Kedarnath director Abhishek Kapoor: Sara Ali Khan is intelligent and has a strong personality

Updated: Nov 19, 2018, 19:24 IST | Sonia Lulla

Asserting that she showed potential early on, Kedarnath director Abhishek Kapoor on how he mentored Sara Ali Khan for her big Bollywood launch

Sara Ali Khan
Sara Ali Khan

In a bid to employ fresh faces for his offerings, director Abhishek Kapoor has introduced many artistes in B-Town, including Sushant Singh Rajput and Prachi Desai. yet, playing mentor to Sara Ali Khan for Kedarnath was a different ball game.

"Sara comes from a film background, but doesn't have any acting experience. You've got to start from scratch to make [such artistes] film-worthy," says Kapoor, who has taken on the responsibility of launching Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh's daughter in the world of movies. "Sushant and Prachi had experience in television, and Rajkummar [Rao] had done other work. In contrast, Sara had no experience. But she had a spark; she is intelligent and has a strong personality."

Sara Ali Khan with Abhishek Kapoor on the film set. Pic/Ashish Raje
Sara Ali Khan with Abhishek Kapoor on the film set. Pic/Ashish Raje

The love story set in the temple town sees Khan play Mukku, a Hindu girl, who faces her family's wrath when she falls in love with a Muslim porter, essayed by Rajput. Crediting Khan for being "a good listener" and grasping the nuances of her character before facing the camera, Kapoor says, "[However], there's a difference between understanding a character and becoming it. On some days, she'd be off the mark, and at other times, she would be in the right state of mind. We've had some battles on set, and I've been quite the taskmaster. But it was in the best interest of the film; so that when people see her on screen, she shines. By the end of the film, Sara was flying, especially in the dramatic scenes."

The director has left the failure of his last offering - the Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif starrer Fitoor (2016) - behind him. "I should have made it on a smaller budget," he rues, adding that the marketing team associated with the project insisted on making it a love story that could cater to the masses. "The film was adapted from Great Expectations, which is the story of an old woman who was jilted by her lover in her youth. It wasn't supposed to be a love story. I had an idea that [this had happened] when I finished the film."

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