Fenil's Bollywood Talk # 599


2 OUT OF 3 MAJOR RELEASES TO SCORE TOMORROW!

The last third weekend of the year is here. And all these three Fridays are going to be highly exciting. Next week will see the release of the big-budget Christmas entertainer, Dabangg 3. Usually, a week before that is empty or taken up by small, unimportant films. But this time, there’s an exception. 3 important films are releasing, two Hindi and one English. Out of these, the English flick and the Hindi movie are expected to work well at the box office.

MARDAANI 2: It is the second part of this franchise and also deals with a burning topic. Mardaani dealt with human trafficking and Mardaani 2 focuses on crimes done by juveniles. The trailer is highly exciting and the film promises to be a great thriller. Rani Mukerji once again reprises the role of Shivani Shivaji Roy, a tough cop, and she suits the part to the T. The beauty of the first part was the villain and even here, the antagonist is young and menacing. Interestingly, the makers haven’t shown his face properly in the trailer. In fact, the whole promotional strategy has been different. There are no songs, not even promotional track that was there in part 1. Coincidentally, a ghastly rape and disfiguring of a woman took place in Hyderabad just few days back. But Mardaani 2 makers thankfully didn’t cash in on this episode. However, the film couldn’t have come at a better time as the case is fresh in everyone’s minds.

Mardaani, 5 years ago, had opened at Rs. 3.44 crore. Mardaani 2 can easily open at around Rs. 4-4.50 crore or even higher. Part 1 went on to collect Rs. 35.83 crore in its lifetime and benefited with tax free status in few states. This was despite the ‘A’ certification. Mardaani 2 thankfully has got U/A rating. But it’ll lose out on screens in Week 2 thanks to Dabangg 3 and further in Week 3 due to Good Newwz. But if the response is positive, it can have a great first week and can even cross Rs. 50 crore in its lifetime.

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL: It is the sequel of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, which released in 2017 and was one of the biggest Hollywood hits of that year, earning Rs. 52 crore approx. The storyline is interesting as it’s about four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji and play as their chosen characters. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Priyanka Chopra’s hubby Nick Jonas star in the film. The film is an action comedy adventure and fit for big screen for families and youth alike. The first part opened at around Rs. 4 crore and this one can have an opening of Rs. 6-7 crore or even more. It also has paid previews from today evening and that can also help in getting a crore or two more. It can have a weekend of Rs. 25 crore if all goes well and can cross the lifetime of part 1 in its second weekend. If response is bad, the film can suffer and will have slim chances to score in the subsequent weeks.

THE BODY: It is a remake of a Spanish film of the same name. It stars Emraan Hashmi, Rishi Kapoor and Sobhita Dhulipalia and marks the Bollywood debut of Vedhika Kumar. It is directed by Jeethu Joseph, who directed the original Drishyam. Incidentally, the original film was directed by Oriol Paulo, who also made The Invisible Guest. This is the same film that was remade as Badla earlier this year and was one of the biggest hits. Badla opened at Rs. 5 crore and thanks to content, right release period and star cast, it collected Rs. 87.56 crore. The Body sadly will open at around Rs. 1-1.25 crore or maybe around Rs. 1.50 crore, which was also the opening day figure of Emraan’s earlier film Why Cheat India. This is because there’s no buzz or hype for The Body at all. Songs haven’t worked. The recreated version of Jhalak Dikhhla Ja, a hit song of Emraan’s 2006 film Aksar, was panned and it seemed like a last minute effort by the makers to get some hype for the film. But it didn’t work. Moreover, the release period is just wrong as audiences would prefer going for Mardaani 2 or Jumanji: The Next Level. Ideally, The Body should have released two weeks back with Commando 3.

WHICH FILM WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE AND WHY? DO LET ME KNOW!

