Bollywood has seen enough actors play gurus on screen. Who can forget Naseeruddin Shah’s classy act in Sir and Sushmita Sen’s hot avatar in Main Hoon Na. On Teachers’ Day today, we quiz filmwallahs on seniors who’ve guided them through the wobbly bylanes of the industry.
Screen hottie Deepika Padukone says she has not one, but three mentors in tinselville. “Mr Anupam Kher, Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are people I’ve learned a lot from. They’ve helped me hone my skills. Considering I started my career with them (in Om Shanti Om), they’ll always be my greatest influences,” she says.
Choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, who danced her way to success with films like Dhoom 2 and Aaja Nach Le, idolises a dancing diva. “I woke up to choreography when I saw Madhui Dixit gyrate to Ek Do Teen in Tezaab,” she says. Choreographer Saroj Khan still fascinates Merchant. “Sarojji is a one-of-a-kind artist and we’ve all learned so much from her. It amazes me to see her still at it,” she adds.
Actress Tara Sharma says that Anupam Kher has been her guiding force. “I’ve always looked up to him for advice,” she says.
Newbie Prateik Babbar — the son of actors Smita Patil and Raj Babbar — has found a guru in superstar Aamir Khan. Khan, he says, “helped me with my scenes in Dhobi Ghaat.”
Actor Sonu Sood says, “I respect Ashutosh Gowariker. He gave me Jodhaa Akbar and I learnt a lot from him.”