Vansh Bhardwaj? The name may not ring any bells yet. But come November and you’ll see him as Preity Zinta’s bitter-half in Deepa Mehta’s Heaven On Earth. He’s also playing the lead in Dilip Mehta’s romantic comedy Stella which releases next year.
Bhardwaj who has been busy with theatre during the last 15 years, caught Deepa’s eye at the annual NSD festival in Neelam Mansingh’s play Nagamandala.
In Mehta’s film, Bhardwaj plays Rocky, a cabbie who migrates to Canada and is burdened by the responsibilities of his extended family. He doesn’t have much of a personal life either. “On the one hand, my character is young and romantic. On the other, he’s hard, mean and even hits his wife,” he states.
Bhardwaj, who at 27 is “too young to get married” and is not even going steady, surprised Zinta with his passion. One of his favourite scenes.. and “Deepa ma’am’s too”.. is the intimate love scene in the bathroom.
Some have said that Heaven on Earth is quite similar to Jag Mundhra’s Provoked. To that he says, “That’s completely off the mark. Heaven On Earth is not just about domestic violence.. it’s about dislocation and isolation too.”
The actor went on to do Stella with the ‘nice’ Lisa Ray, the ‘energetic’ Shriya Saran and the ‘thinking’ Seema Biswas. “It’s a film about servants and I’m playing a roadside Romeo. The first day on the sets, even Deepaji was surprised.”
For now, Bhardwaj has returned to theatre with the play The Suit.