Pati Patni Aur Woh collects 43.50 cr in 5 days

Pati Patni Aur Woh Box Office Collection Day 6: कार्तिक आर्यन की फिल्म ने लगाया चौका, कमा डाले इतने करोड़
Box Office India Trade Network

PATI PATNI AUR WOH was steady on Tuesday as it collected 4.75 crore nett and took its total to 43.50 crore nett. The first week numbers should be 51-52 crore nett if a similar weekday trend continues though many films have seen a more noticeable drop on Wednesday.

The first week is sure to finish below LUKA CHUPPI as that film had a holiday on Monday which meant a weekday boost and a 53 crore nett first week. The real race with that film is from the second Friday onward as that film held up well after the first week. The film is on course to becoming a HIT as long as the second Friday shows a decent number.

The five day collections of PATI PATNI AUR WOH are as follows.
Friday - 8,50,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 11,50,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 13,50,00,000 apprx
Monday - 5,25,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 4,75,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 43,50,00,000 apprx

Panipat collects 22.25 cr in 5 days

Panipat Box Office Collection Day 2: Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt And Kriti Sanon's Film Gains Momentum
Box Office India Trade Network

PANIPAT continues its poor run at the box office as it collected in the 2.25 crore nett range on Tuesday giving the film a five day total of 22.25 crore nett which is not even the three day business of PATI PATNI AUR WOH and in fact the week will not even reach the three day business of that film..

The week will finish at 26 crore nett and there will be limited business thereafter as occupancy is low on the weekdays. The film joins PAGALPANTI as the biggest flop of the year and both film will probably have a lifetime in the same range. The business in Maharashtra is also poor, it may be better than the rest of the country which is horrible but a 12-13 crore nett finish in Mumbai circuit is also dull business.

The five day collections of PANIPAT are as follows..

Friday - 4,00,00,000 apprx
Saturday - 6,00,00,000 apprx
Sunday - 7,50,00,000 apprx
Monday - 2,50,00,000 apprx
Tuesday - 2,25,00,000 apprx
TOTAL - 22,25,00,000 apprx

We have Dabangg 4 written too-Salman Khan


Salman Khan on plans to take the Dabangg franchise forward even after a prequel; bringing Chulbul, Radhe and Devil in a crossover film and being approached by Farhan Akhtar with a script
Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 12, 2019)

He arrives like the star he is. And instantly, the slumbering parking lot of Mehboob Studio comes alive. Flashbulbs pop as Bhai strikes a pose. There are journalists waiting to meet Salman Khan and a Bangladeshi cricketer too. He obliges some of those waiting, before beckoning you to take two chairs, one stacked on top of the other so you are at his eye level. Excerpts:

This time, we believe you have been credited with the story, screenplay and dialogue. What makes Dabangg 3 different from the earlier two films?
When I heard the story of the first Dabangg, which Dilip Shukla had written, I liked the plot but thought the character wasn’t noble. There were no songs, he was grey, corrupt and ruthless. I changed him into the Chulbul Pandey you see, and it worked. There was a lot of angst. The mother passes away, after which he accepts his father and brother as family. That script was not mine; we retained the mota mota plot and made the scenes more massy and today, with a different kind of swagger. If you were to meet Chulbul on the road, toh aap usey maroge because he’ll appear arrogant and badtameez. But on screen, you like him. He does tedha things but for the right reasons. Like the zehreela sharab scene in Dabangg was negative but uska fayda was positive.

In Dabangg 2, they wanted just Chulbul, without the family. I argued that Chulbul worked because of his mother, father, Makkhan Chand Pandey, Bobby ji, Tiwari ji, Pichkari ji, Rajjo, everyone. How could I take them out? So, we retained them.

The third part is about how Chulbul became the man he is. We’ve dug up his past, there’s pain. It’s an emotional vendetta story.

At a time when filmmakers are struggling with sequels, you’re coming with a prequel…
We have Dabangg 4 written too.

