Arjun Kapoor assisted Nikkhil Advani on Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam-e-Ishq.
Arjun Kapoor assisted Nikkhil Advani on Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam-e-Ishq.

Arjun Kapoor recalls being a ‘terrible assistant’ on Kal Ho Naa Ho: ‘I used to sleep off on set’

  • Arjun Kapoor said that he was a ‘terrible’ assistant director when he worked on Kal Ho Naa Ho. However, he got better at the job when he assisted Nikkhil Advani again on Salaam-e-Ishq.
PUBLISHED ON JUL 13, 2021 07:00 AM IST

Before Arjun Kapoor made his debut as an actor with Ishaqzaade in 2012, he worked as an assistant director to Nikkhil Advani on Kal Ho Naa Ho and Salaam-e-Ishq. During a chat on Sunday, he recalled being a ‘terrible assistant’ at first.

Arjun Kapoor admitted to being ‘privileged’ when he took baby steps in the film industry and said that he thought being an assistant director would be an easy job. However, he turned out to be ‘horrible’ at it initially. He was speaking at a Clubhouse session with The Bollywood Film Club, moderated by Janice Sequeira and Aniruddha Guha.

“I was a terrible assistant when I started out. I was horrible. I thought it would be a piece of cake and I hate saying this, much like somebody who has grown up in an environment that is sheltered, I was sheltered, I was protected and I was privileged. Privileged does not only mean the financial aspect of it, it is about the security that you have from knowing you can make mistakes and stumble and learn along the way even without getting a qualification in place. I was allowed to do those things, I was allowed to make my mistakes without consequences that have bigger ramifications,” he said.

Arjun said that he first gave editing a shot and cut trailers for Shakti: The Power, which was produced by his father Boney Kapoor. He then worked as an assistant director.

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“I became an assistant on Kal Ho Naa Ho and I was a terrible one. Terrible in the sense, I used to sleep off on set, I used to walk in after Nikkhil sir, I used to do things that could be done in 15 minutes over four hours. I was just not very good but on set, I was very in love with the process. Then, I started working on Salaam-e-Ishq, I got better. So, I learnt on the job and I realised that I want to make films in some capacity or the other,” he said.

Arjun will be seen next in Pavan Kirpalani’s Bhoot Police, alongside Saif Ali Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Yami Gautam. The film is slated for a direct-to-digital release on Disney+ Hotstar on September 17.

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