- Credit to Janhvi and family on how they dealt with it: Director
- "Was really important that we focus on the film," Shashank Khaitan added
- Dhadak releases on July 20
Janhvi Kapoor's debut film Dhadak was in the work-in-progress stage when her mother Sridevi died in February. Director Shashank Khaitan says that it was important for Janhvi and the team to 'isolate from the tragedy' and 'focus on the film', news agency PTI reported. Janvhi had resumed work a couple of weeks after Sridevi's death. "It was very important not just for me but for my entire team to isolate what had happened as a personal tragedy and get back to filmmaking in a professional way. Everything I felt at that point was dealt on a personal level. Credit to Janhvi and her family on how they dealt with it. When we came back on sets, it was really important that we focus on the film and not let it bog us down or do things differently because then we would be cheating the film," he told PTI.
Shashank Khaitan also explained how the team was trying to behave normally and his duties as a director. "We were behaving the way we were earlier and trying to make things normal. We had a proper 12-hour working day when she returned and we didn't make any special efforts to reduce the time or go slower. As someone who knows her and her family, there were certain things I would do differently on a personal level which I would continue to do. But as a film director, I had a responsibility not only towards her but to everybody associated with Dhadak."
Janhvi's name for Dhadak was suggested by designer Manish Malhotra to the film's producer Karan Johar. Shashank Khiatan had met Janhvi while working on Badrinath Ki Dulhania (his last-directed film). "Two months before Badrinath Ki Dulhania, I started hanging out with her to understand her process and realised she knows cinema. By the third meeting, we were talking about how a character works in a film. I figured her process is similar to what I had learnt from Naseeruddin Shah sir. I gave her a few scenes of Badrinath Ki Dulhania and when she performed those, I knew she understood what she was doing," he told PTI.
For Janhvi's co-star Ishaan Khatter (Shahid Kapoor's brother), Shashank Khaitan said he and Karan Johar got to know him through his "quirky" Instagram videos. "When we met him, we realised he was gifted. He turned out to be a natural fit for Dhadak - age-wise and also for Madhukar's character. He impressed us right from the beginning," he added.
Janhvi and Ishaan's Dhadak is a remake of Marathi blockbuster Sairat (2016) and hits the screens on July 20.