Yeah you are going up to Dabangg 743 as you mentioned in our last interview. Seriously, how do these ideas happen?
(Laughs) They just come about. Sometimes, one film gives you an idea for the next. In Dabangg 3, we explore why Rajjo’s father was an alcoholic and how Chulbul met her. Aap jab picture dekhoge toh aapko samajh mein aayega kahan kahan se nikle hain hum.

After two films, today, the minute I walk into the Dabangg set, I stop being Salman Khan, the actor, and become Chulbul Pandey. Ditto, Sonakshi who transforms instantly into Rajjo. That’s how it is with the whole cast; we’ve become a real family.

Do you have a personal connection with Chulbul?
Well, I’m writing it, playing the character, so there has to be some thought behind it.

The director this time is Prabhudheva and he knows the pulse of the audience…
Yeah, that’s why he’s in the film. Arbaaz (Khan, brother and the director of Dabangg 2) would take time to understand, his BP would shoot up and down. So, this time, the first thing he said was that he wouldn’t direct the film and we should get someone else. I suggested Prabhu, and his reaction was, “Fantastic!” Prabhu is very receptive, he gets what I want to say in a second. Language is a problem with him, so I have to explain things to him, but once he gets it, he executes it beautifully... Larger-than-life, with humour and emotion. Bang on! With a film like Dabangg, we go from high point to high point. We’re not pakaoing anyone. The message comes through the scenes.

Even before Dabangg 3 was complete, you announced Radhe with Prabhu. Obviously, you have a lot of confidence in him and he reiterates you share a great equation, which is rare...
Yes, we have a good working relationship and I believe one shouldn’t spoil that. We were looking for a director for Radhe. My friend Prashant suggested Prabhu. I recalled he had told me that after Dabangg 3, he was going on a two-month holiday, but Prashant urged me to speak to him and Prabhu agreed. The script was halfway through. I was working on a film at the time... I don’t remember the name... and it was to come out on Eid, which didn’t happen…

Inshallah with Sanjay Leela Bhansali? Wasn’t that the film?
Inshallah… Inshallah… Radhe is happening Inshallah on Eid. We are working day in and day out to put it out on Eid.

You were saying Radhe’s script was ready…
With us, plots are always ready, then, they evolve. You write at home, in a hotel or an office. But then, when you come on the sets, the story changes with the setting.

Radhe is also your story?
No, but we have made a lot of changes.

Eid is your date…
No, it’s not, it’s nobody’s date, anyone is welcome to release a film on the day. It’s just that my films happen to come on Eid. Actually, my last film, Bharat, released during Ramadan, three days before Eid. And now, Dabangg 3 is arriving on Christmas. I’ve had releases during Diwali and Republic Day too. Any festive day is a good day.

Next Eid, Akshay Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb is releasing with Radhe...
Yes, and there is scope for another two-three films to come on that day. Then, the audience decides which film to spend on. Agar picture achhi lagi, they will watch it. If they don’t, toh nahin dekhenge, festive date ho ya koi bhi date ho.

Bharat has made a lot of money at the box-office. But do you think the scale of the film magnified the expectations?
Not really. I just thought towards the end, the father should have come back. That was my problem with the film. But aaj kal ke yeh new people think that a reunion with the father is a cliché. Father ki age kya hogi? Uski story kya hogi? I don’t give a damn, he should have come back.

Yes, the film did phenomenal business, my sister (Alvira) is happy, we’re happy with the product. But if we had shown a 70-year-old man and a 90-year-old man having a conversation, it would have been a more emotionally satisfying film. Bharat’s whole journey was about him waiting for his father to come back to him. So, for me, the film looked incomplete.

Talking about fathers, Salim Khan saab recently said that Farhan Akhtar has come to you with a script and you have liked it. Is the film happening?
I don’t know. Farhan has come to me with a script and I like him. He is like a kid brother; he has grown up with us. That bond will always be there with Zoya (Akhtar) and him. They are like my younger siblings.

