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I’m somebody who just loves films, says actor Harshvarrdhan Kapoor

Kapoor was speaking about turning producer with the Netflix film Thar (2022).

Sonal Pandya

The entire cast of Thar (2022) spoke about following director Raj Singh Chaudhary’s vision on the project at the Netflix film's trailer launch in Mumbai today.

The filmmaker said he included the desert landscape as a character into the feature starring Anil Kapoor and Harshvarrdhan Kapoor. The dialogues of the film have been written by Anurag Kashyap while the last zinger referring to the iconic Hindi film Sholay (1975) in the trailer was penned by the filmmaker himself.

The actress Fatima Sana Shaikh attended the trailer launch despite being in pain owing to a sprain and had to be helped across the stage. She joked that Anil Kapoor told her she couldn’t miss the launch even if she had to attend in a wheelchair. Shaikh plays a demure bride in the Western noir.

Young actor Harshvarrdhan Kapoor said he was pulled into Thar by the script. “It’s hard to find material that’s a bit subversive, a bit different from what we are used to watching, so for me, the template has always been to try and do things that are new,” he said.

Calling Thar cinematic and visual, Harshvarrdhan said he wanted to break away from conventions and from what they might expect of him and his actor father. “It’s not about me, or it’s not about him, it’s about the film. It’s a director’s medium,” he said, adding that they had to be honest to their characters.

Anil Kapoor revealed that Harshvarrdhan did not use a hairdresser or make-up artiste for the feature. The veteran, however, didn’t forgo them.

This isn’t the first time the father and son are appearing together on screen. They first worked together in AK Vs AK (2020), a meta thriller in which both played fictional versions of themselves. At the launch, Anil commented that he wouldn’t have taken the role if he had been in Harshvarrdhan’s shoes.

Harshvarrdhan first connected with Thar in 2018. At the press conference after the trailer was launched, he shared that his debut as producer happened by accident. He disclosed that Thar was originally supposed to be produced by Vikramaditya Motwane, his Bhavesh Joshi Superhero (2018)  director.

“It was supposed to be a Phantom Films [production]. That’s when I met Raj for the first time,” he said. “After that the company dissolved. So I found myself in a situation where I was very new.”

Raj Singh, who had written and acted before, was also yet to make his directorial debut. They took the film to several producers, hoping for a theatrical release, for a year. They did a test shoot with three scenes, hoping to get a producer on board.

“We shot it for almost no money in Andheri [in Mumbai] in a rented space," the director recalled. "One scene out of the three turned out quite well. That’s when Netflix came on board.”

The shoot was originally due to begin in March 2020 but was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the countrywide lockdown. Eventually, the film is due to be premiered on 6 May on Netflix.

“Acting is something I’m doing right now,” Harshvarrdhan said. “I’m really enjoying it. But for me, I don’t think any of us should limit ourselves saying I’m only an actor and I’m going to be an actor for the rest of my life. I’m somebody who just loves films. I want to do it all.”

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Netflix trailer launch