Recently, actor Deepika Padukone was seen dishing out dance lessons on the sets of her forthcoming film, Aarakshan. The actor, who will be seen with Saif Ali Khan and Amitabh Bachchan in the Prakash Jha film, is apparently trained in kathak. And when Amitosh Nagpal, another actor from the film, was trying to ape Birju Maharaj’s style of dancing, Deepika couldn’t help but intervene.
“Choreographer Jayesh Pradhan and Prakashji (director Prakash Jha) were discussing how to work on the song Mauka Mauka… and I heard them saying they wanted to do something funny, so I suggested I do a little classical jig,” says Nagpal, who was last seen playing Sonakshi Sinha’s brother in the Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg (2010). He says, “I was trying to copy Birju Maharaj’s expressions and practicing on the sets. Deepika saw me struggling, came to me and told me ‘that’s not how it’s done’.”
Following that, the young actor gave Nagpal a crash course in kathak. “She’s a great teacher, but I’m a bad learner when it comes to concentrating. Finally, Deepika and I went and told Prakashji what we had worked on, and he loved it,” he says.
Nagpal plays a character called Panditji, who belongs to an upper caste. “And because he is deprived of reservations that the lower castes receive, he works hard, but fails to get admission in an engineering college. He misses out by one per cent and Bachchanji’s character then helps me,” says Nagpal, who was thrilled to get to work with Amitabh Bachchan. “I have grown up watching his films and he has an amazing sense of humour.”
The film, which also stars Prateik and Manoj Bajpayee, is due to release on August 12.