Rohit Shetty and you have been talking too. Will Chulbul Pandey join Rohit’s cop universe, with Singham and Simmba?
Chulbul is a universe within himself. So is Singham.

This is a separate film, then?
Nothing’s finalised. We’ve been talking about other things too.

But Kick 2 is definitely happening and we are told it could arrive in December 2021?
It could.

How does it feel to bring Devil back? He has his own fans...
Yeah, one thing I want to do later is bring Kick’s Devil, Dabangg’s Chulbul Pandey and Radhe together.

That’s a wonderful idea. If The Avengers can do it, why not Salman Khan. Are you joking or is it a possibility?
No, I have something in mind.

Kick is Sajid’s film. He is not just a producer but a good friend...
Yes, he’s like a brother to us.

And what is it like bringing him back as a director?
(Laughs) He didn’t even know he was directing Kick, he got to know on Twitter.

You have introduced several newcomers to Hindi cinema, not just technicians but actors, too. From Sonakshi Sinha to Saiee Manjrekar now...
Saiee is a sigh of relief for the industry. Watch out for her.

We have heard that she is playing a mute in the film, no dialogue, speechless… True?
Nooo, you guys will be speechless when you see her. I’d introduced Sonakshi at an award show and this time too, I took Saiee along. As soon as we faced the paparazzi, they started saying, we want solo pictures of her. So, I thought, ho gaya Saiee ka. Rocket Singh, straight out! Then, I heard this comment, “Saiee, tu sahi aahes.”

We thought you were introducing Saiee’s sister, Ashwami? Are you?
We don’t have anything right now, but she is very talented.

How does Bigg Boss feel after all these years? It’s become a part of you?
Yeah, a part of mine wants to cut that part and throw it out and the other part wants to keep it. And the latter is haavi on the part that wants to throw it out.

You don’t like the show?
I like it. It gets stressful, but I learn a lot. And I get to know where the country is going, what is happening to values, morals, scruples and principles. We see it right there, with celebrities. The beauty is once they are out of the house, they are not like that at all. It’s not as if they are giving performances, the house makes them like that.

Has being in a particular place changed your personality?
No.

What’s happening with Sohail Khan’s film Sher Khan?
That film requires a lot of visual effects. After it is shot, it will take six-eight months, almost a year, for it to be ready. After the next two-three films, Sher Khan goes on the floors. It’s beautiful.

I’m not going to ask you about marriage this time…
Okay.

…But whenever I see you with kids, I feel a child is missing out on a really good father.
Even I feel that way.

Are there plans of having a child through adoption, surrogacy, though that’s outlawed...
No, not yet.

So, no plans?
No, when it happens, it happens.

How will it happen?
(With a straight face) I can’t describe the whole process to you.

What I mean is that you don’t want to get married or adopt…
There are enough kids in the house. Another child will be born now, in December.

Would you like to raise your sister Arpita’s child?
No, Arpita does a fantastic job of raising her child, in fact, she is raising all of us correctly right now.

Your dad, even at 84, is all there…
Yeah, because there were five of us, and now many more, so he has to be all there.

It’s wonderful how he knows everything that is happening with all your projects.
I share things with him when he is sitting across the table, tell him the basic plot. He will say, “Yeh galat hai, isey nikalo.” When he sees the film, too, there are times he says, “Yahaan mazaa nahin aa raha hai, isey nikalo.” Some bits we do listen to.

Did he have any suggestions for Dabangg 3?
No.

To see Kabir Singh become one of the top 10 grossers of all time is a relief-Shahid Kapoor


Shahid Kapoor says Kabir Singh’s stupendous success helped reinforce the actor’s belief in himself
Prashant Singh (HINDUSTAN TIMES; December 12, 2019)

Several Hindi films have hit bull’s eye at the box office this year. But of these, the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Kabir Singh surely shines bright as one of the biggest money spinners of 2019. And the actor is aware of the impact his big hit has had on him — as an actor and otherwise, too.

