Dream debut - Meet Akshay and Sandeepa, the lead pair of December 24 release Isi Life Mein

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By MOHUA DAS
  • Published 17.12.10
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Sandeepa Dhar and Akshay Oberoi are awaiting their big-screen debut next Friday under the banner that once launched a certain Salman Khan. The new couple from Rajshri Productions tell t2 about their journey in Isi Life Mein, steered by Vidhi Kasliwal, the first woman director picked by the Barjatyas.

Sandeepa Dhar

On being Rajnandini: My character Rajnandini is a 17-year-old girl from a conservative Marwari family in Ajmer, where girls are married off at a very early age. Rajnandini is passionate about dance and acting but these things aren’t encouraged in Ajmer. She is also in love with Salman Khan! Somehow she reaches Mumbai where she meets Vivaan and her journey from being Rajnandini to RJ begins. The message is that you have the right to dream and you can make it happen.

I’m a Kashmiri who has lived in Bangalore and Mumbai. In fact, it was freaky when I heard the first narration! It felt as if Vidhi had seen my life because Rajnandini is similar to me in too many ways, be it her favourite colours or favourite actor.

On her debut: It’s the most amazing phase of my life! I was four when I saw Madhuri Dixit do Ek do teen and I’ve dreamt of becoming an actor ever since. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is my favourite film and to be debuting with the same production house is sone pe suhaga for me. I was doing a lot of TV commercials before the casting director of Rajshri Productions spotted me and called me for a test.... We are 11 of us of the same age debuting together in the film. Even Vidhi, our director, is new and having a female director was an added bonus. There were many things that I could share with her. Now we all hang out together!

Akshay Oberoi

On being Vivaan: My character is a passionate hard-working guy who loves theatre. Vivaan believes in living life to the fullest. His father wants him to be a businessman but Vivaan wants to be in the theatre. He heads the dramatics society in college.... Both Sandeepa and me are a lot like our characters. Vivaan’s views on premarital sex or on women are similar to mine. He’s a pure soul and the 10 per cent of him that I’m not actually inspires me to be more like him. I’m not concerned about whether our film will be a huge hit or not. Tees Maar Khan releases on the same day and we’re not competing with our seniors. I just hope people appreciate our hard work.

On his debut: Somehow my stars lined up well and I got this break under the same banner that launched Salman Khan in Maine Pyaar Kiya! My background is in theatre. I did theatre for about five years in the US. After a BA in theatre arts from Johns Hopkins University, I moved to New York where I did off-Broadway plays and studied at the Stella Adler School. I also studied at the Playhouse West in LA. Then I returned to Mumbai and did some more theatre with Makrand Deshpande’s group Ansh. Then the struggle began — knocking on doors and meeting people. Somehow I got introduced to Rajshri Productions, and after several auditions and look tests they offered me the role.

I had acted in a crossover film called American Chai when I was 10 or 11; Paresh Rawal had played my father. That was my first stint on screen but I believe Isi Life Mein is my first real film.

Do you think Akshay-Sandeepa can recreate the Salman-Bhagyashree magic? Tell t2@abpmail.com