Dhruvin Shah’s ‘Superstar’, irrespective of its public acceptance, highlights the upsurge of Gujarati Cinema for attracting globally exposed minds to the regional fraternity.
As we sat down at the Bistro, the mise-en-scene seemed ready for a candid conversation. And Dhruvin’s immediate frankness set the ball rolling, unknowingly showing us his youthful charm.
“I performed my first play in 6th grade at Sattva Vikas School, Ahmedabad. I wasn’t offered a lead role. In fact, I enacted a donkey’s role in the Alibaba Chaalis Chor Play, and the devastating scenario was that, amongst all the three Equss asinus, I stumbled and fell on the floor, which triggered a riot of laughter from the audience. But guess what, in the next scene when the three donkeys entered the stage, we received a standing ovation,” recalled method actor Dhruvin Shah – a graduate in Acting from New York Film Academy – who came forward to talk his heart out with Creative Yatra. He added, “I have tried my hand in varied fields – like I love playing tabla – and if I hadn’t been an actor, I would’ve opted to be a Visharad (equivalent of Bachelor in Indian Music) one day.” Eventually it is films that got the the best of him. His debut film ‘Superstar’ released on the third of February this year, where Dhruvin plays the role of a film star, who struggles to keep his family happy while facing series of distorting events.
“My ambitions were always high. I belong to an established business family, and I started my first business at the age of 16. Being ambitious runs in our family, and it was my father who encouraged me to divert my interest towards acting”, explained Dhruvin. In his early twenties now, the young actor took a big leap when he decided to take the road less travelled and did his first theatrical performance in Los Angeles during his academic years.
While discussing theatre, Dhruvin went on, “I am a huge SRK fan. His acting in Don and Don 2 remarkably imprinted a milestone for me. I followed him so rigorously that I even replicated his Don tattoo on my forearm. And last week when Shahrukh arrived in the city for the promotion of his latest flick, I had the opportunity to meet him, and the first question that he asked me as soon as we met was, ‘Have you tried your hand in theatre any time?’ An established actor like SRK considers theatre as an important aspect of acting, and thus even I am looking forward to enacting some live performances in the coming time.”
It is quite pleasing to know the young actor’s interest and understanding of music and performing arts, which could quite set him up for a long stint in films.
Dhruvin is like a boy-next-door albeit with extraordinary dreams. He loves experimenting with the best of his skills. When I asked about his debut role in Superstar, where he plays the role of a father with co-actress Rashmi Desai, he said, “It wasn’t tough for me to face the camera or to say the lines. My concerns lie in justifying the character. As a protagonist, I made sure that I look natural, so I don’t act, but actually behave during the movie.”
In the first film, choosing to play the character of a father, is a challenge for any debutante. I was keen to explore more about the actor behind the starry persona, and dig deep into his film aspirations. I asked him about cinema from the west, and the actors he appreciates for their craft. The replies were gratifying. Wolf of Wall Street is one of his biggest inspirations, including Oscar-winning actors Leonardo Di Caprio and Matthew McConaughey. He is looking forward to hone is craft and work with best of the filmmakers, going ahead.
And since he is always suited up at his best, Dhruvin disclosed his grooming inspiration as Gabriel Macht from the TV series Suits. Talking about television programs, Dhruvin will soon be working in a Series whose name he couldn’t disclose, but he spilled the beans saying that it will be a Hollywood project.
While conversing with Dhruvin, we realised that a new generation of recitalists are emerging in Gujarati Filmdom; one that is film-bred and carry a global exposure, and having hopes for cinema in Gujarati to shine further. This also goes to prove that the upsurge in Gujarati Cinema has a note-worthy resonance. We wish this momentum to continue and achieve a stage whereby the industry, like South Indian Films, become a fertile ground for vernacular Super Stars to arise.
Photographs: Trusha Trivedi
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