“Usually, an actor’s film does ₹70 crore and then ₹100 crore, then ₹140 crore and ₹170 crore, and finally ₹200-crore plus. But my solo films never went above ₹70 crore and now, it’s straight at ₹280 crore (smiles). That jump is so big, it gives you clarity that yeh maine nahi kiya hai, yeh ho gaya hai,” he explains.

Shahid, set to start work on his next, Jersey, a remake of the Telugu sports drama of the same name, feels that he just has to be “aware of my responsibility now”.

“At the same time, I feel I have had a certain work process which got me here. So, there’s no need to change it. If I got here by doing the work I believe in, I should continue the same way. Otherwise, what tends to happen is you start overthinking (on scoring such a big hit) and ‘Ab main kya karoon’. But I’m like, ‘Kucch nahi karna hai, bas kaam karna hai’,” he says.

The Haider (2014) actor also feels a “sense of relief” that he reached out to the masses with his last release. “To see Kabir Singh become one of the top 10 grossers of all time is a relief because I always believed that I had the potential in me to be able to talk to a very wide audience as an actor. However, it never happened. Some films did well and some didn’t, and they were always in a certain kind of range,” he admits.

Yet, reflecting on some of his previous hits, Shahid feels a few of them did appeal to a large audience. “I think many years back, Vivah (2006) and Jab We Met (2007) had reached a very wide audience. Then, I did Padmaavat (2018) which went wide but that film wasn’t focused or centered around me. But Kabir Singh is where I felt that everything was on my shoulders as I could feel that this film was all about me. When such a film gets that kind of love, it definitely makes you feel different,” the actor says.

Interestingly, right before Kabir Singh came along, Shahid says he had certain thoughts about resetting his goals and processes. “See, I have been doing this (acting) for 15 years and there’s a part of you that starts to feel, ‘Am I overestimating my own self?’ or ‘Am I thinking that I can be something which I’m probably not meant to be?’ Or ‘Should I change my plans and goals, bring it a bit down and be a little more realistic?’ Those thoughts had crossed my mind,” he adds.

Kajol is a gifted woman who has been under utilised in our films-Renuka Shahane

Renuka Shahane with Kajol
Proud to helm Kajol's digital debut Tribhanga, Renuka Shahane says actor's spontaneity and no-nonsense attitude make her a director's delight
Upala KBR (MID-DAY; December 12, 2019)

It is not easy to earn a nod from Kajol. Or so Renuka Shahane had heard, before she took the script of Tribhanga to her. A round of narration later, the actor-director knew she had found the protagonist of her women-led story that spans across three generations of a family. "She is choosy, but one must do roles that speak to their heart," smiles the director, days after wrapping up the shoot of the Netflix movie.

If the Ajay Devgn-backed drama — featuring Tanve Azmi and Mithila Palkar — marks Kajol's debut in digital entertainment, it also sees Shahane wield the directorial baton after a decade. Having worked closely with Kajol over the past few months, she says that she could not have asked for a better artiste to breathe life into her story. "During the shoot, she told me, 'You have to direct me. If I am not doing something properly, please tell me.' All directors would want to have such freedom."

Unlike directors who may be threatened by Kajol's opinionated nature, Shahane lauds the actor for her no-nonsense attitude. "Kajol wants to have clarity before she begins the shoot. This way, anything that happens on the set does not come as a surprise. And yet, once the camera was switched on, she would weave her magic. Kajol has been brave in accepting a film like Tribhanga. She's one of those few stars who are pushing the boundaries. She's a [gifted] woman who has been under-utilised in our films."

Now that Tribhanga is behind her, will we see Shahane on the big screen? "I am open to offers, but nothing that will keep me away from home for long."

