Posted by Fenil Seta
With a theatre stint under Satyadev Dubey and late-night movie binges, Amrish Puri’s grandson Vardhan, who makes his Bollywood debut with a romantic-thriller, has been an actor-in-training since he was five
Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 8, 2018)
Mirror has learnt that another star kid is gearing up for a Bollywood launch. Taking the legacy of his late grandfather Amrish Puri forward, Vardhan Puri will make his acting debut with a yet-untitled romantic-thriller produced by Jayantilal Gada. The film is expected to roll in September and will be shot in North India. The debutant has earlier assisted Habib Faisal on Ishaqzaade and Daawat-e-Ishq, and Maneesh Sharma on Shuddh Desi Romance.
“I was supposed to start off with a period-drama with Jayanti bhai, but for some reason that didn’t work out. He approached me later for this film which I loved and immediately gave my nod to. It’s a performance-oriented role and in terms of treatment it will be in a space similar to (Hollywood director David Fincher’s psychological thriller) Gone Girl’s,” Vardhan informed, adding that he is currently attending workshops and undergoing training for the role. The director and his leading lady will be locked soon, while recce is currently on in Delhi and Shimla.
Vardhan has been an actor-in-training ever since he was five, learning the craft under the tutelage of his grandfather’s mentor, National Award-winning actor-filmmaker-writer Satyadev Dubey. Through the years, he has also been a part of over 90 plays.
“I have a strong inclination toward writing and direction too but acting is my first love. Initially Dubey ji made me work backstage, serving tea to the cast and crew and cleaning the stage, after which I started getting smaller roles. I got to play a lead role when I was in my teens,” the actor revealed, adding that he has also trained with acting gurus like Athar Nawaz, Neeraj Kabi, Vidur Chaturvedi, Mujeeb Khan and Faezeh Jalali.
However, Vardhan, who identifies as a fan of Charlie Chaplin, Kishore Kumar and Puri Sr, had found his first teacher in his grandfather. “Dadu is the God whom I pray to. I was so close to him that I would sleep between him and my grandmother. When he passed away, for me it was like losing the protective cover of an umbrella. It was then, that I decided that if I do something, it would be for my grandfather and this film is an ode to him,” recounted the debutant who counts Virasat, Ghatak, Mr India and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge as his favourite films featuring the late veteran.
Narrating his earliest memories of his dadu, Vardhan added that he wouldn’t sleep till Puri returned from work. After that they would watch movies till 3 am with little regard for young Vardhan’s early morning tuitions. “We would watch films of Dilip Kumar saab, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and also binge on classics like The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption. Sometimes, I also used to sit with him for reading sessions when filmmakers came home. His films with Shyam Benegal sir and Govind Nihalani sir top my list of all-time favourites. I really miss him,” Vardhan signed off with a sigh.