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Fresh on the Bollywood block! Get the buzz on these new actor-director pairings

What’s common to Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Saif Ali Khan, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui? They’re all in upcoming films where they’re working with certain directors for the first time.

bollywood Updated: Oct 02, 2017 16:38 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Ranveer Singh,Kabir Khan,Shahid Kapoor
Actor Ranveer Singh will be working with Kabir Khan in a film on India’s 1983 cricket world cup triumph.

The news of actor Ranveer Singh teaming up with director Kabir Khan for the first time has got movie buffs excited. However, this is not the only new actor-director pairing in Bollywood for upcoming movies.

Other ventures in Bollywood that have similar new actor-director pairings this year are: Shahid Kapoor and Shree Narayan Singh; Saif Ali Khan and Raja Krishna Menon; Alia Bhatt and Meghna Gulzar; Varun Dhawan and Shoojit Sircar; Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vishal Bhardwaj; and Akshay Kumar and Reema Kagti.

Working with a new director requires a lot of patience and understanding, says actor Saif Ali Khan, who has worked with Menon in Chef. Saif says, “There’s something fresh about Raja’s approach. You’ve got to try and understand the director and all directors are different. So the idea is not to be too fixed. You’ve got to be fluid in your own thoughts. Some people are more collaborative than others. They are all human beings, but there are different ways of handling the pressure of the job. You have to be fluid because [the director] has to feel comfortable and also bring out the best in you. Normally, we function at 50-60 per cent [as actors] but a good director can turn your work delivery into 80-90 per cent.”

Actor Saif Ali Khan and filmmaker Raja Krishna Menon have worked together in Chef. (Waseem Gashroo/ HT Photo)

Kabir has got Ranveer on board for a movie based on the India’s 1983 cricket world cup win. In that match, Kapil Dev took the catch that saw Viv Richards of West Indies being sent back to the pavilion, and Ranveer plays the role of Kapil Dev in the movie. The director says, “It’s great to have Ranveer come on board to play Kapil Dev, because honestly, I could see no one else for the role, ever since I started finalising the script.” There had been rumours, however, that actor Arjun Kapoor might play Kapil Dev.

Talking from the perspective of a director, Shree Narayan Singh feels that an actor needs to have a good understanding of the character. “When working with a new actor, the first thought is to understand them,” says Singh, who worked for the first time with Akshay Kumar for the film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and scored a big hit. “And then I give them the chance to react to the story their way. An actor looks at a character from a 360 degree angle, but a director comes with a set way to work on a film. So, it’s very important to give space to an actor.”

A new collaboration always translates into decent box office collections, feels trade analyst Atul Mohan. He says, “The audience understands that an actor and a director are coming together for the first time, and every director brings out a different side in an actor — it shows on the screen in the performances, which eventually translates into box office numbers.”

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First Published: Oct 02, 2017 16:38 IST