his co-star Alia, and it was really heartfelt.
Talking about his first day on the set of Gangubai Kathiawadi, Shantanu says,
“My first sequence was with Alia and it was my introduction sequence only. Sanjay sir wanted that the shoot begins linear for me, and thus he made sure of that. I was nervous, but at the same time I was still trying to absorb the fact that I was going to be filming and being directed by Sanjay sir. I was just trying to live the moment and was talking to myself, trying to make myself understand that it was a big opportunity that I have got and I had to give in my 100 percent. I was just trying to calm myself down while telling myself to have self-belief as Sir already believed in me. ‘Don’t overdo, don’t overthink, just be in the present,’ that was all going in my mind.
The actor is all praise for his co-star Alia as he says,
“She is amazing. I had super fun working with her. She is a thorough professional and the way you approach a scene with her, she is very cooperative. Even if you have any doubt or suggest something, she is always open to that while also being there to help you. It was a great thing that she was rescuing me at times. She is an absolutely effortless actress that I have ever worked with, just fabulous.”
It felt so amazing seeing Shantanu take this big leap in his career, and after seeing his presence on the big screen and the love he is receiving for it, I am certain that big things are on the way for the actor and I can’t wait for them to happen to him.