As an outsider, I was fed with the perception that Karan Johar will never cast me-Avinash Tiwary

Karan Johar and Avinash Tiwary
After winning praise in Laila Majnu, actor Avinash Tiwary elated to be roped in by Johar for Ghost Stories
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; December 12, 2019)

In Bollywood parlance, you have broken into the big league when you have bagged a Karan Johar project. So, one can imagine actor Avinash Tiwary's delight at having earned a place in the filmmaker's upcoming anthology, Ghost Stories.

"I never thought Karan Johar will cast me. As an outsider, this was a perception fed to me. So, finally, when the offer came my way, it validated my faith in my craft," says Tiwary, who — after some small but memorable roles in films — had critics sit up and take notice of him in Laila Majnu. "After [the debacle of] Laila Majnu, I had no expectations. I had waited two-and-a-half years for the film's release, but it was wiped out in a week's time. I was disappointed, but the film got a new lease of life post its release on an OTT platform," recounts Tiwary.

If Pakistani actor Mahira Khan took to Twitter to praise his performance, closer home, his work caught the attention of actor-producer Anushka Sharma. "For four months after the film's release, I had no offers coming my way. Then Anushka Sharma's production house approached me for Bulbul." Tiwary also has another promising project in The Girl On The Train with Parineeti Chopra.

On his part, the actor is most upbeat about Ghost Stories. "Karan Johar constantly seeks talent; he has his ear to the ground. He had not watched Laila Majnu, but he had heard of me. So when this project came to him, he sought me out. Working with him has done wonders to my self-confidence. Now, I feel as if I deserved this [validation] for long."

My fans are the fuel to my fire-Sunny Leone


Rishabh Suri (HINDUSTAN TIMES; December 12, 2019)

She has made headlines ever since she entered Bollywood. Everything actor Sunny Leone touched became a talking point, as proved by her films such as Ragini MMS 2 (2014), and special songs including Laila Tujhe (Shootout At Wadala; 2013) and Laila Main Laila (Raees; 2017). So it’s no surprise that she figures among the most searched celebs on the internet. Sunny, who has featured in many such lists in the past, speaks about her latest achievement and more.

You have emerged as the most searched female celeb of 2019 according to a search engine. You have been a constant in such lists over the past years. What’s your reaction to this achievement?
Well, it’s definitely an honour that my fans are so supportive. It’s a reminder every year that they really are the fuel to my fire. I love them as much as they might love me. They are there forever.

How would you define ‘popularity’ in today’s time, with social media taking precedence? Is there also a sense of pressure to stand out from the crowd, since everything goes viral in no time?
I love the place the industry is in now. It’s purely based on talent and the ability to be well-rounded in entertainment as a whole. Daniel (Weber; husband) and I along with my entire team have been working on this balancing act for years. It has been great to be creative in many fields. So, for us the pressure is a good pressure and gets us all creatively working together.

Your husband tweeted about your ‘most-searched celeb’ achievement, and wrote ‘The true power of her brand’. What would you like to say?
I will just say my husband is the greatest man I’ve met! He is so intelligent and so great in business. We are a great team, but he really is the backbone of brand ‘Sunny Leone’.

We haven’t seen you in a full fledged role in any film in 2019. Are you purposely slowing down on work?
I have had one of the busiest years ever working... what I call the ‘working year’. This year is a set up for next year. So many amazing things are happening!

We want to make Hiranyakashyap better than Baahubali-Rana Daggubati

Rana Daggubati
Refuting rumours that Hiranyakashyap has been shelved, Rana Daggubati asserts magnum opus will roll by late-2020
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; December 12, 2019)

It has been almost two years since Rana Daggubati announced his magnum opus, Hiranyakashyap, to be produced by father Suresh Babu. With little update about the Gunasekhar-directed film in the interim, word on the street was that the mythical film — said to be mounted on a staggering budget of Rs 180 crore — had been put on the backburner due to the actor's rumoured health scare. However, talking to mid-day, Daggubati insists that the project will go on floors by late-2020.

