In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Danish Kalra talks about his new show, his co-stars Rajat Kapoor and Rajesh Jais, and his experience of having scenes cut from Neerja and Kabir Singh final cuts.
Actor Danish Kalra, who is currently seen in Sudhir Mishra’s Jehanabad Of Love and War, recalls how his scenes were chopped from Kabir Singh, and it led to him doubting himself and his craft. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Danish talks about the new show, his career and more.
The backdrop of Jehanabad offers the scope for talking about caste-dynamics in the region. What was your prep regarding that?
My character is almost unaware of that. My character is part of the love story. I wanted to keep my character protected. I have views on the topic, but I never allowed it to interfere with the character. The director has not glorified anything, the show only showed the reality as it is. I felt there were many issues that could have been talked about, but there is nothing objectionable in the show. I know that a lot more could be done, and all the shortcomings will be compensated for in the second season.
What was the toughest part of playing Sonu?
I am originally from Punjab and getting that Jehanabad dialect (was a challenge). The director talked to me about the origin of the dialect. Getting the body language was also a challenge. I watched interviews of real people from Bihar – not shows or films – but news interviews. I wanted to keep it very real, it was a lengthy work.
You recently talked about the disappointment you had when you realised your scenes were chopped from Shahid Kapoor’s film Kabir Singh. Did you try to understand why it happened?
So, I talked to one of the co-actors, from the supporting cast, and was told that they wanted to keep portions that were related to the story of the lead characters alone. I am not sure if that is the real reason, but that is what I got to know. I think my character was an important character but then other scenes (those of Soham Majumdar) were also chopped. That role was a huge thing for me. I was this new actor who got a break in a huge film.
Of course, I also had self-doubt. Mujhe laga maine kya kiya, meri wajah se to nahi hua (What did I do? Was the scene chopped off because of lack in my talent)? But then, I got to know that the same happened with others as well. Aur mai moti chamdi ka ho gaya, abhi jo meri haath me nahi hai, mai dhyan nahi deta (So I developed a thick skin. Now, I do not bother about things that are not under my control).
Similar things happened when my portions from Neerja were chopped. No, actually I assumed that my part was important but it was not in reality.
Did you check with the producers or your casting agency?
No, I did not check with the casting agency. Mukesh Chhabra, the best in the field, had hired me and I did not check with him or his team. I was like ‘the film was already out, what could be done? No changes could be made’. So, I wondered what was the best I could do in the situation. I asked people in the post-production team to share a link for my work so I could make it into a work link. Later, they uploaded it as deleted scenes on TSeries channel. I was happy, but it was not enough of a compensation. But, at least people can see for real that I was there in the film.
How was the experience of working with senior actors in the show?
I was the new one in this experienced cast. When Rajat sir came to sets, I first expected him to be a serious, authoritative figure. I could not even talk to him but he initiated conversations and things became fun. His personality is such that people around him are always laughing. We would talk about books and philosophy and bond on sets. I also share a real-life mama-bhanja equation with Rajesh Jais. His life is inspiring.
Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service