Janhvi Kapoor holds her own at the trailer launch of her debut film, Dhadak, with Ishan Khatter
Janhvi Kapoor misses her mother while taking her first step towards a career in Bollywood. During the trailer launch of her debut movie Dhadak, she reflected the excitement and nervousness of a Bollywood debutante but was emotional for her mother, the late Sridevi, on this special occasion.
“I definitely miss her today. The biggest and most helpful tip she has given me is to work hard and to feel every emotion,” Janhvi said.
The 21-year-old was accompanied by her father, producer Boney Kapoor, who has been her constant support after the sudden demise of Sridevi earlier this year in Dubai. “Papa did not give me any acting tips, but love, encouragement and a lot of support. So I think that is more than enough,” she said.
Before the trailer launch, her step brother Arjun Kapoor — Boney’s son with the late Mona Kapoor — also shared words of encouragement for Janhvi. “Tomorrow you will be part of the audience forever Janhvi Kapoor cause your trailer comes out… Firstly, sorry I’m not there in Mumbai but I’m by your side, don’t worry,” Arjun tweeted late on Sunday. “I just wanted you to know this profession is amazing if you work hard, be honest, learn to take the accolades with the brickbats, respect opinions, yet follow your own path and instinct. It’s not gonna be easy but I know you are ready for all the madness that will ensue,” he added.
The trailer launch of Dhadak was attended by the film’s producer Karan Johar, director Shashank Khaitan and lead actor Ishaan Khatter, who too is making his Bollywood debut with the project.
Karan said that the talented youngsters — irrespective of their family name — work hard to be where they are. Asked what are the things he has to keep in mind when he makes films with debutantes who come with a film background, he said: “That they grow beyond their name and make their own identity. I think that is our responsibility and their responsibility. These days people focus more on names rather than the talent, but they tend to forget that one puts a lot of hard work, heart, dedication, discipline and mental preparation to face the camera, the audience and the media… It is not easy, really. It is difficult.”
Without mentioning the term “nepotism,” which had become widely used when actress Kangana Ranaut accused Karan of being a “flagbearer of nepotism” two years ago, he said, “We always use a tag… Like a word of the season. I know that word (nepotism) was doing around for last two years and I am again perhaps encouraging the same concept… But I will not utter the word. But I want to say, they are not here because of that word, but because of their hard work.”
Asked what made him choose Janhvi and Ishaan for the film, a remake of the hit Marathi film Sairat, Karan said: “The story is about an innocent love story. To bring such innocence onscreen, I needed first-time talent.” He said Ishaan first struck him while judging a TV show with Ishaan’s step brother Shahid Kapoor. “I was judging a show with Shahid where Ishaan happened to meet him on the set. So I just got a glimpse of a certain body language, expression and personality. I instinctively decided on him,” he said.
Karan has launched a slew of celebrity children in Bollywood — from Alia Bhatt to Varun Dhawan and now Janhvi to Ananya Pandey.
“I think Manish Malhotra is the fashion father of Janhvi. He knows her for a long time. He used to keep talking about her so much that I felt like I knew her even before meeting her. Then I went to meet her family where I saw her. Then later when I met her personally, I saw her potential to be on screen and saw that spark and excitement,” said Karan.
At the launch, Janhvi said the first day shoot of the film was a lot of fun. “We were not that nervous because Shashank had already created a very comfortable family environment. We had done a lot of reading and rehearsals before the shot, so things were easy and fun,” she said.