The director of Isi Life Mein, Vidhi Kasliwal, could not find a female lead for a long time despite many auditions. "I needed someone with a delicate blend of traditionalism and modernism. We either kept getting someone who fit the small town image or a modern one. I thank my casting director Vicky Sidana for auditioning incessantly till we found Sandeepa (Dhar)," says Kasliwal.
The character that Dhar plays, called Rajnandani, changes her name to RJ after leaving the town of Ajmer for the big city. Therefore, Kasliwal was looking for someone who can easily turn chic, and yet look like she has a mind of her own when she comes to Mumbai and meets her hero.
Dhar’s co-actor Akshay Oberoi, who is also making his debut, agrees with the director: "Even a girl in the US will connect to RJ as her journey is about wanting to fight suppression and be able to dream."
Kashmiri-born Dhar, who hasn’t been formally trained in acting, credits her learning to her on-the-set experiences with Kasliwal. "For my first film I wanted to be presented well. And when Rajshri happened I was so happy," says Dhar, adding that unlike her character in the film, she can go and tell her father that she would rather act, than get married. "You get more exposure when you live in a metro," says Dhar.
Talking about her character in the film, she says: “She is a very pure soul. You rarely find people like that. You lose the vulnerability and sensibility that people in smaller towns have.”
A big fan of Rajshri movies and Sooraj Barjatiya, she says, “I have grown up watching Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) and Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994). Soorajji is so humble despite the success of his films. He has taught me that even when I become successful, I should keep that humility intact.”
Also a fan of Salman Khan, Dhar had thought of a thousand things she wanted to say to the actor but when he came on the sets, she was just “star struck and frozen.” She adds, “I just stood there gaping at him. He told us that he liked the songs of the film.”