In his three-film old career, Ishaan Khatter follows a golden rule to not leave any stone unturned. “Be it preparation for a role, or shooting, I don’t like to be complacent during any part of the process. Secondly, I don’t take myself any more seriously than it is required for a movie or role. I let the director set the tone. It’s something I’ve been following since the beginning of my career,” says the actor. After Majid Majidi’s Beyond the Clouds (2017), Dhadak (2018), in Mira Nair’s miniseries, A Suitable Boy, his latest release is Khaali Peeli opposite Ananya Panday.
With Nair’s series garnering appreciation online, Khatter believes that cinema and film are art forms that can transcend boundaries. Ask him of the importance of international recognition for him at this stage in your career and he replies, “Well, I value them both equally, be it international recognition or making a name in my own country. But it feels wonderful to be recognised solely for your work. It has been a great blessing to have an opportunity like this mini-series and then to be recognised and loved for it. I’m excited for the rest of the world to see it. So far it has only been the UK and Ireland, I’m looking forward to everybody seeing it and doing more work that transcends boundaries.”
His latest release, Khaali Peeli, which came out on the pay-per-view streaming service earlier this month, is also set to be the first Bollywood film to release in theatres once they reopen in a few days. The 24-year-old shares he was very excited to play a taxi driver in the film, especially as the role required him to have a bit of a makeover. He says, “It was the first role that presented me as a young man as opposed to a boy and it was also my first quintessentially heroic role, so there a lot of reasons why it excited me. I found the script to be very slick, contemporary, cool and yet it had a flavour of the ‘80s and the ‘90s. I thought it was a very interesting space and that’s what excited me to play Blackie.”
Khatter has begun preparing for his next film, his first horror comedy, Phone Bhoot co-starring Katrina Kaif and Siddhant Chaturvedi. “I will simultaneously start preparing for another film, which is a slightly longer drawn process in terms of prep. It’s a gargantuan responsibility to play a Tank Commander and Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta. It’s the story about the 1971 war, the liberation of Bangladesh through our Army. It’s very exciting and will be up next after Phone Bhoot. So, I’ve my hands full with these two films right now.”