Having started out as a film editor at the age of 15, Jahnavi Dhanrajgir has worked as the assistant editor for super hit Bollywood movies like Sultan, Gunday and Kick. Having completed her acting course at The Jeff Goldberg Studio in Mumbai, today she is all ready for a role reversal from behind the screens to making a debut as an actress with Bolo Hua directed by her father Tarun Dhanrajgir. Hashtag Magazine catches up for an exclusive.
From behind the screen to being on screen, shooting for this movie must have been quite an experience…
It’s been an experience of a lifetime because I was both on and off screen for this project, so there was this constant role reversal that was happening, it was a challenge that I thoroughly enjoyed taking on.
This movie marks a debut for both you and your father. Was this an easy decision to make?
Yes it was, I loved the script and the character, it is a brilliant debut for me and I’m grateful that the director trusted me with this project chose me to play Rukhsar.
Double the trouble -Making a debut and making a debut under your father’s guidance- how was the entire shooting experience. Did working under your father make it easy or that much more difficult for you?
I was nervous about working with him at the start, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about; he and I make a good father-daughter duo. It was a creatively fulfilling project.
When did you make the decision to debut as an actress? Was it an obvious career choice? Is it true that Salman Khan gave you the final push?
Mr Khan did suggest I give acting a try, but the decision had been brewing in my mind for a while, and I finally decided I had to give it a shot because I didn’t want to live with regrets and what ifs later on in life, I definitely would have if I didn’t.
“I got to observe actors like Anushka Sharma, Salman Khan and Kumud Mishra, all masters of their craft, on set and watching professionals in action is a great way to absorb techniques to better ones’ skills.”
You have worked with big filmmakers like Ali Abbas Zafar and superstar Salman Khan. Does coming with a lot of technical knowledge make you a better performer? Any important lessons learnt on sets?
The main reason I took on the assistant director job was to better understand what goes into making a film before it gets to the edit room, however, it taught me a lot as a performer too, I got to observe actors like Anushka Sharma, Salman Khan and Kumud Mishra, all masters of their craft, on set and watching professionals in action is a great way to absorb techniques to better ones’ skills.
One of the mains things I learnt was the importance of good communications, on set you’re constantly dealing with people and how you do that is a skill in itself; that and patience is key, as a film maker in general. Making movies a high stress job and you have to find and practice healthy ways to manage it.
What kind of preparation went into making this movie? Did it involve dance lessons, dialect classes etc?
For Rukhsar’s character I did a lot of accent training along with the director and dialogue writer, apart from that we also did plenty dance rehearsals for the songs.
A lot of the film was shot in Hyderabad, how did you enjoy the city. Did you get a chance to try any local cuisine?
I absolutely love Hyderabad, I’ve spent a lot of time there as a child but it was a whole new experience with this film, I saw a completely different side to the city. The food there is among my favourites, I could eat the Hyderabadi khati dal, bhindi and mirchi ka salaan everyday.
Finally, future projects and plans.
I have a couple of things in the pipeline that I am excited about, other than that I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for me.