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Satish Kaushik opens up about his long friendship and collaboration with Thar co-star Anil Kapoor

The veteran artistes have known each other for nearly 40 years.

Sonal Pandya

The trailer of the upcoming Netflix neo-western Thar (2022) was unveiled today at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai. The film's director and writer Raj Singh Chaudhary and the cast — Anil Kapoor, Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Satish Kaushik and Jitendra Joshi — spoke about their experience creating the feature at the event.

The ballroom of the hotel was transformed into a desert, reflecting the setting of the film. Mini Mathur hosted the launch and got the team to open up about why they signed up for the project.

Thar trailer: An intriguing blend of local and western flavours

Raj Singh Chaudhary revealed he has been fond of westerns since he was a child. “I grew up in Darjeeling and Rajasthan. In school, I read a lot of western novels. When I used to go to Rajasthan for my holidays, I used to visualize those mountains and cowboys and horses across [them]. When I became a filmmaker, I said this is what I need to do.”

The filmmaker, who has directed Shaadisthan (2021), has also contributed to the stories of Thar co-writer Anurag Kashyap's No Smoking (2007) and Gulaal (2009) and acted in the latter as well as Black Friday (2007) and Antardwand (2008).

Veteran actor Anil Kapoor said he was drawn to the project largely due to the young talent involved with it, including his own son Harsh Varrdhan, who brought the story to him. “I feel there is so much to learn from them and I love taking risks,” he said.

He was joined on the stage by his long-time collaborator Satish Kaushik, who played the character Calendar in his 1987 cult classic Mr India. “Anil and [I] go long back,” Kaushik said. “It’s a long journey of 40 years together. When Anil did his first film as a leading man, Woh 7 Din (1983), I actually played a bit part in the film. I played a flower vendor in that and I remember how relationships grow. This is destiny.”

He recalled, “I needed a shirt for the character and I remember Anil bringing a shirt. He told me, ‘Wear [it], this was worn by Rishi Kapoor in Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1978).” The feature was produced by Anil’s father, Surinder Kapoor.  

In fact, Kaushik revealed Anil had first spotted him in a play at Prithvi theatre and recommended him to his brother, producer Boney Kapoor. Anil even negotiated a salary increase from Rs201 to Rs501 for the part.

From the small part in Woh 7 Din to becoming his co-star in films like Ram Lakhan (1989) and Gharwali Baharwali (1998) to directing Anil in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993), Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999) and Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai (2000), the two friends and co-workers have indeed had a long journey.

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