Disha Patani finds 'Radhe' co-star Salman Khan humble and giving
Romancing Bollywood’s ultimate bachelor boy, albeit on the big screen, not once but twice is a feat that only a few actresses have been privy to. Disha Patani enters the haloed club with her role opposite Salman Khan in Eid release Radhe: Your most Wanted Bhai after matching steps with him in 2019 release Bharat. Quiz her on how it feels and we are met with a peal of laughter over our strictly ‘only audio’ Zoom conversation with the Bollywood belle.
“At first I was really intimidated working with the biggest star of the country,” Disha confesses, “but as we continued with the shooting I realised how easy-going and humble he is. Salman is a very giving co-actor,” she adds. “He makes sure the scene comes alive - he really adds his inputs every time we are shooting. He has a great sense of humour and he really makes sure that he adds all that to the scene.”
At 28, the actress who made her entry into films via the Telugu industry in 2015 and went on to make her Bollywood debut with M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story in 2016 followed by Baaghi 2, Bharat and Malang might be seen only sporadically on the big screen. But she boasts a much bigger following on Insta where she showcases her fit body and her comic sense with great elan.
Reams have been written about Bollywood’s penchant for matching a much senior actor with a younger actress, but Disha seems unperturbed by all the talk about it. “When you are playing a character it doesn’t really matter what age you are. At the end of the day you are watching a film, it is fictional and the character you are playing has nothing to do with the age or space we come from. Our personal life kept aside, we just focus on our roles and characters and I don’t think it really matters as long as you play your part and suit the part you are playing.”
In Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, Disha plays Diya, a model and younger sister to ACP Avinash Abhyankar (Jackie Shroff) who falls for Radhe (Salman Khan) whom she mistakes for an aspiring struggling model. It might not be the most original screenplay, but suffice to say the duo’s dance moves have set the charts buzzing especially Seeti Maar, choreographed by the director and ace dancer Prabhu Deva.
Disha says Prabhu Deva being a spontaneous director, things were often fluid on the sets. But since he was also someone who was sure about what he wanted out of an actor, it was easy for her to follow that. “Salman sir used to add his ideas - it was a very creative process and that’s how we shoot all the scenes. Every day was a fresh start,” she recollects.
While Disha’s moves on her Insta videos might give us a different picture, the actress avers the dance routines for Radhe were difficult for her to master especially since it was a different style from what she was used to. She goes on to add she was nervous about the dance moves since Prabhu Deva “is the god of dance! I was like I hope I can keep up with him and live up to his expectations!”
The team ended up rehearsing for 10 days for Seeti Maar and even on the sets “Salman sir is there, Prabhu sir is there - looking at the situation they wanted to change (the steps), so you always have to be on your toes, expect all the changes and do it on set. So it was a little hard but both of them were so supportive and I had so much fun. It was one of my most memorable shoots.”
Salman’s heroines might be traditionally not called upon to do much other than look pretty and dance fantastically well, but Disha has no complaints. “Getting an opportunity to work with Salman sir is huge,” she says.
As for coming out with a release in the midst of a pandemic, she says: "It’s really a blessing to have your release out at this time and I just hope it reaches as many people as possible and entertains them specially at a time like this when people need positivity.”
If Radhe can achieve all that remains to be seen when the movie hits our screens on Thursday. In India due to the raging Covid situation the movie is only up for a limited theatrical release alongside streaming on a pay-per-view platform - a new format for a Bollywood blockbuster headed by one of the industry's foremost superstars.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai releases in UAE cinemas on May 13