"There is no delay; it's just that we are using the latest technology available," begins the actor, adding that the movie will be high on visual effects. "We are building virtual reality sets, along with rendered visuals as seen in [video] games, which will allow us to watch the film digitally even before we start shooting. This is probably the first time it is happening in India. We are collaborating with a 3D scanning company, which specialises in medical technology. We realised that their scans were better than what was being done in [studios in] Los Angeles. Since there is a lot of groundwork to be done, the film will roll in another eight months."

Evidently proud of his offering that tells the story of the demon king who was killed by Narasimha, Daggubati doesn't shy away from comparing it with his blockbuster Baahubali. "We want to make it better than Baahubali."

Apart from films, the actor has been an active entrepreneur. He recently tied up with Anthill Ventures to launch Urban-i, a platform to encourage consumer brand start-ups. "India has many promising young start-ups that have the potential to grow rapidly, if provided with the right support. We will scout for them and provide strategically designed platforms to entrepreneurs."

Shraddha and Siddhanth Kapoor were always there for me-Priyaank Sharma


Priyaank Sharma explains why he never really missed having a sibling and that his dream film would be with his producer dad, actress mother and the extended family
Himesh Mankad (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 12, 2019)

Priyaank Sharma, who debuts with the romcom Sab Kushal Mangal, the first release of 2020, reveals that he was inclined towards dramatics since he was in school but decided on becoming an actor only after a detailed discussion with his parents, producer Tutu Sharma and actress Padmini Kolhapure. “I watched films and mimicked actors but conversations with mom and dad were about studies, food and what one was doing,” he informs, adding that despite formal training in acting and filmmaking from a New York-based institute, the real learning happened while assisting Rajkumar Santoshi on Phata Poster Nikhla Hero, in which Padmini played Shahid Kapoor’s mother. “I worked closely with Raj sir on the scripting too. He was juggling multiple scripts and I learnt about drama, comedy and other zones of commercial cinema.”

Once, while trying to grasp the different aspects of filmmaking, he gave his mother a different page for her scene and she rehearsed her lines. It was when the camera rolled that everyone realised the mix-up. But Padmini, being the talented actress she is, improvised on the set and got the scene done without delay.

His co-star in his debut film is Akshaye Khanna and Priyaank admits he’s a fan of his work. During the shoot, Akshaye was like an elder brother who guided him at every step. “We had multiple conversations and that gave me a lot of confidence. We have around 60-65 scenes together,” he says.

Cousins Shraddha and Siddhanth Kapoor have also been promoting the Prachi Nitin Manmohan-produced film on social media and Priyaank says they share a warm relationship. “I have never missed having a sibling of my own, because Shraddha and Siddhanth were always there for me. They are very protective of me and call up every other day to check on me,” he smiles, recalling how, when they were kids, the trio would always come up with some dance or drama performances during family get-togethers and parties. “It was more in the Michael Jackson and Sridevi zone, and even today, we perform when together.”

Scan through his Instagram account and you will find a picture of him and Siddhanth posing against a Salman Khan poster. Priyaank laughs, “This was in bhaiyya’s room; he has Bollywood posters up on his walls. Our childhood was all about MJ, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan. We kept getting clicked with their posters,” he confides.

High on his wish-list is a “family film” with his entire khandaan - mom Padmini, cousins Siddhanth and Shraddha, aunts Tejaswini and Shivangi, uncle Shakti Kapoor and his dad as a producer.

Apart from acting, the debutant is also passionate about mixing music and has performed as a DJ at private parties. “I wanted to play music as a kid, so the next step was to collect money, get a console and start mixing songs. I never accepted bookings from public spaces, but have played for family and friends,” he smiles.

Priyaank has been spotted with Karim Morani’s younger daughter, Shaza, many times and has even posted pictures with her on Instagram. Quiz him on this and he says shortly, “That’s my personal space, let’s not go there.”