Wrapping up The Perfect Couple with Nicole Kidman, Ishaan on the joy of working in an international series and seeking diverse stories
Nicole Kidman and Ishaan Khatter (Pic/Instagram)
It’s hard to place Ishaan Khatter. He makes his acting debut with a Majid Majidi film, and follows it up with Karan Johar’s production Dhadak (2018). Mira Nair’s drama A Suitable Boy (2020) shares space with horror comedy Phone Bhoot (2022) in his filmography. But then, the ability to fit into different worlds is one of the hallmarks of an actor. Khatter’s next is The Perfect Couple, an international series headlined by Nicole Kidman. So, is it a deliberate move to take on diverse projects? “I don’t think it’s by design. I’m trying to discover myself as a performer and make the most of the opportunities I have. Sometimes, the diversity of work surprises me too,” he smiles.
The actor has recently returned from the US after wrapping up the shoot of the Netflix limited series, which also stars Liev Schreiber and Dakota Fanning. Working with accomplished Hollywood actors is a feat he is proud of, but Khatter notes that the experience isn’t too different from that on a Bollywood set. “Nicole is an actor par excellence and an icon. It’s a pleasure to share the screen with her. There’s so much to learn from her. But in a broader sense, what we artistes do is the same. There isn’t a major difference between a local and international crew. We’re all trying to tell stories in an engaging way.”
This is Khatter’s second international series after A Suitable Boy. Asked if he is attracted to long-format storytelling, the actor says, “Some stories can be told in a more efficient way through long-format. The trick is to recognise which material is better suited to the cinematic format, and which belongs to long-format.”
Up next for him is director Raja Krishna Menon’s Pippa. The drama is a retelling of the 1971 India-Pakistan war, with Khatter stepping into the shoes of Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta. He terms it an “incredible experience” to be part of a chapter of Indian history. “I was fortunate to interact with Brigadier Balram
Mehta sir for the role. I’ll be happy to share more when we get closer to release.”