Rohan Mehra, son of the actor of the ’80s, Vinod Mehra, is all set to foray into Hindi cinema with the stock market thriller ‘Baazaar’. After his father’s death in 1990, Rohan grew up in Mombasa, Kenya with his mother, sister and grandparents. The newbie feels people have started talking about him since the film’s trailer released. In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, Rohan candidly spoke his journey to films, his co-stars, nepotism and the ongoing #MeToo movement. Excerpts from the interview:
Baazaar, your debut film is releasing in couple of days. What is your state of mind?
My current state of mind says that I am very, very impatient. I wish it was releasing tomorrow because I want people to see it. I am really excited to share it with them.
The makers were not planning to launch a newcomer with this film. How did you come on board?
I really had to convince the makers to take my audition just to test my abilities. Yes, Nikkhil sir (co-producer Nikkhil Advani) was looking for a newcomer as it is an incredibly challenging role and they were actually looking for a known face. It was a long journey but eventually I managed to convince them about myself. Now I feel very blessed that Nikkhil sir gave me the opportunity and chose me to star in the film.
Was it intimidating working alongside Saif Ali Khan?
(Smiles) You know, the very thought of working with him was intimidating initially but when I actually went on the set I felt amazing because Saif is a very comforting co-star, and a very nice human being. The vibe on the set was very positive as he makes everyone feel very comfortable around him.
Ranveer Singh once said that his first film will always remain close to his heart because there were no inhibitions or reservations for him as an actor. How invested were you while working on your character in Baazaar?
I was completely invested. First film is also important because it’s a first time people are going to see you; so you must give everything you have and that way I think what Ranveer said is absolutely right one shouldn’t have any inhibitions or reservations. People don’t know what you are about so you have everything you have. Because of that I was completely invested in this character and I really tried to give every bit of myself to Baazaar.
What does a film mean to you? And what's the most gratifying aspect of doing it.
The reason I want to act and to be a part of film industry is to tell stories and to connect to people with that. When you watch a good film you feel something - you feel happy, you feel inspired, you feel a certain way and that's the magic of cinema. I really want to touch people's hearts through my films and entertain them so for me it's all about connecting to people. It can't be too self-indulgent as an actor or as a filmmaker because there is huge money involved and there are many things at stake, but personally I want to do it for the people.
The trailer of Bazaar is getting fabulous response from movie buffs. Your chemistry with Radhika Apte is looking great too. How did you guys break an ice, if there was any...tell us about her...
Working with Radhika was a great experience. There is no need to break ice with her because firstly she is extremely professional and such a lovely girl. Secondly I remember having good conversations with her in between shots and once it was 'Action' she used to transform into her character so naturally. It was really inspiring for me as an actor.
The nepotism debate is soaring in Bollywood. You belong to the industry...do you believe the pressure now is immense on industry kids to prove their mettle?
My struggles have been slightly different. I always give this example: In a drawn circle there are some people inside the circle and many others outside the circle and I see myself on the edge of it. There are lot of actors who are from film family but if you look at my journey I’ve auditioned for this part, I got rejected from auditions, I waited for very long for this film to be made so path is somewhat unlike other industry kids. Even though I have name which is Rohan Mehra, son of an actor, I haven't experienced any typical advantages of star kid. Having said that I can not explain this to everyone and people are going to perceive me as a star kid. Considering that, here is a sense of pressure but I look at it in way where I feel blessed. I tend to ignore the pressure little bit and enjoy this moment, this opportunity in order to give my best.
What direction you would like your career to take now?
I am so open for different directions. But right now I am taking these baby steps so let's see where this industry takes me...
I can't end this interview without asking your opinion about the ongoing #MeToo movement...What is your viewpoint on it?
My viewpoint on women safety is absolutely clear – I don’t think a woman, an individual or any person should feel unsafe at workplace. You go to work to pursue your passion, to make money, to build career and the last thing anyone should be thinking is the feeling that they could be subjected to something like sexual harassment. In today’s scenario, there are lot of brave women speaking out and I think that's very essential because these hidden things have always been there and they should never have been hidden from the start so I am glad that it is coming out in the open. If this leads to the changed circumstances for women at workplaces then fantastic. I am completely up for it.
And lastly your message to audiences who are excited to watch Baazaar...
Well, if you are excited to watch Baazaar you have every reason to be excited about it because we have made very nice film and you won’t be disappointed. It is entertaining, super entertaining film and you will surely have a great time watching it.
Directed by Gauravv K Chawla and screenplay penned down by Nikkhil Advani, Parveez Sheikh and Aseem Arora. Baazaar releases on October 26.
Watch Baazaar trailer here:...